Monday, September 28, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Author Website:

One Word Review: Disturbing

First Line: "My Mother used to tell me about the Ocean."

Synopsis: 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?

Jess's Review: Overall I liked this book very much. It will never win a Pulitzer prize or anything but it was a quick read that was suspenseful, entertaining, and rather addicting. The book held a lot of promise and I got really involved with the story until about half way through where the book turned from an intriguing mystery where zombies are a device and not a central focus to a full blown zombie book. Fortunately, the story had enough momentum that I didn't care that there were plot holes big enough to drive a moving van through and that the main character Mary becomes less and less likable as she whines and becomes increasingly more selfish. I suspect that Mary has OCD about Ocean, as you can tell in the first line, and it grated on me toward the end. At first I was feeling the heat between her and her love interest Travis, but like most interesting things in this book the author failed to develop it until I was convinced that Travis could only speak one word at a time. The Sisterhood was another fascinating entity that held secrets that were never revealed and that really disappointed me because Sister Tabitha was almost more creepy than the Unconsecrated. I'm asking myself why, with all that going on, did I enjoy it so much? I guess because I jumped when I heard a noise in the house while I was reading it and because I did get some butterflies when I read about Mary and Travis and because I like the writing style where the reader is just as lost as the main character. I just wish that the story could have been developed in such a way that it could have come full circle and answered some of my questions. A fun read, but it could have been much more.


  1. That's a really well-written review, Jess. I quite want to read this. It looks interesting.

  2. That is almost exactly what I thought about it. Toward the end, I was starting to hate Mary a little and I never really bought her and Travis. The only thing she cared about was the stupid ocean. But I guess if you live in a zombie filled world you have to have something beautiful to focus on.

  3. I'm such a dork. I got this from the library, and decided to take a little reading break, so I had to take it back before reading it. Oh well. Good thing I go to the library a lot huh!?:)

  4. It was bizarre, but not scary like I was anticipating. She really needed to get over the whole ocean thing. It ruined all of her relationships in the end. I secretly love an unhappy ending. Especially when it's not deserved.

  5. Sounds good, but was it disturbing - or just intense?

    Also wanted to promote my contest hope you don't mind.

    I'm giving away an ARC of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner. Contest ends Oct 1st at midnight. Great book. You should enter Jess and Kathy it's a good book that will become a trilogy.

  6. Mary,

    The book was distrubing to me because the main character was so focused on the Ocean that she sacrificed the relationships with the people who loved her for it. The zombie parts were at times intense but not terrifying. Hope that helps. Thanks for the heads up about your contest! I'll check it out.


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