I have to thank BookGeek at the BookBind, a teen blog for Kepler's for hosting a contest months ago in which I was the fortunate recipient of Carrie Ryan's amazing ARC The Forest of Hands and Teeth.
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
Mary was raised with these edicts, it was her life, the law to survive. To question it was unthinkable considering what lay waiting on the other side of the fence. The constant moaning and cries of the unconsecrated that surround her village borders are relentless and the sisterhood never lets anyone forget.
The sisterhood in the village rule over everyone, their belief in constant prayer and rituals to keep the villagers safe are never questioned, but Mary does. Her mother had always told her about the ocean, and Mary holds on to this dream, despite everything.Those close to her believe her crazy to entertain such thoughts, but Mary always felt that it existed beyond the forest of hands and teeth. It is this belief that drives her when cataclysmic events brought on by a stranger forever change her "protected" village.
Mary's fragile world begins to unravel as she realizes that the sisterhood has been keeping secrets, and the village walls are breached and Mary has to make some choices. Does she stay in they only world she knows? or does she follow her heart and explore the dangerous world beyond her destroyed village? Mary is not alone, with her are a few survivors including the one that she loves and the one that she is betrothed to, thus causing her to question how much she will sacrifice to follow her dreams. Mary's strength and conviction are what push her and the survivors forward into unknown territories and at times they resent her actions and consider her selfish, but at the same time they admire her tenacity. The characters in this novel experience a terror filled situation that Carrie Ryan has written so wonderfully that in the end you have a hauntingly beautiful story that stays with you long after the pages have been read.
I must admit that I am not a fan of the "zombie". Honestly they freak me out, but this book only had me wanting more...brains?..no, more book. Maybe, because you read this entire novel about zombies without ever seeing the word mentioned, or the fact that Carrie Ryan wrote an amazing post apocalyptic story so well that you could actually feel those cold fingers reaching for you beyond the other side of the fence. SHUDDER!
AVAILABLE AT A BOOKSTORE NEAR YOU MARCH 10, 2009
Here is the video that totally captures the mood of this great novel