The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is a Young Adult zombie novel. It takes place ages after the zombies have mostly taken over and is told from the point of view of a young woman living in what is possibly the only surviving human settlement. They've evolved a very strict set of rules in order to keep their society functioning which, of course, this girl tries to find her way around. It's not the best book ever, but it's quite good. The world is well-imagined and the author's not afraid to make sacrifices. I'll probably be reading the next book in the series soon.
The Passage by Justin Cronin is... well... basically the same storyline, actually, only it's an adult male and his outpost is surrounded by vampires. This one's a full-on adult novel, and much much longer. It starts before the outbreak of vampirism (and these en't no Twilight vampires, these are more like the vampires in the movie version of I Am Legend... mostly mindless, vicious and hella-ugly) and carries on (with a few large time-jumps) to more than a hundred years after the outbreak. So basically it's a zombie book wherein the zombies just happen to be vampires. I'd say it blows The Forest of Hands and Teeth out of the water, but that wouldn't really be fair, since this one's written for my age group and that one's written for a younger segment of the population. It's really good, though, and if you're feeling the dearth of good zombie novels, you might as well hop the narrow border into hive-minded vampires. Landlady tells me this is meant to be the first in a trilogy, so the sort of weird feeling ending will probably eventually be less weird, and we have two more books to keep our eyes peeled for.
It was clever how my landlady maneuvered me into reading books about vampires. I'm not really a gigantic fan of the current trend in vampire books, so I might have put forth some resistance had she not started me out with one that was almost a zombie book. PAY ATTENTION TO THIS REVIEW BECAUSE THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE BOOK EVER. Sunshine by Robin McKinley is absolutely brilliant and you all need to go out and read it immediately. I am not kidding. I am mostly annoyed, in the recent batch of vampire books, by the tendency of the female human to fall into bed with the vampire almost immediately (or, in the case of the more chaste Twilight sorts, into love). What I like about Sunshine is that she doesn't. She gets stuck with a vampire and she's terrified of him, on a visceral instinctive level. She covers her fear by being snarky at him. Sunshine is everything I wanted Sookie Stackhouse to be. Sunshine doesn't let the vampire get away with crap, and he's kind of bewildered by her sarcastic jabs in his general direction. It's funny. It's refreshing. And it makes me feel good about trusting a female lead alone with a vampire. I wish it had been longer. I wish it were part of a series. I would bake Ms. McKinley a batch of chocolate chip cookies every month for a year if she promised to make it into a series. Please read it. It restored my faith in vampire novels.