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Most Helpful Favorable Review
14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.
Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com
The Unconsecrated fill the forest, moaning, trying to get into the village, to devour and make more of their own by a single bite, which will spread the infection. They don't give up. They wa...
The Unconsecrated fill the forest, moaning, trying to get into the village, to devour and make more of their own by a single bite, which will spread the infection. They don't give up. They want to feed.
The Sisterhood holds the secrets of the village, from before the Return. No one knows the truth, except them.
The Guardians protect the village, and make sure the fence holds back the Unconsecrated. The fence is the only barrier between the village and the Forest.
But then, once Mary is forced into the Sisterhood, she learns things that she wishes she hadn't. There is the one section of the fence, which is forbidden; but, it leads somewhere... Mary knows it. But where does it lead?
Mary must choose between her village and what may or may not exist beyond that one gate.
I really enjoyed this book. I was hooked as soon as I started. Mary was a great character. She was strong, and always wanted more than what she had. She kind of reminded me of myself (only a little, though!).
The only thing I didn't like in the story was the ending, only because I wanted to know more! It left me hanging a little, so I don't really know what will happen to Mary.
When THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH comes out in March 2009, I recommend it to everyone. You'll enjoy it. I hope Carrie Ryan writes more books, too - her writing was amazing!
posted by TeensReadToo on December 11, 2008Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.
Forest of Hands and Teeth
Let me start by saying how much I enjoyed Carrie Ryan's writing style: it is filled with beautiful descriptions (including a lovely title) and has a wonderful ebb and flow of action. I also thought her world building was pretty solid and full of interesting ideas - the whole idea of how the village establishes its own customs and religious ideals intrigues me. That said, I could not stand the character of Mary - or really any of the others for that matter. She seemed selfish, immature and seemingly incapable of the love the author keeps telling you she possesses. None of the characters were developed adequately for my tastes and consequently I never understood why she loved Travis so much or why others were drawn to her. Over and over again everyone asks Mary what will make her happy - I got so sick of that question by the end. Mostly because Mary proved time and again that whatever she felt like would make her happy would occur no matter the cost to anyone else. Yuck.
posted by SeeMichelleRead on July 16, 2009Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 25, 2010
I Also Recommend:
The Forest of Despair and Unanswered Questions
This book is told from the perspective of Mary, a young woman growing up in a small, isolated village surrounded by a fence that keeps the unrelenting zombies out. But they are not called zombies in this book (in fact the word zombie never mentioned), but rather the Unconsecrated. Trust me, they are true zombies. They eat flesh and babies and everything. Anyway, Mary grows up believing that her village, run by the dubious Sisterhood that claims that their little pocket of humanity amidst the formidible forest is the last of mankind. Mary, of course, questions this and is not content with her future as a member of the Sisterhood or married to man she doesn't love. Instead, she dreams of the ocean and the other stories her mother used to tell her of generations long gone.
From the first chapter, Mary's life is turned upside down. Her father walks among the dead, and her mother goes to join him. She is turned away by her brother and is sent to live in the Cathedral with the Sisterhood, which has well-kept secrets in every room.
This book is very well-written. Fluid and suspenseful, I had a hard time putting it down. While it did have some zombie-slaying action, it wasn't the focus of the book. Instead what kept me going was the sense of mystery and doom. Nothing good ever happens to Mary and the questions just kept coming with little-to-none answers. Mary was an unreliable narrator and a little crazy. All what the reader sees is first filtered through her eyes. She selfishly clung on to her dream of the ocean and refused to settle for anything less, even when it cost her the people she cared about. But hey, she is still one of the few chracters alive at the end, and the only one with a chance at a life, so she must have been doing something right. The rest of the characters wouldv'e gotten eaten long ago if Mary wasn't there to drive them.
This book is severely creepy, what with zombies relentlessly moaning in the background. I got skeeved out in a couple scenes (zombie baby). Like I said earlier, nothing good really happens at all. This book isn't for the faint at heart as it can be somewhat depressing. But I still found it intelligent and refreshing. It's so nice to read a young adult novel without a saintly narrator and a perfectly happy ending.
My least favorite part of it though was the love triangle? rectangle? I don't know what to call it. But the gist of it is Mary is in love with Travis. Travis is in love with Mary, but is engaged to Mary's best friend, Cass. Cass is in love with Harry, but Harry is engaged to Mary. Harry likes Mary, but I wouldn't call it love. I think he just wants a wife. Oh, and Travis and Harry are brothers. It's just a mess of duty and love. No one wants to marry who they are supposed to, but feel like they have a duty to do so. So, its complicated without ever being really interesting. I never really saw what was so great about Travis. Mary nursed him and her previous crush on him turned into full out love (or so she says). This might sound weird, but I could never tell when they were kissing or not. The scenes between them were written oddly, and I kept thinking they were kissing, but later on in the page I was proved wrong. Their lips were just really close together and they were almost kissing. My bad.
Anyway, despite some personal preferences and little annoyances, this book was really good. Not for everyone, but I recommend everyone try it. Looking forward to The Dead-Tossed Waves
9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 22, 2009
I Also Recommend:
I walked into the book store and just happen to come across this book. The reason I picked it up because it was an autographed copy and I have never owned an autographed copy of a book. So after deliberating for all of 5 minutes, I decided to go for it and buy it. Man, am I glad I did! I had been in a rut.. the past 3 books I've read were only so so books. This one was great! The story line is intriguing (kind of has a "I am Legend" and "Village" feel to it but with it's own twist), the love story is great, and the sacrifice made by the heroine is real. That's what I like most about this book; the sacrifices by the characters are so real. You really start to feel the characters pain. The only bad thing I can say about this book is that there is not much dialogue. It's almost all first person narrative with little dialogue, so you do not get to know much about the other characters. Plus, I just love dialogue, so I missed that at times during this book. But that is not near enough to keep me from recommending it, especially to all my urban fantasy fan friends. I'm really happy that this book is now part of my library! Another plus, is that Carrie Ryan says on her website that there will be more "Forest of Hands" books ocming in 2010.... but don't worry, this isn't necessairly a cliff hanger ending (i say that cause if you're like me, I am too impatient to walk into the middle of a series and have to wait the year between books for them to be published, so I try to avoid them as much as possible).
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 10, 2014
Posted September 13, 2013
The author really knows how to reel you in with her words. I rea
The author really knows how to reel you in with her words. I really felt for these characters. In the end, I liked this book in more ways than I didn't. This would actually make a great movie.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 31, 2013
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a mixed bag. There are strokes
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a mixed bag. There are strokes of brilliances throughout the book, but then there are pages filled with mediocre storytelling as well. Mary is the main character, and she’s always dreamt of the ocean, a magical place told about in her mother’s stories. However, with her Dad fallen victim to the Unconsecreated, and her Mom lingering on depression, her brother alienating himself from her, Mary’s life isn’t like a fairytale or magical story at all. In her life, there are a few simple truths. The Sisterhood knows best. Guardians will protect and serve. Unconsecrated will never relent. And don’t go beyond the Fence.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
But when Mary’s mother falls victim to the Unconsecrated as well and her brother doesn’t want her around, she gets sent to the house of the Sisterhood, where she discovers the truth may be hiding a lot of lies. When her friend Travis is brought in seriously injured, she spends more and more time with him, even though he’s bethrothed to her best friend. When she finds out Travis returns her feelings, it’s like a dream come true, but unfortunately there’s little time for things as silly as love in Mary’s world.
When a stranger arrives in town and is immediately hidden by the Sisterhood, Mary discovers a lot more than she bargained for. Then the stranger is bitten and turns into one of the Unconsecrated, except she’s impossibly fast and tears down the entire village. Mary and her friends narrowly escape, but they’re left on their own to find their way to safety. With Mary’s love for Travis growing stronger every day, and her desire to reach the ocean outweighing everything else, the journey to safety also becomes a journey of self-discovery. But with the Unconsecrated on their heels, every day is a fight for survival.
The world Carrie Ryan sketches in this novel is a bleak, futureless, post-apocalyptic world that seems to have gone straight back to the middle ages. The village is the main setting, but when it gets overrun by Unconsecrated, Mary and her friends move on to new territory, walking through the fenced-off roads leading to outside the village, hoping to find a new place of refuge. Survival is key in this world, and dead may come knocking on the door every day. Fear is present from page one, and lingers on until the very end. Setting-wise, this book is very powerful.
The plot was strong as well. I liked the idea of the zombies here, and it reminded me very much of the movie “The Village”, with the same claustrophobic atmosphere and creepy vibe, except that here, the Unconsecrated are zombies, and are very real. I also liked Mary’s drive, of wanting to find the ocean, such a supposedly simple dream that could turn out to be so hard. There was plenty of action and tension as well.
What didn’t convince me were the characters. Mary is all right, I suppose. She has a straightforward way of seeing things, which I liked. She sees things for how they truly are, no matter how unsettling the truth may be. But her relationship with Travis was…well, laughable. There’s no tension or emotion between both characters. Travis was as one-sided as a card-board figure, and I never really got a sense of him. That said, I never really got a sense of any of the side characters. Maybe it was because the book was told from Mary’s POV only, but it was like the other characters were props, or personality-less creatures, like they’d already somehow transformed into Unconsecrated even though they were still alive. Whereas Mary’s personality shined through, and she actually went through a lot of personality development, the other characters remained puppets, stage figures for Mary’s great show.
The thing was that I didn’t really mind. The way it was written, with the sharp contrast between Mary, so obviously very alive, and the other characters, already seeming like zombies, was brilliant. For some reason, it worked. It alienated Mary even further from the others, indicating that perhaps by living in fear for their entire lives, they’d already turned into some kind of zombies, void of dreams and hopes and much emotion.
Less brilliant was the repetitiveness of some of the scenes. I’d actually thought I’d already read a scene when I hadn’t, simply because it sounded so similar to another scene chapters before.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth isn’t your typical post-apocalypstic zombie book, and for that, I greatly applaud it. The author made some brave choices along the way, choosing to give her audience a dose of the horrific every now and then, when necessary for the story. I’m looking forward to reading the next part in this series.
Posted January 30, 2013
Posted January 11, 2013
Confusing, but good.
The Forest Of Hands And Teeth is a book for advanced readers. The plot is good, but sometimes the wording can get confusing. I know that within two chapters, the author doesn't say who Mary is talking to, and expects you to figure out yourself.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 4, 2013
Posted December 10, 2012
Lets just say at first i just got this book out of total random
Lets just say at first i just got this book out of total random but i am sooooo glad i did i just LOVED IT!!! It has a bit of zombie kinda thing and romance with mystery oh and a very sad part. I totally recommend this book buy it like right now:)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2012
The village meets Dawn of the Dead
This book turned out much better than i anticipated, very sad at times when the harsh reality of their world is grasped, however it leaves you with a strong sense of strength at what the human mind/body can take and still have a hope for the future. The series (so far) gets better through each book...But I do still have the second half of the third one to finish!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 23, 2012
I¿m so conflicted on this one. It was a fabulous Zombie read, an
I’m so conflicted on this one. It was a fabulous Zombie read, and I LOVE zombie reads. It had enough suspense, gore, despair, sadness, love and what not to keep my gut twisted in a perpetual knot the whole way through. But I didn’t like the main character Mary. I actually found her personality lacking and her decisions rather inconsistent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Mary lives in a village in the middle of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Cut off from the rest of the world, they are led by the Sisters and Guardians, who protect the village with strict rules and fanatical religion. The events that lead to the breech of the village fences and the initial demise of the entire population, save for a handful of survivors, were interesting if not shocking. Mary’s character was tragic. She had just lost her mother to the ‘Unconsecrated’ the overused descriptor for the zombies that lingered always outside the fences. This pretty much sends her life spiraling into the path that ultimately demands that she choose the life expected of her or the life she has dreamt of all her life: to find the ocean.
From her relationship with her brother Jed, to the love she longs for with Travis, it all gets jumbled into one huge mess. Not only did the decisions that Mary made send her off course, but the unreasonable actions of others: The sisters, Jed, Travis, Harry, even her best friend Cassie, left me utterly confused at times. I wanted to like Mary, but her unfortunate life and her bland dismal personality left me wanting more from the story. The only character that was really fleshed out was Travis, and that even left me scratching my head. The inconsistency between how long it took to become unconsecrated from either a bite, or being killed by an unconsecrated, was confusing too. It happened rapidly to some and rather slowly to others (Spoiler turn back now!) like when Beth got bitten it took days, and also with Travis, it took days. But the villagers all turned almost within seconds. (end spoiler). Hence the reason for the 4 star rating.
Of course it all could be explained that they live in different times than I do and have different upbringing and expectations of them. I of course took this into consideration. I really did enjoy the dark world described throughout, leaving not only Mary and her fellow survivors void of hope, but also the reader. With that, I commend the author for painting such a dismal post-apocalyptic world. I can't wait to read the next book in this series, though I heard it is not a true sequel, but set in the future from the events of this book.
Posted November 13, 2012
Posted September 12, 2012
Book Review Outline Book title and author: The Forest of Hands a
Book Review OutlineWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Book title and author: The Forest of Hands and Teeth-Carrie Ryan
Title of review: The Undead Live On…
Number of stars (1 to 5):
The Forest of Hands and Teeth is sure to keep any reader on edge as they read about Mary and her sudden journey. In the very near future a outbreak of a disease that makes us have a swollen brain, a temperature of 120 degrees and a horrible case of the munchies. Not so bad? Well the only way to fix their hunger is to feed on flesh. Human flesh. This story follows Mary, an orphaned 16-year-old girl who escapes the village she lived in with her brother and her now zombified mother after the fence breaks and the Unconsecrated (zombies) start to spill into the village.
Description and summary of main points
Mary is just like any 16 year-old girl. She has problems with her family, she has a crush on a boy who would never like her, and a older brother who goes out of his way to annoy her. The only difference between her and another girl is that she lives in a world full of zombies. Mary’s village is run by the Sisters that live in the church. Ever since Mary can remember she is taught by the Sisters that they are the last civilization in the world and there are no other people left, but one winter night she sees the Sisters escort a woman in a red cape, who she doesn’t recognize from her village, into the Catheraderal. In the days to follow she gets engaged to the boy she loves’ brother, watches her mother get bit, and eventually turns into a zombie, and watches her village fall into despair as the Barrier is broken and zombies start to eat her friends and neighbors. This book follows her as she escapes with her best friend, the love of her life, her fiancé, her brother, and her brother’s pregnant wife.
This book is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I just recently finished the second one in the series which follows Mary’s daughter. I really liked the feel of danger you get when you read this book. This is the kind of book that I had to put down a couple of times just to get a hold of myself and think, “Did that really just happen?!” There is no moment of rest in this book and it will always keep you wondering what is going to happen next.
I don’t usually reread books for whatever reason but I have read this one three times and each time I’m still surprised by the ending. I really loved this book and I suggest it to anyone who likes zombies, girls, action or adventure. I did think that the beginning was dragged out a bit, but a part from that I do believe that this was a awesome book.
Your final review
I think that once I finish this review I am going to read this book again. I gave this book a four out of five because the word choice wasn’t the best and I think that she could’ve used better, more vivid, words.
Posted August 8, 2012
Posted June 20, 2012
Dark and haunting, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was an emotiona
Dark and haunting, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was an emotional rollercoaster. At times, fear consumed me, and at other moments, I was overwhelmed with sorrow. But I was certain about one thing: The Forest of Hands and Teeth is an unforgettable novel, one that may catch up to you in your dreams … or your nightmares.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
When I first cracked open this novel, I was struck by how similar the world of the Forest of Hands and Teeth was to the world of Ann Aguirre’s Enclave. However, before you begin pointing fingers at Carrie Ryan, note that her novel was published in 2009, whereas Enclave was published in 2011. In addition, I did find differences in the two novels; for example, the zombies in the Forest were dubbed “the Unconsecrated” and were created by “Infecting” a human with a single bite, whereas those in Enclave were called Freaks and had no known origin. The societies in both books were also incredibly different; the Forest included the Sisterhood and the Guardians, unlike Enclave’s society of Breeders, Builders, and Hunters.
The world of the Forest can be described with one word—frightening. Imagine a village enclosed within a fence, and beyond that there is only the Forest. A Forest of zombies craving to feed on human flesh. The life that the villagers lead in the society is purely to survive. Love is second to commitment in marriages, and the Guardians serve to protect while the Sisters keep secrets from the villagers. Add in those insane zombies trying to claw their way into the village (oh, yeah, and if they manage to bite you, you’ll die and turn into a zombie), and you’ve got yourself a dark postapocalyptic novel. In other words, I loved this account of the zombie apocalypse. It’s nice to get a haunting novel every so often.
While I may have loved the world Carrie Ryan created, I was not so much a fan of the characters. Though realistic (and I love realistic characters), the main character, Mary, was incredibly selfish. I loved that she was curious, always wondering about a world beyond her secluded village, but so much that that idea consumed her? She paid no attention to her best friend, her older brother, the two boys who loved her, and her own mother. And by the time she realized how much they meant to her, she had lost them all.
I was disgusted with Mary, true, but I absolutely loved the boy she fell in love with. He understood her ever so well, and he always wished for her happiness. But I think I really fell in love with him when (spoiler!) Mary had to kill him. Because who doesn’t long for happy endings?
The Forest of Hands and Teeth enraptured me from its first word; Carrie Ryan’s dark style of writing created a bleak world caught in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. I guarantee that you will not be able to set down this haunting novel.
Posted June 21, 2012
Posted May 1, 2012
Posted April 21, 2012
Posted April 18, 2012
One thumb up!
I really enjoyed this book, it took me like three days to read it. I think its a very suspenseful book, the gore not as bad as you would expect. I thought it took off too quickly in the beginning and i felt like the ocean stories were just kinda tacked on after her mother was infected. I love books in first person! Some of my favorite series are in first, but this one had me confused from the beginning to the middle. I couldnt figure out if Travis really loved her or if Mary would end up with Harry. I adored the action parts and Carrie Ryan did a SPECTACULAR job with describing everything, but i almost felt annoyed with Mary who seemed to be all about her. Always talking about how she wanted the ocean, going on about loving Travis, but then not (spoiler) not picking him over the ocean even though he said he loved her more then Cass. I began to like her again after one part, but then (spoiler) when she found the ocean, she didnt really come back to the fact that she loved Travis and was trying to find the ocean for him and also got her brother killed in the process. She spent half the page looking for him, but then went into a lighthouse with some random man. I liked this book alot, but some things could have been better.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 20, 2012
This book really swept me off my feet. I never thought I'd lay
This book really swept me off my feet.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I never thought I'd lay hands on a zombie novel (zombies? Meh. Not really my type.), but one day, I found this on Amazon, read the blurb, and was instantly spellbound. I was so happy to finally get it (though I would've preferred a physical copy, but oh well) about a day ago. And you know what? I wasn't disappointed. Not much anyway.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth takes place decades, or maybe even centuries, after our time, and the people of the world are all either zombies (the Unconsecrated, as Mary calls them), or they are huddled together in groups to survive. One thing about this book is that it is really thought-provoking. It really makes you think and wonder what will happen in the future, and it makes you feel sad at the condition of Mary's dystopian world. At the same time, it keeps you on the edge of your seat because of the suspense and the mystery. I found myself just dying to know what happened. Why the world became like this. What happened to the modern world, where tall buildings scraped the sky, and where nothing had fallen into ruin?
It didn't explain how the zombies came about in the first place, which was pretty disappointing. But thankfully for Carrie Ryan, I was too absorbed into the book for it to bother me too much.
Also, the romance. (God, I'm always going on about romance, right?) It was quite sweet and refreshing to see in such a terrible world, but at times, I caught myself wishing that the characters would just sop it all up and take control of their emotions. I mean, there're zombies out there! Sometimes, the romance was layered on too thick it was almost annoying.
There were also some loose ends that weren't tied up. Why were the Sisters of the Sisterhood creating 'mutated' zombies and harming the people? Maybe it wasn't intentional, and with the author leaving hints here and there and not explaining the whole thing, it was pretty confusing and I was: Y U NO JUST GIVE ME THE ANSWERS?!?!?! But who knows? She'll probably explain everything in the next two books (which I already have).
Overall, this was probably one of the best dystopian novels I've ever read, even though with quite some major flaws. It left me chilled, feeling empty, doing some deep thinking, and overall, just unable to sleep properly. Thank goodness I have my cat to keep me company. 4 stars.