Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 308
Why I read it: Kept hearing about it
Grade: A

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 review:
When I finished this book, I felt like I wanted to have a good, long cry.  The story is so heartbreaking, and yet I never felt like it lost hope.  That's a tricky balance, but Carrie Ryan pulled it off beautifully.

Mary, the main character was at times selfish and annoying, but also showed depth and a strength that was admirable.  I would have liked to see the other characters a little more fleshed out, instead of just being in the story as they related to Mary.  But the more I've thought about the book, the more I've realized, as one of the characters said at one point in the story, it's all about Mary.  The story is her journey, and if the other characters aren't fully realized, it was the author's intention.

The plot was fast-paced, and kept me up late reading last night until I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore.  Then I read every spare moment, until I finished it this morning.  I love books that I can't wait to get back to, instead of ones where I have to force myself to read.  As I read, I kept hoping that there would be another book, because I was nearing the end and I felt like the story wasn't told yet.  So I looked it up, and it looks like there is.  I will continue reading, and will definitely be keeping my eye out for more books by Carrie Ryan in the future.


  1. nice review--this one sounds good.

  2. I agree, this is a hard emotional book to read! Glad it really got to you :-)

  3. Kaye - as I've been reading through comments on Goodreads, it seems like a lot of people hated it. It's not universally liked, but then, what book is?

    April - when I was reading this, I kept thinking of the recent movie, Carriers, and how I hated Carriers because it was so depressing, but how this book was so similar. I guess this kind of story works better in book form.