Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Paperback, 308 pages
Date Published: February 9, 2010

Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth lies at the edge of the Village that Mary has lived in her whole life. Surrounded by fence, trees, and the Unconsecrated has forced Mary into a lifetime of fear lingering under the surface of every emotion she has ever felt. After her Mother is turned, Mary’s life takes a turn she never imagined and she begins to learn the secrets of the Sisterhood and just what lies beyond the Forest.

Carrie Ryan has this astounding ability to write about zombies, but to do so in a beautifully haunting way.  Nothing about this book is quite as it seems and I was instantly pulled into Mary’s world of fear and despair. It is so much more than just a zombie story. It’s a story about hope and faith and love and loss.

Ryan writes with such fervor that Mary’s journey past the fences feels so real, like the reader is stumbling along with her, hearing the moans of the Unconsecrated and feeling the hope seep out as the days carry on. The fact that this story is so strongly about staying true to oneself, breaking free from the expectations of a devoutly religious society, finding and holding on to love and family, while holding zombies at bay by the fences, is incredible. Not many people would be able to include so many pieces of a puzzle and fit them together so flawlessly, but Ryan does.

I was entirely unprepared for the depth and emotion that poured forth from the pages of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. At times haunting, at times terrifying, but above all else, this book is filled with life; in good times, bad times, times of joy, times of despair, and times when hope triumphs over even the worst circumstances.

Opening line: My mother used to tell me about the ocean. ~ pg. 1

Favorite line(s): I sob because this is not a life. This is not the way life should be and because I don’t know how to fix any of it. ~ pg. 50

And this one:

It is a bright clear day, the sun sparkling off the ice crystals. One of those days when you can’t understand why there is such beauty in a world that is nothing but ugly. ~ pg. 69
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 

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6 comments:

Melissa said...

Awesome review, Nikki! I can't believe I still haven't read this one...I just never seem to get around to it. I hear the most amazing things about it, and your review is no exception! :)

Jessica (BookLover) said...

Great review! I am so looking forward to The Dark and Hollow Places! :) Oh, you're reading Courtney Summer's new book?? I'm so jealous. That's another book I'm anxious for. If it's anything like her first two books, I'm sure you're ejoying it.

~The Book Pixie said...

I've got this one sitting on my bookcase waiting to be read I'm not big on zombies but I think this is on I could really enjoy! Thanks for the awesome review! :D

~Briana

brandileigh2003 said...

I was surprised how much I liked this book because I never did zombies. But I agree is is beautiful and haunting.

Bere said...

Oh my, the trailer looks wicked scary! I've always been curious about this one. I do have it on my wishlist but I wasn't sure what it really was about. I definitely need to read this one. Excellent review, Nikki. Thanks so much! =)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I heard so many great things about this book before I finally picked it up and it certainly does not disappoint. It's great for zombie lovers and non-zombie lovers alike.

Jessica - Fall For Anything was absolutely incredible! I loved every bit of it. My review should be up in a week or so.

Bere - The trailer is amazing, right? Whoever made it did a phenomenal job.

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