Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Random House Children's Book's
Published: March 10, 2009
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 it's 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, 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 in so much death?
I wasn't sure what to expect with The Forest of Hands and Teeth because this is the first zombie book I've ever read. Sure I've watched TV shows and movies about them, and really enjoyed them, but have never read one. I didn't know if reading about zombies would be as good as watching them because I wasn't sure if the writer could capture the grotesque image of one properly. Carrie Ryan has surpassed my expectations and snuffed out any doubts I may of had. Her descriptions of the characters, setting, and zombies are so vividly clear that I was instantly transported to a ''new world''.
Mary is the main character and the story is told through her POV. Mary has lived her whole life in a village surrounded by fences to keep them all safe from the Unconsecrated who wander in the Forest of Hand and Teeth. She has been taught her whole life, by the Sisterhood, that there is nothing left of the world beyond the fence, they are the only ones left in the world.
From as far back as Mary can remember, her mother has told her stories that have been passed down through their family, for countless generations, of what the world used to be like before the Return. Her mother even had proof until a tragic fire erased everything except the stories. Mary has always dreamed of going to the places in her mother's stories, especially the ocean.
Jed is Mary's older brother and part of the Guardians. I really didn't like him until close to the end of the book. He was so cold hearted towards his sister for something that she really had no control over. Then he casts her off and doesn't see or speak to her for months until they're thrown into a situation where he has to. He later redeems himself but for the longest time I hated him.
Cass is Mary's best friend and kind of comes off as a ''dumb blonde'' who is bipolar. At first she's good and tries to console Mary when she looses her mother but then when Cass feels like she is loosing Harry to Mary, she changes and gets mean. You really don't get to learn much about Cass except she whines and cries alot if things aren't going her way.
Harry is another one of Mary's friends and he has had a huge crush on her for a long time. He really does seem to care for Mary an awful lot. He is sweet and caring but kind of comes off as one dimensional in the beginning but then he gets a little bit of depth as the story progresses but not much.
Travis is also another one of Mary's friends and the guy that she has a crush on. The first time you get to meet him is when he has been brought to the ''hospital'' part of the Cathedral where the Sisterhood is stationed. You really can't get any type of handle on what kind of person he is because for a good bit of the time he's in the ''hospital'' he is either delirious with fever or unconscious. Once you get a chance to actually see what he's like it's hard to tell what his feelings for Mary are at first because he runs hot then cold then hot again, but eventually you discover what his true feelings are.
This is one of those books where I was freaked out completely but still unable to put it down. I just had to know what was going to happen and who was going to be the next person to be infected. With all that was going on and all that had happened to Mary I can totally see how she would start to loose her grip on her mental stability. I think any person put in those types of situations would loose it at least a little bit.
I also learned a few things not to do in the event of a zombie apocalypse: 1.) Absolutely for no reason should you let other people willingly choose to remain a zombie if they are infected. That only adds to the numbers of the nasty little boogers you have to deal with later. 2.) Do not throw people to the zombies for any reason. They will in turn become a zombie and once again that's one more you have to deal with. 3.) Do not waste your arrows by passing notes back and forth. You need them to kill zombies.
I did learn that I need to start training my dog to smell and fight the zombies. I thought that was cool and smart. And also that I would probably last a lot longer during a zombie apocalypse than some of the people in this book.
I really enjoyed reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth, even though at times it scared the crap out of me, and feel that Carrie Ryan did an exceptional job writing it. I highly recommend reading this book but feel it is geared for a more mature crowd because of all the guts and gore and zombies. I gave The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan 4 out of 5 stars on my Goodreads page.
(c) 2015 Andrea Hatfield All Rights Reserved