Monday, January 8, 2018

Review: The Forest Of Hands And Teeth – Carrie Ryan


The Forest Of Hands And Teeth – Carrie Ryan



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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. 
Now, 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?



Review: I read this book mostly because of the title. That’s a phenomenal title. Also, other reviewers have compared this novel to the movie The Village, which I was obsessed with in my teens. Also, there are zombies in this book. Sometimes I just want to read about zombies.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is narrated by Mary, a teen girl who lives in a village surrounded by fences. Her parents are “Unconsecrated” zombies who live on the other side of the fence. Mary is expected to get married, have kids, and live a happy life in the village, but she can’t help wondering what lies beyond the fences. When zombies breach the walls, Mary seizes her chance to escape. She wants to see the world, but she’ll have to outrun the zombie horde first.


“We forget that the rest of life can be just as dangerous. I think about how fragile we are here—like fish in a glass bowl with the darkness pressing in on every side.” – The Forest of Hands and Teeth



If you like action, then you need to get yourself a copy of this book. The action starts early and rarely lets up. There’s a sense of danger throughout the entire story. None of the characters are safe. Some of your favorites will die. There are a few moments when Mary and her friends are surrounded by zombies, and I was sure that none of them were going to make it. The plot is definitely heart-pounding. I kept turning pages because I needed to know what happened next.

There’s a scene with a zombie baby that I found really creepy. Zombie babies are messed up. You don’t want to kill (re-kill?) a baby, but what are you supposed to do with it?


“Her skin is ashen and her mouth open in a perpetual yet silent scream. She isn't old enough to roll over, to sit up, to climb. So she lies there kicking her fat legs against the footboard of the crib, eternally calling for her mother. For food. For flesh.” – The Forest of Hands and Teeth



The threats don’t only come from outside the village. The mysterious Sisterhood guards the secrets of the world, and they don’t like Mary snooping around their cathedral. The Sisters are hiding something important. Mary wants to know why they’re keeping secrets. There’s so much in this story that could go terribly wrong for the characters. The tension is great.


“Who are we if not the stories we pass down? What happens when there's no one left to tell those stories? To hear them? Who will ever know that I existed?”  - The Forest of Hands and Teeth



I like that the author talks about the difference between being happy and being fulfilled. Mary would be happy if she married one of the boys from her love triangle, but she wouldn’t be fulfilled. She doesn’t think she can live a full life without knowing what’s beyond the village. She’s curious about the outside world. She can stay in her village and be happy, or she can leave and be fulfilled.

Other than the plot and themes, I found this book to be pretty average. I sometimes had difficulty picturing the setting. The writing is good but not great. The main characters are likeable but not complex. Most of the book consists of the characters running from zombies. I would consider this a thriller novel, so aside from the plot, there’s not a whole lot going on.

If you’re looking for a fun zombie thriller that will let you escape from reality for a few hours, then this is the perfect book for you. If you’re looking for thought-provoking literature, then you should probably look elsewhere.



TL;DR: Fun, action-packed plot, but I probably won’t continue with the series.








13 comments:

  1. I liked this especially the second half but I never read on with the series and I was disappointed with most of the short stories I read from this world. I do want to see the film if they ever get on with it.

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    1. There’s going to be a movie?! I’d totally watch that.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  2. I really enjoyed this except the part with the zombie baby. That was disturbing and I remember it now 8 years later.

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    Replies
    1. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the zombie baby . . .

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  3. It is a cool title. I kind of feel like Walking Dead is enough for the zombie genre though.

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    Replies
    1. This book probably has the best title ever. I’ve never seen Walking Dead.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  4. I gave this book 2 stars. I don't really remember why, but I do remember thinking it could have been so much better. For me, it was all downhill after the title.

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    1. Yeah, other than running from zombies, there’s not much going on. Everything other than the plot seems underdeveloped.

      Aj @ Read All The Things!

      Delete
  5. I listened to this one on audio a few years back and thought it was pretty good too. I didn't continue with the series either. Great review!

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  6. I was thinking even before I started reading your review that A Forest of Hands and Teeth sounds terrifying, so I can see why the title intrigued you! I hadn't expected zombies and action from the blurb though. Oh gosh, you're right, I've never even thought about zombie babies! You never see that in books. This does sound pretty interesting, but kind of like you said about it being average, I'm not sure it'd be *enough* for me.

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  7. This one sounds pretty good. I read Daughter of Deep Silence by her and I enjoyed it. Sorry this one was just average for you though!

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  8. What a title! ...but sounds like it might be the thing I liked best about it ;)

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  9. Sometimes you do just need a good book about zombies! I am glad you were able to enjoy this one and that the action was so good. I do need some character focus aside from plot but otherwise this one sounds creepy and intense.

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