Genre: YA Fiction
Publication Date: 2009
Challenges: Support Your Local Library Challenge #46
I read this one because several people I know really loved it. See Heather’s Review at The Capricious Reader for the one that convinced me to read it.
Mary is a teenager who lives in an isolated village surrounded by a strong fence to separate it from the forest. In the forest live the “Unconsecrated” who are flesh eating zombies. The villagers live according to strict guidelines administered by the mysterious nun-like members of “The Sisterhood”. The Sisterhood and their associate group of Guardians see to the physical and religious protection of the villagers from the Unconsecrated. When the fence is breached and the village invaded, Mary is among a group who escape. But is there any place to go? The Sisterhood has led the villagers to believe that they are the only survivors left uninfected by the Unconsecrated. Mary doesn’t believe this. The stories her mother told her as a child and things she’s seen recently make her doubt many of the so called truths her friends hold to be unquestionable.
This story is an interesting combination of futuristic dystopian and somewhat historic religious (along the lines of early Puritan America) elements.
Anyway, although the story was interesting and entertaining enough, I just never felt like it reached out and grabbed me. If it hadn’t been for the high praise from many other readers, I would likely have given up and not finished it. I did stick with it but never really loved it. I found it to be rather repetitious. I kept thinking I just read this same scene or description a few pages back. I felt like some potentially interesting storylines were kind of dropped or never really played out fully. All in all it was OK, but not great.