Aug 20, 2011

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Published: March 10, 2009 by Delacorte 

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?

       I like zombies. With this book I was expecting a lot of action and zombies, with a little romance thrown in. But Mary is obsessed with Travis. The only thing she thinks about more is the ocean, which gets a little annoying. It sounds like such an ominous, epic story, but it was just another love triangle with a whiny, somewhat unlikeable main character. My main problem with this book is that there is an intense zombie apocalypse going on here, yet Mary takes every restful second she has to whine about how her life isn't fair. And when she isn't whining, she's sappy and overemotional. It's just too much whine and not enough zombie apocalypse!

Reasons I love this book:
  • zombies!- No matter what goes on in Mary's life, the zombies never stop coming.
  • Jed- he's very much like Jesse Tuck in Tuck Everlasting- he's a major jerk until it's revealed why he's so bitter, but he's very dedicated to those he loves
  • the paths- the path that seemed a miraculous way out of a bad situation is not simply a straight shot to a safe place, but holds its own dangers and complications
  • Harry- I didn't much care for him at the beginning, but Harry certainly proves himself to be of more use than Travis

Huh, what?:
  • Mary- I don't like her. She's a little unpredictable. One minute she's slashing the undead in her obsessive quest to reach the ocean. Then she's all whiny and sappy over Travis, but does nothing about it. 
  • the Sisters- clearly we're supposed to detest them but they are rarely mentioned once Mary leaves her village and never are we told what their ultimate fate is
  • Travis- he's an odd guy. It's hard to describe why I dislike him, but I think it's his inaction. He does nothing to help his friends, but Harry does.
  • sappy lines- Ok. I've told you that Mary is whiny and sappy. That alone is just a minor annoyance, but this book had a few lines that stopped me dead in my tracks while my brain went Um, really? For example, I pull him tighter into my lap, wanting to squeeze the infection from his body, to clean his blood with my love.    That last part makes me want to gag. Which might be alright in a zombie book, but definitely not for this reason.

Favorite quotes:
  • I wonder how I could have ever believed there was a place untouched by the Return. A world alive outside the Forest.          -  pg. 289
  • Is there fear in the Unconsecrated? Is there loss and love and pain and longing? Wouldn't a life without so much agony be easier?       -  pg. 51

3 Robots
If this book didn't have zombies, it would be a lame love triangle. Try it if you don't mind being inside Mary's head most of the time.

Acquired: Bought


  1. I too had mixed feelings about this book. I still need to pick up the sequel to see what I thought of it.

  2. I really want to read these. I read the short story Carrie did for the Enthralled anthology and I'm looking forward to the books. Thanks for the review!


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