Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

23 Mar

Random House Canada, 2010

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?

From Random House website

Oh. My. Dear. God. This book! I don’t want to be dramatic or anything (go ahead, roll your eyes) but The Forest of Hands and Teeth just blew me away.

I love zombies. Okay, let me clarify: I love zombie movies. So it only made sense that I’d love this book. But, man, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did.

This book is action packed from the get-go, and I swear my pulse raced through the whole thing.  Even before the fence was breached, the book was intense.  Ryan holds nothing back and within the first dozen pages I was shaking my head. She made some bold choices early on in the story that some authors would have baulked at.

Every time the plot took a twist, I was surprised. I mean, just when I thought I couldn’t be anymore shocked, Ryan would pull something else out of her hat and I’ve once again be bowled over.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is dystopia at it’s best. Everyone thought that the Sisterhood knew best and that the Guardians would protect them until things fell apart. When push came to shove, the villagers were left on their own.

I adored Mary, the main character. While there were several strong male characters in the book, I never once had the feeling that Mary’s survival depended on them. Quite often in books, the female is seen as  “strong enough”, but really, she has to depend on a man to get through.  But Mary was written in such a way that I knew if she was totally on her own, she would still survive.

The only thing I wasn’t 100% in love with was the love story, but honestly, I think that’s because of my natural resistance to romance subplots. I eventually warmed up to this aspect of the book and even found later on in the book that without it, the story wouldn’t have been as vivid or have had such an impact.

I read The Hands of Forest and Teeth in one sitting. And I mean that literally. I forgot to eat. I didn’t get up to go to the bathroom. So far it’s been one my favorite reads of 2010.

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10 Responses to “Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan”

  1. BKienapple March 23, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    I still have the first book sitting on my shelf. MUST. READ.

    • lavenderlines March 23, 2010 at 10:42 am #

      OMG seriously, READ IT! If you like YA and dystopia books, this is a must read.

  2. Steph March 23, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I wasn’t into zombies at all before I read this, but I thought it sounded interesting so I bought it anyway. And like you, I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. It’s now one of my favorite books. Ever. I’m getting the next book from Amazon this week, and I absolutely can’t wait.

  3. nomadreader March 23, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    I just got this one from the library, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m contemplating waiting for the read-a-thon, but I may cave sooner. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Pam March 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm #

    I loved this book as well.

  5. steph July 10, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Hmmm. Intriguing. I’ve never heard of these books until just now! But with reviews like this, and I do like YA and the supernatural and stuff, so…dammit! Yet another to add to my pile… It’s starting to stress me out!

    • lavenderlines July 10, 2010 at 10:04 am #

      OMG if I let my TBR pile stress me out I’d be in a straight-jacket by now! LOL
      But The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a must read, IMHO.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BBAW and awkward self-promotion « Lavender Lines - July 8, 2010

    […] Review: The Hands of Forest and Teeth by Carrie Ryan […]

  2. Review: The Dead-Tossed Waves « Lavender Lines - July 10, 2010

    […] you’ve read my review of Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth, then you know how head over heels in love I was with that book. Naturally I was mucho excited to […]

  3. My fave reads of 2010 « Lavender Lines - January 2, 2011

    […] The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – OMZombies! I think my heart was racing the whole time I was reading this book. I know there were several times that my eyes were basically bugging out of my head. I felt like I needed a nap or a Valium when I was done. […]

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