The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
ISBN – 13: 978-0-385-73681-7
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?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth…how can I describe it? It’s like M. Night Shyamalan’s movie The Village and Max Brooks’ book World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War met and had an incredibly amazing baby. No joke.
Out of the fifteen books I’ve read since 2009 began (oh God, I’m never going to make 50 books this year at this rate. I read 15 books in 9 weeks last summer! I blame work for this), this book is in my top three favourites, along with Lamb by Christopher Moore and The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. I was absolutely absorbed into Mary’s world. I ached with her, I hoped with her, I loved with her, and feared with her. Sometimes I wanted to hug her; other times, I wanted to smack her. Carrie Ryan made Mary come alive – a real person with real flaws and real hopes and dreams. As soon as I finished the last sentence of the book, I immediately wanted a sequel. I need to know what happens to Mary, her brother Jed, her best friend Cass, and Harry and Jacob. I want to know if everything turns out happy in the end.
Oh, did I forget to mention? This is not a very happy book. A book full of hope, yes. But happy? Not really. It’s a book dealing with zombies, for goodness sakes. Right there you know it’s not going to be all rainbows and sunshine. Mary’s world is rough, and full of fear and tension. People die. People kill. Some even have to end up killing their loved ones. There were scenes in this book that made my heart break for the characters. But there were scenes in this book that made me hold my breath in hope that this time, everything was going to be just fine.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth has no tidy ending. In fact, when the book ends, you still really don’t know much of anything. What happened to make the Unconsecrated (zombies)? Who created the villages in The Forest of Hands and Teeth? Why create villages in a forest filled with Unconsecrated in the first place? Is the rest of the world still filled with Unconsecrated or just small parts? So many questions and no answers! We get glimpses of answers at one point, but nothing concrete.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers, so I can’t really blather on as much as I’d like to. What I’m going to leave you with is this: this books is absolutely amazing and I think you should go read it, now. Also, even if a sequel wasn’t coming (which it is – The Dead-Tossed Waves), I think The Forest of Hands and Teeth is wonderful as is. I love this book, and I hope you do too!