Thursday, January 13, 2011

Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

First off, you all need to know that I've never been a fan of zombies.  I never watched zombie movies or played zombie games.  So when my sister gave me The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I was hesitant. I mean, seriously, the cover's pretty, but...  since I trust my sister wholeheartedly about books, I read it.  On the way home.  From Missouri to Michigan.  The whole thing.  It's amazing!

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.

Pages:  336


  1. I first read this a couple of years ago, and your review definitely makes me want to reread it!
    Thanks! :)

  2. I am not a zombie fan. But you're right that non-zombie fans should take a chance on it because I really enjoyed it as well! I read it months ago and I confess I've still to pick up the second one (although it is sat on my shelf), but it was a very good read. Strange, but good.

  3. Hi Dawn,
    I'm really keen to read this one - I actually had no idea it was about zombies so I hadn't picked it up yet! Thanks the great review and welcome to the world of blogging :) x

  4. I love this series also! I have to convince my friends that it is so unlike your typical zombie story. Can't wait to get my grubby hands on the next one.

  5. Zombie books really scare me to. I think one of the reasons I like paranormal so much is that these creatures can be sexy and mysterious. Zombies not so much. But since you said you didn't like zombies either but really like this book I think I'll give zombies another try.

  6. Lisa - you're right, there's no way for zombies to be sexy or mysterious!lol I think that even though the zombies are a central part to the story, they are so much a part of the background that it doesn't seem so bad. Let me know if you like it!

  7. Thanks for the review. I've been eyeing this at the bookstore because I love the title, but I don't like zombies, either. I think I'll give it a go. I love YA lit with a love that is inexpressible, but I am tired of friendly vampires.

  8. I read this book myself, well listened to it, and really liked it as well. I will have to pick up the companion books now.

  9. fiorinda - I know what you mean, even though I'm a diehard vampire fan. :) It's really hard to make zombies friendly! I think you'll enjoy this one, and just think, you could read the first two and be right in time for the third one to come out!