Book Reviews of The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1)

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1)
The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1
Author: Carrie Ryan
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ISBN-13: 9780385736824
ISBN-10: 0385736827
Publication Date: 2/9/2010
Pages: 304
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 98

3.7 stars, based on 98 ratings
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

33 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
I thought it was a terrible book. I disagree with the reviewer who claims there were many layers...there was only one in my eyes....Mary's selfishness. There was no resolution or point to her being so self centered. She did not overcome, she sacrifices everyone to achieve her goals..even those she supposely loves! Mary was a very unlikeable character. I found the book to be pointless & a total waste of an afternoon. Maybe as an adult I'm just not getting this YA book. There are a lot better YA books out there...don't waste your time on this one.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Mary lives in a fenced enclave with a small community of people, ruled by an overbearing and slightly malignant order of Sisters. No one remembers where or how the Unconsecrated came to be, but they are a constant danger to the lives and sanity of the people. One day the fences are broken, and Mary and her friends must escape--but where will they go?

Who cares? By the time Mary and her co-horts set off through the forest, I was rooting for them to stumble on a horde of Unconsecrated. The main character in particular, Mary, is all teen angst and self-involvement. She pines through out the book for love of a boy with no particularly interesting qualities. Her friends are just as bad.

I broke my rule of avoiding Young Adult fiction and picked this one up because of the zombie theme. However, it served to reinforce the reasons I avoid Young Adult fiction: underdeveloped characters, underdeveloped settings, underdeveloped themes.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
If you are like me you were disappointed with the movie The Village. It was a good movie but what happened to all the creepy stuff? This book reminds me of The Village in a lot of ways except that there really is zombies outside the fence in this one.
I wasn't expecting such dark, heartbreaking and creepy story. This isn't your typical happily ever after YA. Mary makes some very difficult choices. People she loves are hurt or worse but she must keep going to stay away from the Unconsecrated(the word zombie is never used)and find her way out of the Forest of Hands and Teeth. I was sucked right into the post zombie apocalypse world.
I recommend this book. It's not a light of easy book. It could almost be in the horror genre. But you would be missing out to not read it.

http://lorilaws.blogspot.com/
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 158 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Once upon a time, I read a lot of horror. I devoured Stephen King, Clive Barker and Dean Koontz far earlier than I should have, and still have a hard time going into a dark basement today as a result. But around the time I had my first child, filling my head with all of those dark images and imaginings kind of lost its appeal. I stopped watching horror movies and stopped seeking out horror novels, too. Of course, very once in awhile, one sneaks through my defenses. The Forest of Hands and Teeth would fall into this category.

Carrie Ryan's debut novel begins like a retelling of M. Night Shyamalan's The Village. Only in this dystopian tale, the monsters that live in the forest are real. The inhabitants of Mary's town have lived among the Unconsecrated -- zombies -- that have walked the earth since the unexplained global infection seven generations ago. The year and location are undefined, but the author hints that the characters are living far in the future, but after the collapse of modern society, where plague survivors live a pioneer lifestyle protected by a massive chain-link fence that has protected the community from the Unconsecrated since the disaster.

Mary is an interesting lead character. She rebells against tradition and follows her heart, both in the love story and her adventures to find more survivors outside of the fence that cages her in. At times, however, her dogged pursuit of what she wants seems a little selfish and... well, stupid.

When it comes down to it, I really enjoyed the book with three exceptions:

1) Mary acting like a self-centered teenager (so, fairly authentic, I guess) wore on my patience.

2) Zombie babies -- even when treated fairly sensitively -- are never a good thing. They're not scary, they're just sad and gross and disturbing.

3) The Forest of Hands and Teeth was overall, just too sad. There are glimmers of hope here and there, but the horrors and the heartaches definitely run the show.

Like Laura Whitcomb's A Certain Slant of Light, I enjoyed the story, but I probably wouldn't read this book again. If I wanted to cry in every other chapter and end up totally depressed, I'd read Jodi Picoult. [close]
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I am so glad I read this book despite the negative reviews! Yes, it is depressing. Yes, it is sad. Yes (SPOILER ALERT) people die. What do you expect with a zombie apocalypse? Did you expect sunshine? Bunnies? Rainbows? OF COURSE IT'S DEPRESSING! Jeez.

This book is very well written and I absolutely loved it. I cannot wait for the sequel!
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 1076 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I gave up on this at chapter 5 right after Mary "entered" the Sisterhood. I just couldn't get into it. After all the reviews and recommendations, I thought I'd give it a try. Had I only realized the unconsecrated were zombies, I would have skipped it entirely. I found the main character, Mary boring and listless. I couldn't connect with her at all. She's lusting after a guy who doesn't know she's alive while another one, Harry, is basically asking her to marry him. I don't feel there was enough background to set up the whole village vs zombie scenario. Maybe somewhere down the line, it would have become clear but I just didn't care enough about Mary to bother finding out.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
The Forest of Hands and Teeth by first-time novelist Carrie Ryan, is a muted Zombie Apocalypse romance that is full of dread. I mean that in the nicest way possible. She never uses the word "zombie" in her book, the creatures in the forest are instead referred to as the "Unconsecrated". Becoming unconsecrated is viewed as both a disease and a curse.

The novel is set some generations after the Unconsecrated have seemingly overrun the earth. Mary lives in a small, fortified village in the forest which is run along strict religious lines by an order of Sisters, backed up by the force of the Guardians who patrol the borders. I say "seemingly" because there don't seem to be any lines of communication open between Mary's town and the rest of the world. She isn't certain there is a "rest of the world". The town is bordered by a fence, beyond which is the Forest of Hands and Teeth - the hunting ground of the unconsecrated.

I took a look at a few reviews before writing this, and everyone describes the book in the same way. They use simple fairy tale sentences. There is a girl named Mary and she lives in a town surrounded by woods. The first half of the book is extremely powerful. It doesn't feel entirely unlike a story about a medieval village when the black plague comes to town. She hits that sweet spot between specificity and universal allegory that is very, very hard to do. You can get a pretty good feel for it from the lovely first paragraph:

"My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away. She once showed me a picture that she said was my great-great-great-grandmother standing in the ocean as a child. It has been years since, and the picture was lost to fire long ago, but I remember it, faded and worn. A little girl surrounded by nothingness."

I think the book falls apart a little at the end. Mary and a few others wind up traveling down a fenced in path, the unconsecrated hoards constantly trying to break through. Look. I'm all for zombies. But after a week of them traveling like this, I began to ask, "What is that fence made of?" Ryan seemed to lose control a little bit as the masses of zombies swamp the narrative in yuck and gore. There are just too many of them. Which I guess is the whole point of a zombie apocalypse so I can't complain. I'm curious to see where her lovely prose and morally complex zombie world wind up leading.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 137 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Carrie Ryan is a promising new voice in young adult literature. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a story with many layers. It's about finding hope in a world without hope. It's about dreams. It's about family and love. It's about questioning authority. It's about making the choices that are right for you. The only thing I could have done without is the gore, although I understand why it is important to the story.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
My Thoughts: Honestly, I did not know what to expect when I opened this book. I'm more into vampires and the new-age than zombies and small based community living. I liked the character of Mary and she had a special vibe about her. She did not have things go her way all the time, and she felt trapped. She did not want to fall in with everyone else, she wanted to be her own person. Like me, she was very stubborn. She didn't want to be promised to anyone, because she loved another. I wasn't completely satisfied with the ending. Towards the ending of the book, it had me almost crying because I didn't like that she had been through so much but yet still could not be with the one she loved. It was a better book than I thought it would be, and I will definitely be reading The Dead Tossed Waves. Overall, it was quite promising and I enjoyed reading it.

Overall: A little longer that I would have liked, the story was very detailed, not a bad thing, just felt myself skimming through a little of it.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

The Unconsecrated fill the forest, moaning, trying to get into the village, to devour and make more of their own by a single bite, which will spread the infection. They don't give up. They want to feed.

The Sisterhood holds the secrets of the village, from before the Return. No one knows the truth, except them.

The Guardians protect the village, and make sure the fence holds back the Unconsecrated. The fence is the only barrier between the village and the Forest.

But then, once Mary is forced into the Sisterhood, she learns things that she wishes she hadn't. There is the one section of the fence, which is forbidden; but, it leads somewhere... Mary knows it. But where does it lead?

Mary must choose between her village and what may or may not exist beyond that one gate.

I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked as soon as I started. Mary was a great character. She was strong, and always wanted more than what she had. She kind of reminded me of myself (only a little, though!).

The only thing I didn't like in the story was the ending, only because I wanted to know more! It left me hanging a little, so I don't really know what will happen to Mary.

When THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH comes out in March 2009, I recommend it to everyone. You'll enjoy it. I hope Carrie Ryan writes more books, too - her writing was amazing!
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I am not sure where to begin about the awesomeness that is this book! I devoured this young adult fantastical story in 24 hours. What a heartbreaking, emotional roller coaster of a story.

Mary is a young lady who lives in a village surrounded by fences strong enough to keep out the Unconsecrated - aka - flesh eaters! Her village has been around for many generations and the Sisterhood has taught the villagers that there is nothing beyond the fences but death. However, Mary dreams of what life has to offer outside the confines, constantly remembering the stories her mother told her of the ocean that existed before the Return. Mary has obligations to her family and her people, but she continues to long for something better, something more.

The Sisterhood, or the village's Godly body, created the laws the villagers live by. At times, these laws seemed so unfair, but if you are the last bit of humanity on earth, they are understandable. You either get married to procreate and rebuild humanity, or you become a Sister. Oddly enough, it seems as though the Holy Sisterhood has been keeping secrets from the villagers ...

After the walls to her village are breached by the Unconsecrated, Mary's curiosity, selfishness and determination lead her and her loved ones on one hellish, horrifying, emotional journey.

The story is intense and exciting, full of betrayal, secrets and lots of danger. But most of all, it is full of hope - the hope that Mary carries with her until the end. A very compelling tale. Of course, there is a love story. It is heartbreaking and really draws you into an intense emotional relationship with the characters as they fight to survive in the Forest of Hands and Teeth.


Carrie Ryan is a good writer, plain and simple. She developed Mary's character quite well, and it's hard to think of her as a teenager because she was very mature throughout, but also terrified, hard-headed and selfish. Ryan also never describes what happened to create the Unconsecrated, which leaves the plot oddly interesting and mysterious.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

The Unconsecrated fill the forest, moaning, trying to get into the village, to devour and make more of their own by a single bite, which will spread the infection. They don't give up. They want to feed.

The Sisterhood holds the secrets of the village, from before the Return. No one knows the truth, except them.

The Guardians protect the village, and make sure the fence holds back the Unconsecrated. The fence is the only barrier between the village and the Forest.

But then, once Mary is forced into the Sisterhood, she learns things that she wishes she hadn't. There is the one section of the fence, which is forbidden; but, it leads somewhere... Mary knows it. But where does it lead?

Mary must choose between her village and what may or may not exist beyond that one gate.

I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked as soon as I started. Mary was a great character. She was strong, and always wanted more than what she had. She kind of reminded me of myself (only a little, though!).

The only thing I didn't like in the story was the ending, only because I wanted to know more! It left me hanging a little, so I don't really know what will happen to Mary.

When THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH comes out in March 2009, I recommend it to everyone. You'll enjoy it. I hope Carrie Ryan writes more books, too - her writing was amazing!
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I am not sure why this book is so popular, other than the personality-less melodramatic protagonist who has two boys both lusting after her, which I guess appeals to a lot of teen girls. Mary, the first-person narrator, spends most of this post-apocalyptic zombie novel whining about how much her life sucks and the village sucks and the world sucks because the undead have destroyed civilization and as far as they know, they are the only human beings left alive.

I would have liked to like this book more, but I found the world-building flat (really, you have this one village in the middle of nowhere and no one ever questions or tries to change anything or go looking for other people, and they're basically all waiting for the inevitable moment when the Unconsecrated break through the fences and kill everyone) and the characters had little in the way of personality or believable motivation.

Also, Mary gets almost everyone around her killed and still manages to make everything all about her.

This book is a textbook case of the formulaic YA novel with an obligatory love triangle that constantly distracts from any real story and sucks all the life out of the characters and the world. I found the writing bland and simple, though with occasional flourishes that promised the potential for something better.

I probably would have enjoyed this more as kid, but it's a very juvenile novel reworking themes and a plot that's been done much better, many times, by everyone from Richard Matheson to Stephen King.

I will not be seeking out Ryan's sequel to this one. I give it two stars because it did have a readable quality to it that kept me going until the end, but unlike other YA novels with a high body count, like The Hunger Games, The Forest of Hands and Teeth never really made me care who got ate, I felt no emotional reaction to the casualties, and only annoyance that Mary wasn't one of them.

It's not a terrible book, it's just not at all original nor is the writing very good, so it gets a big "meh" from me.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book was well written I ended up loving the characters just not all of their outcomes. It is has it all Action, and Love. I really enjoyed reading the book. However I couldn't help but think that Mary was a little bit selfish. Im not quite sure why she lets the people she supposedly loves do the things they do I know I sure wouldnt but she did. It made me feel that maybe her brother what right that she really didnt know what love was or that she loved herself more than her family.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The central characters in this young adult zombie/romance novel are: Mary, Cass, Travis and Harry. What a terrible beauty this book was.

The Return is the cause of the Unconsecrated [the zombies:]. Mary has lived her life surrounded by he Forest of Hands and Teeth. Enclosed by the safety of fences, Guardians and the strict ruling of the Sisterhood. The Sisterhood control the village's knowledge of the world, before and after, The Return. They are the backbone of faith and hope.

The basis of Mary's urge to want more from life than to perpetuate the survival of the village, is her mother's stories about the ocean. Events that take place force Mary to decide. Reach for childhood dreams or grow up and serve as wife/mother.

The constanst threat of the Unconstecrated, Mary's struggle with her feelings for someone she cannot have. Each time you think one issue is resolved, it gets worse, and something is added to it. I know there is a literary term for this action.

Carrie Ryan does a fine job of immediately developing her characters [as seen through Mary's POV:]. The world after the Return shrinks down to the safety of the fences surroundng the village, in the middle of the Forest of Hands and Teeth. There will always be someone that doesn't conform to the society around them. That wants more than the rules say they can have and are willing to face the Forest of Hands and Teeth and see a way out
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
There were a lot of fragmented sentences. And they were almost enough to drive me crazy. Thankfully, I was able to set that aside and focus intently on the story.

We follow out heroine Mary, who has lived in The Village for her entire life, hearing stories about the ocean and longing to know if such a place exists. Unfortunately, The Village is surrounded by chain-link fence which serves to bar the Unconsecrated from the villagers; no one is allowed in and no one is allowed out.

Not once is the term zombie mentioned, but we get the idea soon enough. Not once is an exact cause for this predicament mentioned, but we can fathom that at some point in time (a very long time ago, back when her many greats-grandmother was perhaps chasing ocean waves) an infection took hold of humanity. Spread through bodily fluids (ie, saliva from a bite) the living are turned into roving, insatiably hungry living dead. Again, the fence takes care of this minor nuisance. So long as no one strays too close the those pesky Unconsecrated, so long as the fence is not breached -- Oops.

Things go to heck in a handbag right quick, Carrie Ryan and her sentence fragments weaving a very subtle and ever-looming sense of doom thick and dark as The Forest itself.

While at times Mary seemed like the typified self-indulgent teenager, the story was able to rise above these tantrums, painting a rich albeit gloomy post-apocalyptic world. I feel as though it did fall short at times, that it could have used more here and less there but overall I liked it (which is not at all to say I loved it). I would recommend it.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did not like this book. I read some of it, but listened to the audio of most of it.
I don't really know what it was that annoyed me so much... Was is the narrator on the Audio version that got on my nerves with her accent, or the stupidity of the main character. I will have to really decide if I want to read the next one, or will Mary be just as stupid in that one as well.

This book receives a big "Booooo!" on my heckling scale.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 47 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wish I could give this book 4 stars for the way it kept me turning the pages -worth the 4 stars- and holding my breath while hoping for the survival of the characters every time they were at risk of being bitten but I also cannot overlook the way I became frustrated with the main character Mary -the reason for the 3 stars and I'm being generous with the rating-.

I will read the companion book - The Dead-Tossed Waves- because the plot line is interesting and alluring. I just hope that the next main character is more mature and a stronger model of for such type of story. After all, how many loved ones is oneself willing to sacrifice for a dream?

Notwithstanding the immature nature of the main character, I did enjoy this book a great deal. Let's hope the companion book will step it up a couple of notches.

Thanks to the friend who recommended it to me.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
An instant Keeper for mein fact I was only halfway through it when I knew this book would rest on my keeper shelf.

In a sea of happy go lucky Young Adult books that have overly mature females and impossibly sappy, predictable love stories, The Forest of Hands and Teeth screams of realism, in a Zombie infected world that is.

Mary, the main character is selfish, moody, impractical and struggles with her emotions, just like a young teen girl. The great thing about her is that she grows something many main characters in teen novels do not do. She regrets many of her decisions and sees how her mistakes and blind sidedness have harm others and ultimately hurt her.

The novel is written from Marys point of view but you still get a wonderful feel for the other characters. At times you dislike every single one of them and at other points you are rooting for them. Each character is very different so the reader finds someone that they can relate to in one way or another.

I have never read a Zombie book before, in fact when I selected it I didnt even know it had anything to do with Zombies I was envisioning something more like M. Night Shyamalns The Village. Ryan takes a bit of a heavy religious direction which I found believable, after all there are a few things humans cling to when devastation touches their lives and religion is one of them. I would not say that this novel is sad, just an accurate depiction of the ruin that such a situation could bring to the lives of those left human.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is about choices, those made by Marys family and friends and by herself, and how she deals with the destruction each decision seems to create. It is about dreams, how all encompassing they can be, how destructive and ultimately how they may be the only thing left for us to cling to. It is the quest to find the light at the end of the tunnel and I could not put it down drug through the good times and the bad with Mary, hoping against all odds that there would be a happy ending.

The novel has a satisfying ending for those that do not want to read furtherbut as for me I am out the door to purchase the next book The Dead-Tossed Waves.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
I have had this book on my to-read list for awhile, but I never realized that it was about zombies. I was caught off guard by that, but found that I couldn't put it down. It is very well written and the story sucks you right in.

Mary lives in a small village with her mother and brother. They are imprisoned by a fence in which they can never cross. It is made to keep out the Unconsecrated and keep them safe. The Guardians watch the fence line to ensure there are no breaches, but every now and then, someone gets too close. A bite means death, whether by turning and being killed before you can turn. This is how Mary lost her father. He now roams the Forest of Hands and Teeth as an Unconsecrated. Her mother is always searching the tree line for him. One day, Mary is to accompany her mother to the fence to search for her father. She is caught up by Harry, her childhood friend who is suddenly interested in being more. She is delayed and then she hears the sirens. She knows instantly that its her mother. As she watches her mother transition from human to Unconsecrated, she knows that her life won't ever be the same.

This story is incredibly sad. It is a book of love and tragedy. They story is very well written and keeps you interested. I think there was only one part that I got a little bored, but it didn't last long. I felt like Mary was a very selfish person and she is frustrating. I am continuing on in the series to find out what happens. I hope that there is some good fortune in the upcoming books.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
this is the first book by this author i have read but i hope it will not be the last. i have not seen prose like this in ages and i've been reading for over thirty years. she pulls the characters out of the paper and they seem so real that you genuinly feel thier discomfort. as a guy the emotional and relationship aspects are not my cup of tea but you can easilly get lost in her writing. only S.M. striling and steven king have ever drawn me in like that. and did i mention zombies! read it in no time could not put it down!
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
I really enjoy books about supernatural things like vampires, zombies, postapocalypse. So I liked this book. It was a very fast, easy read. I would say the book falls in the YA category. It is about a girl living in a postapocalyptic society that has very strict rules and no one asks questions of those who are in charge. Mary is seen as problematic because she questions the sisterhood's authority and steps outside the box. She lives in a village that is fenced in because beyond the fences in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, roam the "unconsecrated" aka zombies. Mary's world is thrown into chaos when the fence is breached. Now her and her friends have to do everything they can to survive. If you like reading the YA genre and you like postapocalyptic books, then I would recommend this series.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 649 more book reviews
I was very disappointed in the ending of this book, so many questions left unanswered. There were parts that I enjoyed through the book but it became a jumble of chaos with selfish characters and I am not sure what the point even was. Not sure if the sequel will answer some of the loose ends, but not sure I care enough to read the sequel. Too many better books to read.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 120 more book reviews
Long, drawn out, and mostly boring. Predictable ending.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 380 more book reviews
I was looking for a zombie book for young adults, and a lot of people (well over 50) recommended that I read this book. When that many people tell you to read a book, then you read it! So, I did and I understand completely why everyone recommends it. Ryan does an amazing job of getting you inside the head of the main character, Mary and making you hope just like she does.

The book takes place after The Return. Mary lives in a small village that is surrounded by fences. On the other side of those fences are the Unconsecrated (zombies) that roam endlessly about the forest and press up against the fences to get at the living people in the village. The moans of the Unconsecrated are consistent background noise throughout the story. Mary's life is not easy. She deals with a lot of loss as those that she has known all of her life fall to the Unconsecrated if they stray too closely to the fences and get bitten. When the fences are breached by a particularly fast one, Mary, her brother and his wife, Cass (Mary's best friend), Harry (the one in love with Mary), Travis (the one that Mary loves), and an orphaned boy pass through a gate to safety (sorta). No one knows where this path leads and if there is something outside of the village. Can Mary make it to safety? Are there other living beings out there that are untouched by the Unconsecrated? Read it and find out.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way everything was written and flowed together. It was like a few campfire or bedtime stories sewn together. There were chapters that I could just set the book down and feel like I had finished a part of a story and some that made me turn the page to the new chapter. This made it much easier to read, as well as the chapters being fairly short. I loved the setting. It is creepy, but also something that is easily pictured away from a typical horror movie interpretation of a zombie apocalypse. Travis was actually my favorite character even though he was not really the focus of the whole narrative. Mary annoyed me at times, but she is a teenager so that is understandable. All in all, I'm passing this book off to my students because I know that they will love it just as much as I did.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
This is one of those times when I didn't read the dust jacket (should've! Oh, I really should've.) and just snapped up the book because it could be had for a mere quarter. A quarter for the charity store, right? That's a good deed. A better deed would've been done by this person's editor and whomever is working at Delacorte Press. Basically this novel is a combo of "The Village" + some teen romance + a pinch of the Hunger Games' bow-and-arrow skillset + toss in some nuns and the undead, and you're off to a ripper of a book.

Except, yeah. It sucked. So, maybe your average undead loving pap reader will dig it. (Not to pun. But I did! Shoot me! -- but not with a bow and arrow.)
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on
I teach 8th grade and my students love this book series. I cannot get enough copies of this! It is the story of a girl who loses her mother to be a zombie, is in love with one boy and betrothed to another, and tries to escape to the ocean her mother always talked about. It has goriness and romance.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 215 more book reviews
This is one of those books that starts off a little strange and slow, and takes a little time to figure out, but then soon pulls you in. It was a very fast read, and one that wasn't easy to put down after the first several chapters.

Mary as a character isn't exactly likable, but she is human, and the wider story is told rather convincingly from her point of view. Of course, this means that there are some loose ends that never get resolved, because Mary doesn't see what happens to everyone or find out every secret. It also isn't quite like your usual zombie tale, as Carrie Ryan manages to put a fresh twist on the idea we are all familiar with. In some ways these things served as weaknesses, but they were also strengths in other ways, though it is somewhat hard to describe. But, if you read it, I'm sure you'll see what I mean.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 2504 more book reviews
I have read a number of other books by Carrie Ryan, The Map to Everywhere which I loved, and The Daughter of Deep Silence which was okay. I have had this book in my TBR pile forever and finally got a chance to pick it up. It ended up being okay. Its well written but starts out a bit slow and wasnt all that original.

Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence. Inside the village the Sisterhood rules all and the Guardians patrol the fence. Outside the fence the Unconsecrated will stop at nothing to break in and consume human flesh. Mary is getting to an age where she either must be asked for by a young man in the village or join the Sisterhood. She is forced to join the Sisterhood but found unsuitable for that work and when her childhood friend Harry asks for her she becomes his betrothed. However the only problem is that Mary took care Harrys brother Travis while she was in the Sisterhood and both feel deeply in love.

Marys love troubles suddenly become inconsequential when a strange fast moving Unconsecrated breaks into the village and rips their lives apart.

This book starts out very slow but does pick up pace towards the end. The tone in the beginning reminds a lot of the movie The Village. Over half of the book is about Mary in her little village dealing with her day to day worries and concerns. Things do pick up towards the end but the pacing is strange. First Mary is completely obsessed with her love for Travis, then she ignores him in her quest for the ocean her mother told stories about, then she is obsessed with him again and then ignoring him. It was like Ryan couldnt have Mary be in love AND eager to seek out the ocean at the same time...it was weird.

I thought the characters were a bit bland as well and didn't really engage with them. Mary is selfish and determined to fulfill her needs and obsessions; she doesnt think about long term consequences and her actions were pretty stupid and poorly thought out. None of the other main characters really grabbed me and engaged me either; they were all just kind of blah. This book was full of characters who were selfish and short-sighted and generally annoying.

However, I did enjoy the world here and am curious to learn more about it. I felt like as soon as the story started to actually get interesting the book was over. Although lets be honest the idea of secluded human societies in a post-apocalyptic zombie infested world isnt really all that unique...its been done many times before.

Overall this is a decent read for those who are looking for a dystopian YA zombie type of book. I found the world intriguing but thought the book was a bit slow and that the characters were unlikable and hard to engage with . I am unsure whether or not I will read the next book in the series right now; I kind of want to read more about this world but I am worried that the 2nd book will be as slow and boring as this one was.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
I enjoyed reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth and was excited to find out what the main character Mary's story would be. The author kept you engaged but I felt as if I were always waiting for the next thing to happen. I felt like Mary's story would have been better if you could like her more. She often was too focused on her goal to care about those around her and as a result those around her suffered. I would have liked to know more about the other characters such as Travis, Jed, Beth, and even the ill-fated Gabrielle, but the author was totally focused on Mary thus my reasoning for a 3 star rating.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
I needed a zombie book for the paranormal challenge and since I detest them, this was recommended to me.

I liked Mary. I liked her strength and her bravado. I was excited to see where the story took me. But now that it is done, I feel like too many puzzle pieces were missing. Maybe I should stick with happily ever after romances because this was a huge downer for me. I gave it 3 stars because the writing was good and the story kept be interested. I won't be picking up the next book but I can understand why many readers will.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 150 more book reviews
Ryan goes generations into the future after a zombie outbreak to investigate the life of Mary, a descendant of the survivors. The zombies are still a constant threat, and Mary finds herself struggling against them as well as the society the survivors have formed to survive. While it's not a bad read, I found myself wishing for more focus on the survivor's society than the emo, selfish thoughts and actions of Mary. However, she does behave like a typical teenager, and this is a ya book, so the intended target audience of teens will probably enjoy it. Teens looking for zombie horror will most likely be disappointed by the level of romance in it, though, so be forewarned!

Check out my full review.
reviewed The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Good book....