Jessica's books

The One and Only Ivan
Revolutionary War on Wednesday
Leprechaun in Late Winter
Ella Enchanted
The Courage of Sarah Noble
Plain Murder
Gone-Away Lake
Circling the Sun
Maggie and Max
The Haunting of Sunshine Girl
The Night Sister
Tuck Everlasting
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Bedknob and Broomstick
Mister Monday
Alice Through the Looking Glass
The Birchbark House
The Hobbit
The Witch's Daughter

Jessica's favorite books »

Monday, March 14, 2011

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)

Synopsis (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?

My Thoughts:  This book grabbed me from the first page and kept me on the edge of my seat, gripping it with white knuckles through the whole book!  It was intense, suspenseful, devastating and while I couldn't stand the main character, I still found myself wanting her to make it to the ocean. 

Mary is the main character in this book.  I hated her.  Honestly, she was one of those stupid heroine's, like in the movies, where they get stuck on an idea and won't let it go, despite the danger.  An example of this is when she is at the Cathedral living with the Sisterhood.  Her long-time crush shows up with a terrible broken leg and is delirious from the pain.  Sister Tabitha (head "nun", if you will) has Mary pray with him.  Instead, she whispers stories of the ocean.  Then, she is forbidden to see him.  Of course, she sneaks in to his room anyways.  Why would this be a big deal?  Oh, no reason except for punishment is to be thrown out in the forest with the Unconsecrated.  Hmmm...I'm thinking I'll leave the guy for awhile and stay away from dying a horrible death.  Yet Mary does this over and over again.

Not only is she kinda dumb, she's selfish.  The whole story is about her dream to see the ocean.  Yeah, I get it....follow your dreams, etc. but come on, there are living dead after you.  Let's focus on just staying ALIVE first!  So, yeah, I couldn't stand her at all.  She was just never happy!

I loved Jed (Mary's brother), Harry (Mary's betrothed) and Cass (Mary's best friend).  They were strong and smart characters and their one concern was getting themselves and their loved ones to safety.  Harry did everything he could to make Mary happy.  He really cared about her and I liked that even though he had strong feelings for her, these feelings didn't sway his opinions on how to stay safe!

Travis was kinda pathetic.  I could just picture him with his gimpy leg, trying to get away from the zombies.  However, he also did what he could to make Mary happy and in the end sacrificed a lot to get the group to safety.  So, I liked him but pitied him.

The book left a lot hanging.  I'm glad that I have the next book ready to read because I want to continue to find out what happens with the Unconsecrated and Mary.  The author left Harry, Cass and Jacob just hanging there so I hope that end is resolved in the next book.

Despite the character flaws with Mary (and who knows, maybe us readers are suppose to hate her), I could not put this book down!  It was so intense that I couldn't help but stay up until after midnight to finish it!


  1. Thanks for the review! I've had my eye on this, and after your review it is going in my TBR pile!

    Somer @ A Bird's Eye Review

  2. I really liked this book, and the second one --- now I'm eagerly waiting for the third one! Nice review!