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Into the Forest

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3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  7,890 Ratings  ·  1,109 Reviews
Set in the near-future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home.

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single even
...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Dial Press Trade Paperback (first published 1996)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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karen
Aug 16, 2011 karen rated it really liked it
this is definitely a novel.

i mean, i never thought it was a true story, but i just want to emphasize that decisions characters make in this book are very much suitable for literary purposes; they provide dramatic tension and character development and a story arc, but as far as practical decision-making goes, these sisters fall a little short.

and there was a period when i thought, "hey - these girls finally have it together and are taking real steps towards their own survival," only to modify th
...more
Lisa Vegan
May 12, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who enjoys fiction
Recommended to Lisa by: Michele
This became one of my favorite books as soon as I read it; I was totally immersed while reading and continue to dwell on this book. I almost gave it 4 vs. 5 stars though, because I “didn’t like” the end. But, I realize, it’s not that I thought the end was poorly done; it was just difficult for me to agree with aspects of the decisions made. The fact that certain happenings were so painful for me, shows how powerful this book seemed to me. This is a beautifully told story about 2 sisters who must ...more
jtabz
Dec 10, 2008 jtabz rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mariel
Apr 04, 2011 Mariel rated it liked it
Recommends it for: figures 8 hate ate
Recommended to Mariel by: Me recommending it to Lauren who recommended it to me
Into the Forest was a random book find. I picked it off the shelves and decided it sounded like something my sister would like. Two young sisters hiding from the rest of their post apocolyptic world that is rapidly become further rings of apocolyptic mess, learning to survive and make a new world out of the old. I, um, pretty much talked her into buying a book that I kinda wanted to read. (I'm sneaky that way.)

Lauren devoured it in one sitting. I did the same, but in my case it turned into more
...more
Allison (The Allure of Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Virginia Messina
Nov 01, 2007 Virginia Messina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dystopia
In this haunting and thought-provoking book, a series of natural disasters and man-made events conspire to bring the U.S. to its knees as the infrastructure gradually begins to falter. Eventually all utilities shut down completely, and without electricity and gas, there is no real news—-just rumors. Stores quickly empty, and desperation and fear set in.

The story focuses on two teenage girls who live about 30 miles from the nearest town in the northern redwood forest of CA. The deaths of their p
...more
Stacia (the 2010 club)
By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else.
From beauty no road leads to reality.
~Hannah Arendt

I waited for over a year to read Into the Forest. In that frame of time, I had imagined this idea in my head of a book filled with controversy and chaos. The reality of what this book was never crossed paths with what I had imagined. It was far better.

This story takes place in a post-apocalyptic time but it is not a post-apocalyptic book. This story features an act of incest
...more
Carrie
Mar 11, 2008 Carrie rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
H Dodge
Dec 04, 2009 H Dodge rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Wealhtheow
Sep 22, 2009 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Michael
Shelves: post-apocalyptic, ya
Nell and Eve are precocious teenagers living with their anti-establishment parents in the middle of a redwood forest. Their contact with the outside world is sporadic, so it takes them a while to realize that civilization is crumbling around them. Hegland is vague about the reasons--a far-off war, new strains of disease, terrorist attacks on US soil. (She wrote this in 1996, when all of this was less hackneyed.) But after a few seasons of this, the family is left without electricity, internet, t ...more
Angie
Jan 29, 2011 Angie rated it it was ok
I am a fan of apocalyptic fiction, and this one started out ok; unfortunately, it ended really poorly. I liked the fact that the sisters were isolated. And I actually think there reactions to the end of the world as they know it is probably how a lot of people would react - with a bit a denial and an unreasonable hope that things will get better soon.

I found the characters pretty unlikeable however. Both Eve and Nell were naive and ignorant in their own ways. This made them fairly true to life b
...more
Suzi
Mar 04, 2008 Suzi rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
i had some difficulty relating to the main characters, but the story of the slowly crumbling infrastructure of the united states is incredibly compelling, and i found myself thinking, "oh my gosh, that could really happen ... and jeez, that already is!" i was suddenly lured into the premise and the "what if" feeling it inspired, which made me a little paranoid ... especially when the narrator states, "It's amazing how quickly everyone adapted to the changes. I suppose it's like the way people ha ...more
Laura
Mar 07, 2015 Laura rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julie
Aug 02, 2007 Julie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who imagine running away from it all
When 9/11 hit, I was reading this book. It was frightening and exciting all at once. It is about a sickness that causes everyone to either die or hide. Two sisters go into the forest with their family and later must learn to survive on their own. I learned some interesting survival techniques and think that if we ever have to go survive in our cabin in some type of disaster situation, I just might have some skills.
Shannon (Mrsreadsbooks)
Set in the near future, Into the Forest is a powerfully imagined novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters living alone in their Northern California forest home. Over 30 miles from the nearest town, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society's fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity turns off and gas is nowhere to be found ...more
Addie
May 25, 2009 Addie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Addie by: Aerin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sandra Heinzman
I read this book in two sittings, and I couldn't put it down. First, I could relate to the homeschooling/ unschooling in the story, as my family homeschooled for 12 years. Everything the girls (mainly Nell) learned, she learned on her own, through her own interests, from books, from trial and error, from invention. I found it all fascinating and believable, and often enviable. It is the first fiction book I've read about unschooling and it delivered! Also, I felt that the way the world was crumb ...more
Lee
Mar 29, 2009 Lee rated it really liked it
Recommended to Lee by: Lisa Vegan
This is a beautifully written book about two teenaged sisters who are left to fend for themselves after surviving the death of both parents.
The older sister Nell paints a lovely portrait of a family who live by their own rules, on a large plot of land 30 miles from the nearest town. The girls have a free range education at home, roaming the forest, following their own interests until slowly things begin to change. A series of events leaves the girls stranded on their homestead, surviving on dwi
...more
Michael
Jul 24, 2007 Michael rated it really liked it
Shelves: eschatology
There's a lot to like in Hegland's end-of-the-world story. For the first half, at least, it's the most hopeful apocalypse I've come across. Hegland dwells far more on the two teenage-sister main characters than on the means of the world's end (in fact, the precise reason is never fully explained). The end result is a family story and a survival story. An interesting angle on a notion that has been worked over many times.
Julie
Apr 25, 2009 Julie rated it it was amazing
A poignant, sensual and carefully written book that will remain quietly in my mind for a long time to come. What strikes me, why I gave it a fifth star, is how it has remained relevant, fresh, shocking and provoking fifteen years after it was written. The United States in 2010 is closer to the brink than Ms Hegland envisioned in 1995; it is not much of a stretch to imagine a country that simply can't afford to pay its bills, where civil war erupts between political parties, where disease cannot ...more
Kerry Connelly
Beautiful prose from the on set, it reminded me somewhat of Morrison's 'Beloved' (which is odd considering that title was mentioned toward the end of this book..) THIS type of situation COULD genuinely happen. The electricity goes off & suddenly the world as you know it -changes.
Nothing you hold to 'priority' matter's anymore. (college, travel, promotions, having the latest this or that) The only thing that matter's - is survival and survival in a much more baser sense than we now a-days kno
...more
Hannah
Dec 28, 2015 Hannah rated it really liked it
I guess there's a movie adaptation coming out now, but they've added a bunch of sci-fi elements. I guess "this could happen tomorrow" spec fic just isn't good enough for a general audience?

Two sisters try to survive alone in their rural house after a flu pandemic wipes out most of the US population.

It's very heavy on the symbolism.

The ending originally angered me because I felt like the main characters were making all the wrong choices (especially with regards to the whole (view spoiler)
...more
Melody
Jun 11, 2009 Melody rated it really liked it
Recommended to Melody by: Lisa Vegan, Erin Brewster, Ginny
Shelves: dystopia
This haunting and exquisite dystopian story grabbed me by the throat and took over my day. I was powerless to do anything but read until I ran out of pages. The writing is excellent. I've got a soft spot for dystopian fiction, and there is very little in the genre that feels sweet, save this. Two sisters, alone in the middle of nowhere, figuring out how to survive on nothing after the collapse of civilization- yeah, yeah, you think, I've read THIS before. But it's so raw, and so real, and so... ...more
Stephanie
This was a beautifully told story of two sisters left alone to fend for themselves in a world that has somehow fallen flat. I was surprised at how deeply this story touched me. At first I was frustrated with these girls and their attitude and lethargy. But as time passed and experience began to change them, I saw the women they could be, how they could help themselves, and how they just might make it. This was a good read. Thanks to all who reviewed and recommended it!
Carol
Nov 07, 2010 Carol rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
An interesting and thought provoking book. It isn't one that I would normally choose to read. Even though it was written more than a few years ago, it still felt topical...maybe even more so because of 9/11 and our constant fear of terror attacks in contemporary society. In that respect, it almost felt prophetic.
kisha
Nov 07, 2016 kisha rated it liked it
Not really sure how I feel about this novel. This story was beautifully written. The concept of an apocalyptic life without electricity and finding your way was interesting. There was no connection for me to the sisters however. It was a good quick read.
Lala BooksandLala
Dec 28, 2014 Lala BooksandLala rated it it was amazing
Shelves: survival
My final rating is a 4.5/5, only a few slight things took away from this being a perfect novel for me. It 100% appealed to my earth mama senses and while slower on action and dialogue than I was expecting, I didn't get bored once.
Jessica
Jan 10, 2015 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was SO good until about halfway when the author made it get extremely weird. Besides the very disturbing parts, the ending was terrible as well.
Pixelina
Mar 24, 2012 Pixelina rated it really liked it
Shelves: dystopian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol
An interesting novel, this book was. I don't remember marking this one to-read but, lo and behold, it was there on my to-read list. I read for a number of reasons: fun, intellectual stimulation, to experience something other than the monotony of Sesame Street and Super Why day-in-day-out and to escape. This was a quick and easy read. It was interesting, endearing, and pleasantly simple, and a nice little temporary escape from reality for me (despite the gloomy subject matter). It would have serv ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Screen & Page: Into the Forest 1 1 Feb 23, 2017 11:00AM  
Contemporary YA: Into the Forest Book vs. Movie 5 45 Jul 16, 2016 10:07AM  
Apocalypse Whenever: Into the Forest adaptation 5 34 Jul 09, 2016 06:10AM  
Into the Forest: Into the Forest adaptation 9 14 Jun 02, 2016 07:54PM  
Naiveté lasted too long 5 39 Oct 20, 2014 07:16AM  
Film Adaptation announced 6 47 Dec 16, 2013 01:15PM  
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Jean Hegland's first novel, INTO THE FOREST, has been translated into eleven languages and is a frequent choice for campus- and community-wide reading programs. A film version starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood is scheduled for release in spring 2015. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY promises her second novel, WINDFALLS, is “a good prospect for reading groups.” Excerpts from her non-fiction work, THE LIFE ...more
More about Jean Hegland...

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“This body is yours. No one can ever take it from you, if only you will accept yourself, claim it again--your arms, your spine, your ribs, the small of your back. It's all yours. All this bounty, all this beauty, all this strength and grace is yours. This garden is yours. Take it back. Take it back.” 52 likes
“i never knew how much we consumed. it seems as if we are all appetite, as if a human being is simply a bundle of needs to drain the world. it's no wonder there are wars, no wonder the earth and water and air are polluted. it's no wonder the economy collapsed, if eva and i use so much merely to stay alive.” 8 likes
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