Monday, September 5, 2011

The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness

This trilogy is probably the darkest young adult fiction that I have ever read.  The second book in the trilogy contains some horrific concepts.  Are they horrific because they are true?  The antagonist in this story uses the cold hard truth to rip his enemies apart.  The awful truths of this book do the same to the reader.  We often fantasize about having to vacate this planet after we mess it up.  This trilogy explores the harsh realities of what happens when we still don't get it right in the next world.  Realities about leaders and followers that force you to decide where you would end up and what you would do.  You won't like what you find out.  This trilogy is definitely for a more mature reader.  I don't like the references to women in this book, or the Spackle (native creatures) but that's really the point.  Pick it up if you are looking for some food for thought, otherwise, run the other way.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Hmmm.  I didn't love this book.  It was an okay, fun read.  It had a strong message to girls, which is, don't erase yourself when you fall for a guy.  Positive, I guess.  There was just so much competition with the 'stronger gender', the more 'powerful sex' that it gave too much credibility to that old school way of thinking for me.  If you can get passed that, you end up with an exciting story of a girl at a boarding school who feels left out of her school's boys-only secret society so she decides to infiltrate them.  They literally become her puppets and she, the puppet master.  She does this at the expense of all of her new friends and her boyfriend though.  Like I said, I didn't love this one.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Desires of the Dead by Kimberly Derting

This is the second installment in the Body Finder series.  I really enjoyed reading the first one and enjoyed this one just as much.  Violet's abilities are improving in this book.  She follows a calling she has to an echo that leads her to the body of a little boy trapped inside a shipping container on the harbour.  When she anonymously calls the police to say she heard noises, she raises suspicions with the FBI.  At the same time, a new boy and girl at school are creating quite a stir.  Strange things begin to happen to Violet, dangerous things.  Violet indulges her callings further and puts herself into danger time and time again, much to the dismay of her parents and boyfriend.  A lady from the FBI seems to know her secret, but Violet has kept her secret for so long, she can't possibly start sharing it with anyone now.  Can she?  If you like romance and mystery, but refuse to give up good writing for it, this is the book for you!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wither by Lauren DeStefano

Years down the road, science has taken genetic engineering to the next level.  Scientist have completely eliminated cancer.  In doing so, they have created a new problem.  When the first generation of genetically engineered people start having their own babies, there is a very rigid time limit on their lives.  Girls live to age 20 before getting the virus, boys live to 25.  In an effort to create a legacy, the men in the wealthy class marry multiple wives.  These girls are kidnapped from all over the streets of North America, the last continent.  Rhine is taken from her twin brother during what she thinks is an interview.  She is brought to a beautiful mansion and is married to her new husband, Linden.  Linden's father is a scientist, and after Rhine accidentally ends up in the basement of the mansion after Linden's first wive dies, she discovers that her new father in law is up to some very scary experiments.  She vows to herself that she will escape.  This book is top notch, but definitely for a more mature reader.  Think The Handmaid's Tale.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Um, wow.  This book was published in 2008 and I'm only hearing about it now?  Todd Hewitt is the last boy to become a man in Prentisstown, a place where only men exist after an illness killed all the women.  It's also a place where everyone else can hear each other's thoughts, called Noise.  A person's Noise can be heard and if you are close enough, it can be seen and felt.  There is no hiding what you think.  When a boy turns thirteen, he officially becomes a man in Pretisstown and Todd can hardly wait.  One day while he is at the swamp collecting apples, he hears something outside of his understanding.  He hears nothing.  Emptiness.  In the form of a girl.  But girls aren't supposed to exist, are they?  Todd's discovery of the absence of Noise (this girl, whose thoughts cannot be heard) turns his world on its head.  He is immediately sent away from Prentisstown.  Since he didn't know there was a place outside of Prentisstown, it seems that pretty quickly there is a huge list of things that aren't the way the were supposed to be.  All of a sudden an army of men is after him.  He must leave everything behind in order to save himself.  He runs although he doesn't really understand why he's running or why he's running with this girl.  I'm not sure what to tell you other than read this book.  There is just so much there.  If the plot doesn't get you, the narrator's voice surely will.  Or that of his dog.  Dogs have Noise too.  How cool is that?  This is book one in a trilogy called Chaos Walking.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting

What a mystery!  This novel tells the story of a girl with a 'sixth sense' for being able to find bodies, and also their killers.  Violet is able to pick up a sense (auditory, visual, feeling) from the body and detect an imprint of it on the killer.  So when girls start to go missing around her, Violet's senses kick into overdrive.  She finds one girl in the water while she is at a beach party.  Girls are going missing at an increasingly alarming rate in the towns surrounding hers and then from right in front of her nose.  Even with a killer on the loose, Violet puts herself in danger  trying to find out more information about the girls and their killer.  This book is suitable for more mature YA readers.  It contains some bad language and a few near scandalous scenes.  It is a really good story though!  There is also a love story intertwined in here, one strong enough to remind you of first loves, and powerful enough to make you relive heartbreak.

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Valerie, a school-outcast, finds herself in a tough situation when her boyfriend decides to shoot up the school. For years, Valerie and Nick have been creating a 'hate list' of people who have bullied them, laughed at them, or annoyed them.  Valerie thought they were just blowing off some steam.  But when a bully breaks some of Valerie's personal property, she sends Nick after the bully to make her pay.  Valerie just didn't know what price that would be.  When Nick starts picking people off the list to shoot, Valerie throws herself in front of the boy she loves--only to get shot herself.  This is a story of a girl trying to come to terms with her role in the high school shooting.  Her parents distrust her, she has no friends and she desperately misses the boy she loved, the one who decided to start 'checking things' off the list.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Forever by Maggie Stiefvater

In retrospect, I probably shouldn't have read and posted about each of the three books in this trilogy in a row.    Having said that, I feel like congratulating Maggie Stiefvater for being able to commit to writing a trilogy, instead of writing one book after another, thinking that maybe it will be the end and maybe it won't.  Having written enough myself, I know how hard endings can be and I feel like some current writers just don't know how to write an ending.  Maybe I should sick my seventh graders on them with their determined finality.  THE END.  This final book in the trilogy has the best writing in it.  I've got a trained eye for finding best writing.  Here's how it works.  If the writer creates an image in my head that I have thought often to myself, but have not ever read before on paper, that's good writing.  It speaks to our secret world of daydream.  In this novel, Grace is a proper shifting werewolf.  Isabel's dad is out to eliminate the pack in Boundary Wood and somehow Grace, Sam and Cole must figure out a plan before it is too late.  There was an awful lot of substance abuse in this novel, in the name of science.  If you enjoy analyzing character development, this book was loaded with it (the series in general was).  One scene brought me to tears.  Stiefvater's afterword states that she will miss living in the world of Boundary Wood.  So will I!  Pick it up!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Linger by Maggie Stiefvater

Book two of the Wolves of Mercy Falls series proved to be a rewarding experience.  The first novel had two narrators and this second installment has four.  Will book three have 8?  or 16?  I hope not!  While four seems like a lot, Stiefvater seems to have each distinct voice mastered.  The protagonist Grace, was bitten by a werewolf as a small child.  Her father subsequently left her in a hot car.  The theory is that this is what actually stopped Grace from becoming a werewolf herself.  In book two, the wolf inside Grace is clawing its way out of her.  Except she can't shift.  She gets into monumental fights with her distant parents and runs away from home to be with the newly human-only Sam.  He tries to ignore the fact that she is getting sicker by the day.  He has other things to worry about, like new werewolves that he has to clean up after and look out for.  At some point, Grace becomes far too sick to ignore.  Tough choices need to be made.  Life and death or death and different death choices.  The new wolves add a new dynamic to the second book, strange characters that make you question teenage choices.  The second book is as intoxicating as the first.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

As a young girl, Grace was dragged off by a pack of wolves and bitten.  She seemed to be spared by one wolf in particular, not that she really remembers much of it.  Now she spends her time watching the wolves.  It's a growing obsession.  People are wary of the wolves in Mercy Falls.  One day a boy from her school gets attacked by wolves, and is presumably dead.  A huge wolf hunt ensues, and Grace runs out to stop the destruction of the wolves she has watched for six years.  Her favourite wolf gets shot, and inexplicably turns into a naked teenaged boy.  Turns out, the wolves are werewolves.  Grace and 'Sam', spend stolen days and nights together as the temperature drops (the factor that will turn Sam back into his wolf form) and fall in love.  Sam knows that this is his last chance to be a human and he is willing to risk everything to stay that way.  This is definitely a love story, and a good one at that.  Pick it up!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan

This is the third book in the Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan.  It should be consumed in one bite.  I have never read such a gripping, thoughtful and suspenseful third book.  Ever.  While this book is a continuation of much of what happens in the second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, it could still be considered a stand-alone, and this is partly what makes it so good.  The intensity is at an all-time high in this book as it is told through the fierce Annah's eyes (Gabry's sister) as she makes her way alone in the Dark City.  When she is reunited with her sister, the reunion is almost bitter sweet, for several reasons.  (I won't tell you what they are though!)  As the horde of Unconsecrated rain down around her, it seems like life is choked out of the Dark City.  Annah and Gabry take one day at a time while they find themselves prisoners on an island without much hope of escaping.  This book is not to be missed!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins

Surprisingly, book 2 in the Gregor the Overlander series was as good as a second book can get.  It kept up the momentum of the first installment, was action packed, carried a consistent 'overlander' story line while the underland story took shape.  Given my dislike for fantasy and science fiction, I am impressed by how much I'm enjoying reading the series.  The prophecy in this story was alluded to in the first book, so it came as no surprise that this novel is based off of Underland founder Sandwich's second prophecy.  If you like talking bats, spiders, roaches and rats, then this series is for you!

Dying to Tell Me by Sherryl Clark

Dying to Tell Me is a story that will find its way into many 12-14 year old' hands.  The mystery is carefully woven along with the main character, Sasha's extra sense.  We first find Sasha on her way to a small town in Australia, where her cop father is setting up a one man operation in town.  They are getting a fresh start from Sasha's estranged mother.  Sasha starts off her first day in Manna with a severe fall.  She regularly sees details of past and present events involving murder.  Mostly though, Sasha is an angry teenager, trying to take care of her little brother Nicky while their dad is away at work and maintaining a better relationship with her father.  Did I mention she can talk to her German Shepherd, King?  Her ability to 'see' what others do not sets her on a wild goose chase both present and past to save the ones she loves and set others free.  If you like mysteries, you'll want to pick this up.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

This series came out a while before Collins' hugely successful Hunger Games series came out.  I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games series and didn't know if I would be pleased stepping back in experience and skill level to read the first in the Underland Chronicles.  In some ways, this dark fantasy was exactly as I expected.  The story is not quite as complex as her more recent series, but then, it seems to be aimed at a younger audience.  It still has much to digest.  Gregor, older brother to a toddler named Boots, follows her down a vent one day in their building's laundry room.  They fall into the world beneath ours, the Underland, where humans, spiders, cockroaches, bats and rats struggle to find a balance for power through alliances and war.  Initially, Gregor's only plan is to get out of the Underland and back home as quickly as possible.  His escape turns into a complete disaster and in the midst of the chaos, he finds that he is part of a much bigger plan.  The Underland has been waiting a long time for him.  The goal of the quest he finds himself is too precious for him to say no to.  It's a great first book with an ending that is far more satisfying than most other first books in a series.  I can't wait to devour the second one!

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner Trilogy, Book 1)  I know it's been over a week since I posted, but it's with good reason.  This book is a little longer than the ones I've been reading lately.  More importantly, it was worth savouring, so I limited myself to a few chapters a day (read: I got busy).  The premise of this book is interesting.  I do like apocalyptic type books (as long as they are somewhat believable).  This one slid nicely into that category, but did things I haven't seen before from this sub-genre.  The premise of the book is that Thomas arrives in 'the box' to a place called the Glade.  It's filled with boys who all have jobs keeping the Glade running (cleaning, cooking, farming, first-aid, etc.).  One of the jobs is being a runner.  Each morning the walls on one side of the Glade open up and the runners go out into the maze to map it.  Each day they come back and record their findings and each day the walls of the maze move.  Their only hope of getting out of this place is to figure out the message or code of the maze.  Then one day a girl, Teresa, shows up and brings a message of doom with her.  She triggers the Ending of the maze and the Glade.  The book is great for a reader who enjoys a lot of suspense.  There are great intense scenes and the epilogue is a satisfying enough close to book one, but leaves you excited for book two (which is already out.  Also, this book somehow gets away with bad language, except there isn't technically any curse words in it.  That's what happens when you make up your own words for the Gladers!  This is definitely worth being picked up.  

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

Before I Fall  If you like reading the same story seven times over with some variations each time, then this is the book for you.  This book tested my patience.  I appreciate what it was trying to do, but I felt like I was 'putting up with it' the entire time I was reading it.  This is the story of Sam Kingston, a mean girl, who through a series of self-initiated events, ends up dead.  After the impact, she wakes up and relives the whole day over again (and again and again and again) trying to set the world right each time.  It's an interesting concept, one that has been done before in book and movie format, but here it is being done again.  For the age group that it was most likely written for, they won't know that though. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk by Jan L. Coates

Although this story is not biographical, it is strongly inspired by the real Jacob Deng, a Southern Sudanese man who was driven from his home in Duk Padiet by civil war.  For me, this novel packs a multitude of lessons, not for 'young adult' readers, but for human beings in general.  There is a scene where Jacob asks an elderly traveler why their country is at war, to which the elderly man replies, "because we believe in a different God."  This, among other reasons told to a child, reminds the reader that war is thought a viable solution too quickly in too many countries.  As Jacob grows up, walking all over Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya, he is reminded often of his mother's words, which are to get an education and learn to solve problems with words, not violence.  Jacob is from the Dinka people, who have a term, wadeng, which means 'look always to tomorrow, it will be better.'  After incredible hardships, intense hunger, thirst and suffering, Jacob lives by these words.  If you are a fan of a true survival story that opens your eyes up a little wider, try A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

The fact that I read this novel in a day should give you an indication as to my appreciation for it.  This book demands that it be consumed in one sitting.  It tears you down and you have to keep with it if you want to be built back up.  The Bite of the Mango is the story of Mariatu Kamara, who was caught by armed child rebels on her way back home to get some supplies from a small town in Sierra Leone.  In gruesome detail, she tells us of her experience of losing her hands--the price she paid to live.  Mariatu is an inspiring human being and a very honest narrator.  It amazes me still that no matter how many novels I read about civil war in African countries, I am constantly captivated by the beauty and resilience of its residents.  Mariatu has an infectious spirit that has allowed her to overcome tremendous odds and hardships.  Reading her story is humbling, and I implore you to pick up her book. 

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Great and Terribly Beauty by Libba Bray

This is the story of a girl who is sent to a boarding school and discovers that she has secret magical powers.  It's not until she gets there that she starts to develop a curiosity for the dreams she's been having.  Different magical characters pop up in the story to warn her against her powers and help her along the way.  She forms a sort of sorrority with some of the other girls at the school that she has on and off relationships with.  The main character, Gemma, lost her mother to a dark shadow years ago, and she's been blaming herself ever since.  It seems that Gemma's powers and the other world that they take her to might help her solve the mystery behind her mother's death.  I was hoping for stronger relationships between the characters.  The girls were sometimes catty and spineless, especially for 19th century folk.  I think I was expecting something darker and quicker paced than what I got.  I've got two more by Libba Bray on my e Reader, but I doubt I'll be jumping at the chance to read them.  The last 30 pages were the most boring, when they should have been the most captivating. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

I've noticed that recently I've been staying far, far away from typically 'girly' books.  In fact, I usually make a point not to read them at all.  The book I'm currently reading, A Great and Terrible Beauty, occasionally reminds me why I don't bother with them.  I'll review it soon, but not in this post. 
Lately I feel drawn towards books that would most often appeal to boys.  Why?  I'm kind of done with romance.  I'm pretty sure every vampire book out there quite near killed romance for me.  I like adventure books and survival stories lately.  I only allowed the romance going on in The Forest of Hands and Teeth and The Dead-Tossed Waves because I felt that there was enough zombie killing to balance out the romance scale. It's not that the writing is better in these books, it's that the action grabs hold of you and doesn't slow down to let you brood about the main character's love interest.  Finally, something else besides romance! 
What are your favourite books that aren't so focused on romance? 

Friday, January 21, 2011

I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

This novel appealed to me originally, and I just don't know why.  I hate books about aliens and everything remotely sci-fi.  In my entire university career, the only course I ever failed was Introduction to Science Fiction (appealed, won!), a measly little half year course with the obvious reading list:  Time Machine, This is the Way the World Ends, The Lathe of Heaven (read: yuck).  I hated the books, and I LOVE books.  I don't identify with them at all (although somehow I do with zombies...) and I feel like I used to feel shopping with my mother as a child--dragged around.  Yes, science fiction (you don't even deserve CAPS!) makes me want to have an honest to goodness temper tantrum!  I mean an awesome, 5 year old starfish position arms flailing legs kicking temper tantrum!

I don't  love I am Number Four.  But now you understand it's because of my bias towards science fiction.  This 'kid' is one of nine kids from the destroyed planet Lorien who escaped with their guardians.  They now live on Earth and are being hunted down one by one in order by the Mogadorians.  Three are dead, our main character is number four.  He's moved around a lot and finally made friends, likes a girl and stands up to the school bully.  But the Mogadorians are moving in right when he is realizing his powers to defeat them (but they aren't well developed yet) and you are left to wonder if he will finesse his powers in time. 

Read it if you like the kind of science fiction where nothing is logical and you are okay with that, otherwise, pass! 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride

Despite all of the negative build up I had going for this book, it turned into quite an enjoyable read.  I still see "Hold me Closer Tiny Dancer" every time I look at the cover, but that's besides the point.  This book taught me not to fall asleep while reading.  What a lesson!  Seriously though, there's so much packed into this debut novel that you really can't be falling asleep while attempting to get through it.  You miss important parts of the storyline and it's all over.  I did myself a favour and re-read and then it all made sense.  There is really enough in here for several more books, but we'll see if McBride has any intention of pursuing this storyline (she'd be crazy not to, the movie version was already coming together in my head as I was reading it).  Anyways!  This is a story of how my life got flip turned upside down and I'd like to take a minute just sit right there, er, I mean, this is a story of a guy who finds out he's a necromancer.  As in, he can summon the dead.  When we first meet Sam, he's at Plumpy's working his crummy job with his best friends.  He quickly gets into a great deal of trouble, finds out all sorts of scandalous family secrets, and is forced to go up against the most powerful necromancer.  There are so many side stories going on in this book, I don't know where to begin, so I think I just won't.  I am so confident that this will turn into more books that I will just wait to review those.  Also, if you haven't picked up the song reference yet, I will point out that each chapter is cleverly summed up with the title of a song.  This book won't be loved by all, but it certainly won't be loved if you fall asleep while reading it.  SO WAKE UP and enjoy.   

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith

I read this book last year, and it was such a page turner that I literally burnt out the light bulb in my reading lamp.  It's the first novel in a series of who-knows-how-many yet, and it's so good that I think about when the next installment will come in at least 3 times a week and like I said, IT'S BEEN A YEAR since I read it.  Now that's staying power.  Lockdown: Escape from Furnace is a story of a kid who is accused of killing his best friend- a crime he didn't commit.  While this kid isn't exactly the poster child of innocence, he's also not a cold blooded killer, but that doesn't matter in a world where there is a zero-tolerance policy towards young offenders.  He gets taken to a prison deep underground called Furnace, where he has to worry about other inmates, vicious gangs and malicious guards.  If that's not enough to worry about, when the blood lights come on, he's also got the monsters coming into inmates' cells and taking them away.  The only thing keeping him alive down there is the hope for escape, something everyone says is completely impossible and surely fatal.  You can't help but wonder during this whole thing, how the world came to be this way, throwing kids underground, without any intent for them to ever see the light of day again.  You won't want to put this one down.  

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Got Kobo?

My new Kobo eReader is probably one of my favourite things.  It's light (although my mother says it makes her wrists cave in), thin, and it carries any book I could ever want to read!  The books are often cheaper to buy than hard copies (albeit you are buying a virtual copy), and I can borrow books from the library instantly!  I haven't actually activated the WiFi aspect of the Kobo, but I'm sure when I need it, I'll be happy I purchased the newer model that includes this feature.  You can load your Kobo with as many books as you can think of, but you are always going to want to add another one to the list when you least expect it.  I haven't had any real issues with the machine yet, but minor ones like not being able to turn the page fast enough if I am looking for a specific line or paragraph somewhere else in the book.  I also haven't figured out how to get a book off the Kobo once I'm finished reading it and I don't want it there anymore.  These are all simple things that I'm sure I will solve by messing around with it some more.  I never thought I'd trade in a paper copy of a book for an e-version, but some occasions call for it.  Like traveling!  And reading really fat books.  Now back to Hold Me Closer least peoples' heads are starting to roll around and talk!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh, go shelve it!

I was having a conversation with one of my "book suppliers" today and she was asking me how I am liking the copy of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer that she passed along to me.  I'm only just well into the second chapter and so far haven't gotten into the book at all.  In her opinion, the second chapter didn't give me the right to have a comment about the quality of the book.  So my question is, at what point can you/should you abandon a book?  When I was a kid, I would never have dreamed of abandoning a book.  At this point though, I know that there are millions of books out there and I'll never get to them all, so I refuse to waste my time on the ones that I'm having trouble consuming!  Also, reading is supposed to be pleasurable, and I just haven't got the time to torture myself with a slow/boring book when I'm supposed to be absorbed by it.  So, having said that, I'm going to go and reconnect with Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, and hope that I have some nice things to write about it in the next few days.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Usually, when you read a  book about suicide, you meet the victim long before they commit their final act.  You read the warning signs, wonder why their friends don't notice, why nobody intervened or reached out to help.  In Jay Asher's debut novel Thirteen Reasons Why, you get a clear picture of the victim's (Hannah Baker) thought process.  It answers the questions you always wanted to ask the victim, mainly WHY?  Why would you kill yourself?  What led you down this path?  Why didn't you reach out to ask for help?  When the book begins, Hannah Baker is already dead.  But she leaves her legacy in the form of audio tapes that get passed from person to person, each who she deems played some kind of role in her death, knowingly or otherwise.  In some cases, the domino affect is enough to make you sick to your stomach, as you realize cause and effects at the same time that the main character Clay, her friend who listens attentively and in horror to these tapes.  He needs to know what he did to contribute to her early death.  In the end, the reader is left with a powerful lesson about how we choose to treat each other.  Pick it up.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

I was going to go ahead and write a breath-taking first blog entry, but I decided, what's the point?  You aren't getting breath-taking ever again, so I might as well not start you off on the wrong foot.

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan is a must read for anyone who's got a thing for zombies.  I happen to be interested in playing out how we would live if this ever were the case.  Which is why I've got enough food and ammo to be considered a corner store from the 50s.  This novel is an in-depth read into what life might be like if zombies were prevalent and we had to re-create our lifestyles.  The Dead-Tossed Waves is actually the second book in the series, first novel being The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  I assumed you'd already read the first book though, because it's too good to pass up.  Lesson?  Question what other people/institutions/religion tells you, and keep your hands away from the fences!  I hope you'll pick it up, even if you don't happen to like zombies or already be in love with one.