Monday, May 3, 2010

Book Review - The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Author: Carrie Ryan
Year: 2009
Page: 320
Genre: Fiction - Young Adult, Dystopian 

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Probably
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Mary knows little about the past and why the world now contains two types of people: those in her village and the undead outside the fence, who prey upon the flesh of the living. The Sisters protect their village and provide for the continuance of the human race. After her mother is bitten and joins the Unconsecrated, Mary is sent to the Sisters to be prepared for marriage to her friend Harry. But then the fences are breached and the life she has known is gone forever. Mary; Harry; Travis, whom Mary loves but who is betrothed to her best friend; her brother and his wife; and an orphaned boy set out into the unknown to search for safety, answers to their questions, and a reason to go on living. In this sci-fi/horror novel, the suspense that Ryan has created from the very first page on entices and tempts readers so that putting the book down is not an option. The author skillfully conceals and reveals just enough information to pique curiosity while also maintaining an atmosphere of creepiness that is expected in a zombie story. Some of the descriptions of death and mutilation of both the Unconsecrated and the living are graphic. The story is riveting, even though it leaves a lot of questions to be explained in the sequel.

First Sentence:
My mother used to tell me about the ocean.

Why did I pick this book?
I kept seeing this book on different blogs. Wasn't particularly interested in reading it since I am not into the whole paranormal/supernatural genre. I read the review from Confessions of the Unpublished and decided I need to read it since she had such a strong reaction to it :)

My thoughts:
  • I wasn't sure if I'd like this book since it's about zoombie... after reading it, I didn't mind how the zoombie are presented in the book - they are there for a reason, and nothing too creepy (not that I mind creepy books... in fact, I probably like creepy books if they are done well, but it just seems like most YA nowadays are about zoombie and vampires and werewolf and half-human-half-beast...)
  • I thought the book was okay, I don't love it like I do The Hunger Games, but I don't hate it either. It definitely left a lot of questions unanswered though, and the ending was left wide open for a sequel (yes it's in fact a 3 part series... so apart from all the paranormal characters, most YA are now a series, and are involving some kind of a love triage!)
  • I actually didn't really like the protagonist, Mary, much. She seemed almost irrational and I just didn't really get her. 
  • I probably would've been on the fence about continuing with the series, had it not been the very good reviews of the 2nd book... since my library has both books at the same time, I borrowed both, and read the 2nd book right after this one (see next review - The Dead Toss Waves)
  • I borrowed the hard cover version (which is the first cover shown above, the more bluish one) and I like that better than the paperback one. I think she looked more like Mary. The paperback girl looked kinda weird.


    And I wonder if there was ever a crueler world than this one that forces us to kill the people we love most. (p277)

    I could have been content. Maybe even happy. But fulfilled? (p286)

    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading
    Young Adult