The Dark and Hollow Places
Genre: Young Adult-Zombie*
Author: Carrie Ryan
Synopsis: There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister's face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the Horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters. Annah's world stopped that day, and she's been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn't feel much different than the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again. But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it's up to Annah: can she continue to live in a world covered in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return's destruction? (from Goodreads)
Why did I pick it up?: Horror scares me. No, I don't think you understand. Commercials for scary movies leave me shaking in terror. The last time I entered a haunted house, Halloween 2007, I took three steps in, something moved and I had to be escorted out and given hot cocoa. When I tried to read THE SHINING I had nightmares for weeks. However, Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth series does not read like Night of the Living Dead. Was I fearful at times? Of course! But it was not the same kind of fear, because the characters are accustomed to the world. They are not surprised when the zombies attack (usually) and so the reader is not either.
To answer my own question, I read the other two books because I kept hearing about them and the premise intrigued me.
Favorite Line: "And if I've learned anything surviving on my own, it's that I can take another step."
Likes: By far my favorite book in the series. I love Annah for her strength and voice. The horde attacking the Dark City gives me the heebie-jeebies but it's okay because they were the entertaining kind of heebie jeebies.
The difference in this book, in my opinion, was the urban landscape. It changed the rules of survival. Before the characters were navigating through fences and barriers and they never faced zombies by the thousands let alone millions. There is so much less control and order to it. It's chaos. It's terrifying and Annah sees the dark side of people, who even though the world is crumbling around them will find new ways of tormenting one another. Strangers and neighbors aren't always there to reach out a helping hand and the living can be just as dangerous as the zombies, and more unpredictable.
Note: This is the last book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series (so the interwebz tell me) she does have a Forest of Hands and Teeth short story, Hare Moon, so maybe it's not really the end.
Recommendation: Everyone should read this. If you ever find yourself in the middle of a zombie horde, you'll wish you had. Besides, when life gets you down, you can always reassure yourself with the knowledge that at least a million hungry zombies aren't snapping at your heels. After that, the day seems more manageable, doesn't it?
Next Week: Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott
*I don't think Zombie is actually a genre, but it so should be.