Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

forestBook Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Since I read all three of these books in a super short period of time, I’m going to blog them just a few days apart for those of you who hate waiting.

Mary has always lived her life surrounded by the unconsecrated that live in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. In a matter of a few short months, Mary loses both of her parents to the forest and the her brother who resents her for not stopping her mother from getting bitten. Forced to live with the sisters, Mary’s life only gets more complicated from there!

I know I’m very late getting to this series (published in 2009) but WOW. I have had this sitting on my shelf since the year it came out. Not until I found it on audio did I actually get started. Then I had to finish in book form because the audio was taking too long. Lots of wonderful characters that make it impossible to put down. It’s funny because I like reading zombie stuff but I can’t watch it on TV because it is too gross. Guess my mind isn’t that graphic. Take for example the quote (not quote) below.


So not really a quote, but there is a scene that gave me the chills. You will know it when you get there. Thumping sounds in a room but Mary can’t tell where it is coming from because there doesn’t seem to be any unconsecrated in the room. Cue dramatic music right?

Recommended Grade: 8-12
Genre: Zombie/Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: Audio/Book

Book Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Sorry about the delay in blogging…no excuses (or good ones anyway).

uninvitedBook Review: Uninvited by Sophie Jordan

Davy is the envy of every girl at her high school: popular, handsome boyfriend, and smart. That is until she tests positive for the Homicidal Tendency Syndrome gene; meaning she is destined to become a killer. Life unravels from there at a startling pace!

So funny thing, sometimes when I know an author I don’t read the inserts because I want to be surprised. Book jackets give away too much information sometimes. From the cover, I totally thought this was going to have an alien slant. Boy was I wrong! There were several times in this book I was so frustrated at characters because I could TOTALLY see this happening today. This is an interesting exploration to nature vs. nurture and do we actually create the criminals we are trying to prevent?


On self-perception: “She hardly looks like the mother of someone like me. This strikes me almost at once. How easy it’s become for me to alter my perception of myself. It makes me wonder if I ever really knew me.”

On fighting (while wrestling): “I skip away faster, leading him on a merry chase. We do this for a while. Me just barely avoiding him. Him getting red-faced and angry. It’s working. He’s gasping. Getting tired, frustrated. If I didn’t have to stay on this mat, I’d be long gone by now. But I do. Just like in real life—I can’t always run. Sometimes I have to stay and fight.

Recommended Grade: High school-Adult
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: Book

Book Review: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Book The Mark of the DragonflyReview: The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson

Piper is great with machines. She has a natural way at fixing things that no one else can. That comes in handy when you live in a small down and have to scavenge for parts; or really scavenge for anything at all. When a storm brings young Anna into Piper’s life, she knows she must leave all that she’s ever known to save this girl she barely knows.

I really loved this book. It had a steampunk feel without getting bogged down in the whole Victorian theme. The characters were believable and while not always likeable, they were always relatable. Who doesn’t have their rough edges? I didn’t find the major plot twist a surprise, but most of my students have. Book wraps up nicely, but leaves room for a second book.

Quote (kind of a spoiler, so you might wait until reading the book)
“You mean that I can’t live without you-that I’ll stop working?” Anna sniffed and wiped her eyes, “I didn’t need Doloman to tell me that. You’re my sister. I don’t want to leave you, Piper, not ever.”

Recommended Ages: Grades 7 and up
Genre: Tough one. Kind of fantasy, dystopian, steampunkish, and action adventure
Overall Opinion: Recommended
Source: eBook from Netgalley

Book Review: A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer

AMatterofDaysBook Review: A Matter of Days by Amber Kizer

When Nadia’s mother dies, she is forced to take care of her brother. Their only option? Make the long distance trek to find her family and hopefully safety from the disease sweeping the country.

The audio version of this book is really good. I listened to it on the plane back from Russia. The storyline is interesting. I even found that I was so into the book that I couldn’t sleep because I had to know what happened next. I appreciated that in a post-apocalyptic world everyone was always out for themselves. That seems to be the trend lately.

Quote from the book:

“It wouldn’t take us much out of the way and kindness was all we had to give in this new world.”

Recommended Grades: 7-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Average
Source: audiobook

Book Review: Three by Kristen Simmons

ThreeFinally ready to take a stand, Ember and Chase’s story continues in book three of the Article 5 series. Finally united with Three, the group come up with a plan they hope with change the government and inspire people into action.

This book was unexpected. I loved the first book, and the second book was okay, but this book was great! There were details wrapped up from other books in unexpected ways and a good resolution to the story.

Quote from the book I liked (Ember’s POV-the he of course is Chase)

“It’s broken,” I called, holding them up. The waves dragged me away, inch by inch. They thrashed harder, and I gripped the wooden bench I sat upon, fearful the boat would capsize.

I couldn’t fix this. I couldn’t get home.

He was no more than a tiny speck now, on a shore far away, and his voice cam to me as a whisper. “I’ll find you,” he said. “And I’ll bring you back.”

Recommended Grades: 10-Adult
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Recommended 
Source: ebook from Netgalley

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

AllegiantThis book is the final book (if you don’t count the novellas) in the Divergent series. After the events in book two, Tris and her friends have to decide where they fit. Their journeys take them outside the city walls into a mystery even more complex.

There has been much debate with my students on this book. We are reading Divergent as a school wide read, and the reviews on the last book are very mixed. I thought it was the PERFECT ending. If I had been awesome enough to write this book, it is exactly how I would have ended the book. Most of my students agree, but most of the adults do not. It’s been interesting. If you read the first two books, you must read this one to find out what happens. I would highly suggest reading it before going to see the movie, because there is always one joker who tries to spoil it for everyone (like the guy yelling how Harry Potter ended as we were waiting in line to get the book-boo).

Quotes I loved-

….not going to tell you what boy this what about because that would spoil it!

“I fell in love with him. But I don’t just stay with him by default as if there’s no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.”

And also this quote on bravery:

There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than   yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.

That is the sort of bravery I must have now.

Recommended Grades: 8-Adult
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion: Highly Recommended
Source: ebook

Book Review: The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

testingBook Review:  The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Cia Vale’s life has been spent hoping that she would be chosen for The Testing. When it finally happens her father reveals some of his own experiences that make her question this new adventure.

This book is on the 2014 Texas Lone Star List. Characters are well developed and the plot is unexpected. The book is the first in a new series, but pleasantly surprised that the story was wrapped up as well as it was but still left me wanting more. An attention grabbing pleasure read for fans of The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

AUGH-soooo interested in the book I forgot to look for quotes, and too busy to go back and check. That is a good sign though right?
Recommended Ages: 7-12
Genre: Dystopian
Overall Opinion:  Recommended
Source: Book