The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan

Genre: Zombie/Young Adult
Synopsis: 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 by so much death?


Review: This was a really fun young adult zombie read. That sentence is about as exciting as this book gets, but it's no bad thing either. I'm used to reading more adult zombie books, so this one perhaps seemed a little simplistic to me (or not even simplistic - just simply written), but I still really enjoyed it. With a book like this with a large mystery at its heart, particularly one that bears a resemblance to a certain movie (people living in a Village in the forest...), an author needs two things to be successful: 1. to make the journey compelling. Make us WANT to find out whats going on. 2. Don't overcomplicate it, or try to make it mindblowing. It's all been done before, and your best bet is writing something that is a new spin on classic features with an overall satisifying feel. I think that's pretty much what Carrie Ryan has accomplished here.

I loved the settings in this book, and I loved the quite slow pace. While the main character got on my nerves a little bit - as is frequently a problem in YA novels, she's a little too focused on love, she was a fairly decent character. Weirdly, I felt like there was little or no intent behind her actions, most of the time she seemed to think 'I probably shouldn't do this' and then she did it anyway. But whatever, she was tolerable. The mystery behind the village, the forest, the zombies (sorry, "Unconsecrated") held my attention and I tore through the book in two evenings.

Naturally, as is the case with YA stories, this is a trilogy, so you don't really get any answers at the end of the book, just more questions. Fortunately, I enjoyed this one enough to be happy to read another one, and perhaps two. I just hope that Carrie has a satisfying explanation for everything at the end!

Rating: 4/5 

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