Saturday, June 19, 2010

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan


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 been wanting to read this book for a while now, and I do not know why I waited so long to read this. It was amazing! I love books with zombies in them and this one did not disappoint. In fact, it exceeded my expectations.

The main character, Mary, is a strong young woman who finds herself longing for more than her post apocalyptic world has to offer her. Since her world is encased in the forest, Mary dreams of the ocean that her mother used to tell her about. Although she longs for the ocean, she has always been taught that leaving her fenced in town means death or worse, becoming an Unconsecrated (zombie). She gets her chance to travel to the ocean when the fence is breached, and she has no choice but to leave or die. I really enjoyed Mary as a character and narrator. Although she did not always know what she wanted, I enjoyed following her journey.

One of the most difficult and heart wrenching aspects to this book was Mary's relationship with Travis and Harry. Travis and Harry are brothers both of which love Mary. Obviously, a sort of love triangle is created. Mary thinks she loves Travis, but she discovers that she may actually love the idea of the ocean more. Another problem is that Travis is set up to marry her friend, Cass, and Mary is set up to marry Harry. I really liked Travis more than Harry, but I felt Travis needed to step up his game. He falls in love with Mary while she is nursing him for an injury, but he never tries to end his engagement which frustrated me. Sometimes, I just wanted to yell at Travis, but I soon got over that after the fence was breached.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was an excellent book. It was beautifully written. I did cry at one part because it was so heart breaking. I loved the story and the characters and sometimes I loved to hate some of the characters, too. I was engrossed in this book, so it was no surprise that I finished it in a day. There was not a happily ever after ending, but I really liked how it ended. It was just an extremely, beautiful book even with all of the zombies in it. I was extremely excited to read the sequel, The Dead-Tossed Waves, so I was so happy that I had it on hand to read immediately after finishing this book.

Rating: 5/5

Swords are for fighting,


  1. Yay! I'm so glad you liked it! This is one of my favorites!

    You have an award over at my blog!

    ~Enna Isilee

  2. Glad you liked this book!
    I read it because I heard so many great comments, but I didn't really like it. I'm not into zombies and the whole "we are the last humans on earth" feel didn't convince me =(

    I was here from the Saturday Network!

  3. I need to read this, and can't believe I haven't. Thanks for the brilliant review, and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Now I really need to read this. I wasn't sure before, but your review's convinced me!

  5. I've had this book on my wishlist ever since it first came out, but haven't picked it up yet. Great review, and I'm going to go order a copy right now! :)

  6. Thanks for participating in The Saturday Network!

    Great review, though I actually didn't like this book. It was just so depressing, and I didn't really feel for any of the characters... *sigh* The setting was good though, and I seem to be the minority, haha. :)