Friday, March 4, 2011

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth | Alexia's Books and Such The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Source:  Personal library

Rating:  4/5

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? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:
This is one of those books I didn't read because of all of the buzz surrounding it. Call me crazy, but I've never liked picking up popular books as I'm usually disappointed when they fail to live up to the high expectations. But this one sounded so intriguing that I still wanted to read it, so it patiently sat on my shelf and waited. So glad that I decided to give this one a chance, as it's so worth reading!

Mary has grown up in an enclosed village, protected from the zombies outside the fence by the powerful Sisterhood. When Mary's mother is infected and thrown out of the village, Mary and her brother are left orphans. Her brother blames her for not keeping a closer eye on their mother, so throws her out of their house. As no one steps forward with an offer of marriage, she has nowhere to go but the Sisterhood. Similar to medieval times where a young girl had to join a nunnery if no one spoke for her. Totally unfair, but Mary's new reality.

She is an inquisitive girl, so Mary starts investigating her new home and learns a few things better left alone. These only lead to more questions, but answers are in short supply. For instance, who is the mysterious stranger hidden away upstairs? Why did no one know about the underground tunnels? Who built the fences surrounding the village? I had some questions as well, such as why Mary's only options were marriage or joining the Sisterhood? And why did so many of Mary's peers die during childhood?

Gave this one a 4/5 as I really enjoyed it. Interesting characters, good plot, well-paced action, and a logical progression. I liked the ending, but there were some loose ends that I'm curious about and hope will be resolved in the sequels, The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. That's one advantage to waiting to read a book - no wait for the next book in the series!

Carrie Ryan lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. You can visit Carrie at


  1. Oh how I love this series. I just finished the last book a couple of weeks ago...It's all so fantastic. I hope you like book #2, which was my favorite. (I think.)

  2. Oh whew! So I'm not the only one that has yet to read this...wait, scratch that, okay so you DID read it now... O_O *lonely*

    Anywho...^_^...on to your review...the story sounds vaguely familiar. I'm wondering if a short story collection I read included a work by this author that may have stemmed from the book. Must investigate that further....sounds like although it leaves some questions unanswered, still works out to be a good read. Thanks for sharing...and happy reading! ^_^

  3. I'm the same way - if a book is too popular I am not someone who jumps up and down to read it! This one sounds pretty good though!

  4. I may read this someday....I just need to wait for my YA burnout to end. I'm a little reassured by your liking it so when that day comes, I will put this one the list.

  5. I've been on the fence about this book, but maybe I will read it one of these days. Anyway, I'm a new follower :)

  6. I really enjoyed this one! I actually listened to it on audio and the narrator was fabulous . . . but I can't remember her name off the top of my head. I have Dead Tossed Waves on my shelf, so I hope to re-read it this year and finish the whole series at one time!

  7. I know how you mean about the hype with popular books. I try to do the same things as I don't want that to get in the way and the book let me down. But I am glad to hear you enjoyed this book. I was never really sure if I wanted this one or not. Thanks!