Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Edition: First Trade Paperback Edition: 2009
Back Cover Summary: 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.
But slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power. And, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded by so much death.
As usual, I didn’t know what to expect from this book. It sounded like some creepy cult that hid itself out in some creepy woods so that they could live in solitude and avoid the harshness of the real world. In a way, I was right. No cult, but these people are hiding out from the harshness of the real world. Just so happens that that harshness is a horde of Zombies they call The Unconsecrated!!! How cool is that?!
High Notes: Zombies!!! Zombies are always a high note. At least, for me they are. They add just the right amount of terror, gore, and heart-pounding-scream-your-head-off-running-scared-action! Loved it!
The general plot line was also a high note. Basically, the world has been infected and now only small villages, outlined by chain link fences, secret underground tunnels, and fenced off pathways, are able to protect themselves. Of course, the fences must come down eventually or else, when would the real storyline begin.
The main character was a win for me. She’s curious until the end, never allowing fear to prevent her from finding out what is beyond her strict and secluded village. She seeks love where she cannot have it and adventure beyond anyone’s protection.
Low Notes: Sometimes (meaning most of the time) things don’t have to be explained more than once. However, some things are explained more than once in this story, like the fact that no one knows, except possibly the sisterhood, how the unconsecrated got to be all zombie like, that the main character loves the idea of the ocean, and that perhaps if the main character hadn’t been holding hands with some guy by the river, her mother might still be alive. If you read the book, you’ll know what I’m talking about. We lived through all this with the main character so we don’t have to be reminded much.
There were several times where I would get frustrated, either because answers to questions are hanging too long or because you’re screaming at a character for trapping themselves in an attic when they should have gotten the frick out! Nevertheless, the author could have meant for these kinds of frustrations. In that case, I say “Good on you Mrs. Ryan! Ya got me!”
Character Development: 4.5/5
Style and Grammar: 4.5/5 (I gave this rating only because I’m not the biggest fan of first person, present tense. I prefer first person, past tense. It feels more natural.)
Overall Rating: 86% Enticing!
If you enjoyed this book and/or my review, please check out the companions to “The Forest of Hands and Teeth”…
"The Dead-Tossed Waves"
"The Dark and Hallow Places"