**The Forest of Hands and Teeth-- Carrie Ryan

Contest ends tonight at midnight (MST), I'll announce the winner tomorrow! Hope all you Americans (and anyone who decided to join in) had a fabulous Thanksgiving! We're back to the reviews with The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan.

Release Date: March 10, 2009
Pages: 308
Genre: YA Horror & post-apocalyptic


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 about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, 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 in so much death?

Review: I was on the edge of my seat with this book! I loved this book (stayed up until 1 am reading it). It was a pretty freaky story. The film rights have been picked up, and I can only imagine that if it's made into a film it will be absolutely terrifying. (I hope it's not rated R)

Zombies (called "The Unconsecreated") are a constant presence in this book, but it was easy for me to forget that. When I read a book, it's kind of like I'm watching a movie through wax-paper. The images are fuzzy and go by in a blur. In this book, I'd be reading along and they'd say something like, "The Unconsecrated threw their broken bodies against the fence," and I'd think "ew. Creepy." And then pages would go by and you'd be hit with a line like, "All the while The Unconsecrated kept banging and banging," and I'd realize, HOLY COW! Those zombies have been there this whole time! Can you imagine how terrifying that would be? Just having zombies around you constantly? The main character once said that "Their moans blended into the background of our daily routine." Ah! How awful is that?

It was awesome.

What is wrong with me? I used to be all fairy-tales and ponies (okay... maybe not ponies). But now my favorite books are the ones with creepy monsters. Is it just because that's what's being written now? It's hard to find a good, simple fairy-tale retelling these days among all the vampire, zombie, and werewolf books, eh? But I digress.

Through all the negative (and positive) reviews I've read of this book, two points have been consistently brought up. I do think these were valid points, so I shall be happy to address them.

1. The Main Character is Too Selfish
Yep. That's pretty much it. Mary was extremely selfish. But I didn't entirely blame her. She lived in a small village surrounded by ZOMBIES! People are forced to marry those they don't love just to ensure the continuation of the species. And there really is no hope at all. Can you blame her for being a little self-centered? If I were in her situation, I would probably just curl up and wait until the zombies ate my brains. Mary created a coping mechanism. She found a goal and fixated on it, and that's what she needed in order to move on. It's not perfect, but it was how she kept living.

2. The Ending Was a Cliffhanger
I actually thought the ending was a lot more cheerful than the book warranted, which I really liked. Don't get me wrong, it was bleak. Slight spoiler! Pretty much everyone is zombie-fied. But there was a tiny glimmer of hope at the end. And there's a sequel! Dead Tossed Waves comes out this spring. I think that should satisfy those with this complaint.

There you go. I really liked this book, and so have a lot of people I know. So, even though the main character is selfish, the ending is a cliffhanger, and the entire book is full of running away from & killing zombies, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try.

P.S. I'm trying out a new signature. What'd'ya think?


  1. I love your (new?) signature! And your review was great, I'm going to get this book VERY soon. I hope I'll enjoy it as much as you did :D

  2. I really enjoyed this book too. I can't wait to see out the next book plays out, especially since it's in her daughter's perspective. Nice review!

  3. The new signature is very pretty.

    And I can't believe you had an unwarned spoiler in this! :P

  4. Where? Where? I thought I was vague enough!

  5. I didn't enjoy this one myself, but I'm enjoying going through other peoples' reviews and seeing what they liked. Obviously there are multitudes of viewpoints, and there are things that some will see as positives and some as negatives. I like that you turned that around and showed why it worked for you (but didn't for some others). Really great review. I intend to check out the next one, even though I didn't like the first. After all, the concept is amazing!

    p.s. I didn't think it was a cliffhanger. Is that really what people are calling it? To my view, a little open-endedness is necessary. I want to be able to dream about what happened to the characters, and not have it handed to me on a plate. But that's me being picky...

  6. Yep. I've heard a number of people calling it a cliffhanger. I thought that was silly.

  7. I love the new siggy! And the new layout for that matter - by that comment you know it has been an age since I stopped by but really the blog is so pretty and whimsical now! It makes me want to go change up my blog again!


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