Thursday, January 13, 2011
Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
The cover art and the title drew me in, I wanted to like it. The book is beautifully written and I couldn't get enough of it. In fact, I read the second book (which my sister handily gave me at the same time) and it is just as fascinating.
Mary lives in a secluded fenced village and the villagers believe they may be the last people on Earth. In the forest all around are zombies - get it - hands and teeth? The zombies will try to grab or bite people that venture too close to the fence around the village. It would seem that the main goal of the zombies is infection, secondary is eating. Ewwww! Through a quick series of events, Mary ends up with no parents, a brother that won't let her live with him and no man to speak for her. See, if a woman doesn't have a man to speak for her, she has to go live with the Sisterhood - the group of nuns that control the village. Mary learns, or half-learns, things with the Sisterhood that make her question staying in the village. She dreams that there's something more out there. Her mother told her wonderful stories of the ocean and Mary is determined to see it someday.
Did I mention the love triangle? See, Mary loves Travis and maybe his brother Harry and they both love her, and maybe her best friend Cassandra. It's a little weird, but never off-putting. It actually enriches the story during their struggle for survival.
At first Mary seems a bit selfish and self-serving, but that's what keeps her going when things get tough. She is always determined to find a way to stay alive and to see the things she's dreamed of. In the end, I had a great respect for Mary, she followed her dream and gets at least part of what she wants.
An excellent read and thank goodness there's a companion book "The Dead-Tossed Waves" and a third coming out in March 2011 "The Dark and Hollow Places". Even if you're not a fan of zombie-related books, please take a chance on this series, you won't be sorry.