The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Description: 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?
I adored this book. It's beautifully written, with wonderful characters and it is incredibly haunting. I was thinking about Mary and her world long after I finished it.
It's also action packed. Just when you think nothing else bad can possibly happen it does. I couldn't put it down. I didn't even notice our plane landing (which I hate) I was so wrapped up in the story.
The unconsecrated (or zombies) are truly terrifying but I found the Sisterhood and their immense power over the village just as frightening. No one questions the Sisterhoods word and no one is allowed to know their secrets. When Mary tries she finds out what happens to dissenters.
Mary is what makes the book truly special. She is such a wonderful character, strong, resilient, hopeful and forever questing. At one, heart breaking, point in the book she says,
"He was everything. Why couldn't I see that he was everything?"
I think in that moment she means but it isn't really true. Mary is always striving for something more, she's never content with what is. Which makes her interesting as a character and very, very human.
If you've read The Forest of Hands and Teeth let me know. I'd love to know what you thought. If you haven't you should.