Monday, October 14, 2013

Zombie Monday Book Review - The Forest of Hands & Teeth, by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands & Teeth
The Forest of Hands & Teeth #1 Author: Carrie Ryan
Release Date: July 2009
Source: Library Borrow

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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 have wanted to read this novel for quite some time. It was recommended to me over and over, and everyone that did spoke wonderful things about it. So I was pretty excited to include it for the month of October.

I did like this story, but it was not what I expected... or more accurately - what I was hoping for.  Ok, we do have zombies but they were greatly overshadowed by the love triangle developing between Mary and two brothers.  I am not irked by love triangles, but I was hoping that the focus would have shifted to the zombies and why they are there a lot more than this book did.

I enjoyed the concept of the Sisterhood, and it gave this novel a dystopian feel.  The village runs like clockwork because of them. Everyone has a function, otherwise you are tossed out with the zombies.  And god forbid you are inquisitive, curious or ask too many questions.  The Sisterhood will show you what your options are.  (Which really, are not options at all unless you are suicidal. Conform or die.)

There is a lot of emotion in this novel.  Though I did not connect with any character in particular, I did feel very emotionally attached, which was a little surprising because usually I can't have one without the other.  There were many parts in this novel when I felt a lot of the sadness, helplessness, and desperation of these characters. 

This is an enjoyable YA novel, but if you are looking for some intense zombie focus, there won't be much of that in it.  They are mostly in the background, with only occasional focus.

Will I read on with the series? I am honestly on the fence. If I come across the second novel, I wouldn't be opposed to picking it up, but I don't see myself running to Chapters to buy a copy immediately.

Carrie Ryan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, The Dead-Tossed Waves, The Dark and Hollow Places, and the original ebook Hare Moon. She is also the editor of Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction and the author of Divide and Conquer, the second book in Scholastic's multi-author/multi-platform Infinity Ring series.
She has contributed to multiple story collectons, including, most recently, Zombies vs. Unicorns, Kiss Me Deadly, and Enthralled. Her work has been translated into over eighteen languages and her first novel is in production as a major motion picture. Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Carrie is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now writes full time and lives in Charlotte, NC.

Author Links: / Website / Twitter


  1. Interesting. I actually don't mind zombie novels that don't focus on the zombies (since I never considered myself a true zombie fan), but I don't know if a love triangle is enough to keep me interested. I'll still probably try this book eventually, though, since lots of people do love it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Hi Nicole! As the type of zombie reader that you are (Now that you have picked up a few) :) I think that you would enjoy this one. I was more in the mood for some old fashioned, zombie ass kicking type of story. I enjoyed the plot line and I think that it will definitely keep you interested enough. As you said, a lot of people love this series, and you probably will too.



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