Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

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?, 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!


Here is the video that totally captures the mood of this great novel

8 comments on "Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan"

Bookgeek wrote: January 18, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Great review. So glad you enjoyed it so much. It really is a fantastic book. As for zombies, I'm now a little hooked -- I'm almost finished You Are So Undead to Me by Stacy Jay (due out march). Very different in feel, very Buffy, very fun. Oh, and have you seen Shaun of the Dead? I LOVED that movie!

The Ravenous Reader wrote: January 18, 2009 at 1:08 PM

OMG! Shaun of the Dead is one of my all time favorites. I love that movie.

I am almost finished with You Are So Undead to Me also. I have been side tracked due to my friend being in the hospital, so I have not had the time to really sit and read as I would like to. I plan to finish it tonight and then put in my review, but I adore it so far. It is very buffy/zombie killer like. It totally rocks my socks.

Bookgeek wrote: January 18, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Yeah, I'm almost finished too. But I'm flying to London tomorrow so, if nothing else, I'll finish it on the plane. But the review will have to wait until I'm I'll get to see yours first!

The Ravenous Reader wrote: January 18, 2009 at 5:00 PM

Happy travels and safe passage :)

Lexie wrote: February 1, 2009 at 9:26 AM

Aww I can't wait to read this one myself (I'm a zombie addict).

Rhonda Stapleton wrote: March 4, 2009 at 4:26 AM

I soooooooo want to read this. I got to read the first chapter and was HOOKED!

Rhonda Stapleton wrote: March 16, 2009 at 6:14 AM

Okay, finished reading this yesterday. WHEW--heavy book...I couldn't put it down. FANTASTIC read!!

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