Shelf Analysis: YA has a Heart Attack

You might have heard that the Vampire Academy books in the UK are to be re-released with brand new covers.  Very exciting, of course, as it is bound to attract more readers – hopefully by the masses.  And despite how lovely the new cover is, I can not say that I am a fan.  Why?  Well, take a look.

Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead – New Edition
Finding  Sky by Joss Stirling
This book has suffered from its cover, at least on my behalf.  I saw it in the store and thought it was Claire de Lune!  It wasn’t until I saw The Bookette’s review that I remembered that I had seen this book on the shelves… that said, really want a copy!
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
One of the few times this cover is applicable.  Hello, incestuous relationship?  Certainly merits a barbed-wire heart.
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson
Not quite as hearty as some of the other covers, but it is still clear what they were going for!
The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan
Love this cover, but my goodness gracious is it ever the same as the cover of Forbidden!
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro by Jen Bryant
This is the US cover, but I think the UK cover will be the same.  Lovely ghost-smoke effect… but, er, yeah.

I noticed the glaring similarities between The Dark and Hollow Places and Forbidden a couple of months ago, but it seems that publishers have gone crazy with this new trend.  When is unfortunate is that, unless you are really focusing, these covers blur together.  Unlike the Twilight-effect on YA covers – which, at least, resulted in some vaguely distinguishable book covers – I have a feeling all of these books will just blend together and then no one will end up buying any of them.  *frets*  Is no one else worried?

Shelf Analysis: Forbidden vs. The Dark and Hollow Places

Soo… I was checking out the lovely UK cover to Carrie Ryan’s third book The Dark and Hollow Places and I had a slight WTF moment. Just take a look:


Yup, that’s right.  The Zombie Apocalypse book and the Incestuous Teen Romance have virtually the same cover.  Totally gorgeous covers, I’ll admit – but seriously?  *stares*

Now, apparently the whole barbed wire thing is quite relevant to The Dark and Hollow Places plot.  And the whole forbidden romance thing is really expressed wonderfully on the cover of Forbidden.

Despite the ludicrous similarity – I am totally down with barbed wire hearts becoming the new Twilight cover.  I much prefer this UK cover of The Dark and Hollow Places over the US cover.  I still believe the cover to Forbidden is absolutely  perfect for the content.

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie RyanThe Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1
Published by Gollancz
Pages: 310
Genres: Dystopian YA, Young Adult
Source: Purchased myself
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In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

But, slowly, Mary's truths are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future - between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

Thoughts: The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a beautiful, terrifying book. I completely understand why people are so enamoured with Carrie Ryan’s writing!  It is elegant, poetic and well, frankly, gorgeous. This book swallowed me whole and didn’t let go until I’d finished the whole thing.

The world Ryan creates is simply terrifying. Actually, the entire book is one long nightmare.  It is a cross between The Handmaid’s Tale (by Margaret Atwood) and The Village (film by M. Night Shyamalan) – only with zombies. Scary stuff, especially for a wimp like me!

Unfortunately I was unable to relate to any of the main characters in this book. I didn’t actively dislike any of them, but I did often felt their personal dramas were an annoying distraction from the action. The romantic triangle in the book had a lot of tell-no-show aspects – referencing feelings from before the book began. It was disappointing, but probably for the best – true love can’t last long during a zombie apocalypse!

Bottom Line?  The Forest of Hands and Teeth haunting book. I’d recommend it to older teens and adults – especially those who don’t pick up “genre” books. Ryan has a way of making a book about zombies into a book about everything but zombies.