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The Forest of Hands and Teeth (Forest of Hands and Teeth Series #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

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...
Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

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, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

23 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Forest of Hands and Teeth

Mary's life has always been simple: protect your family, follow the Sisterhood, and stay away from the Unconsecrated in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. This is the only life she's ever known: a village surrounded by fences with the large Cathedral dominating every day li...
Mary's life has always been simple: protect your family, follow the Sisterhood, and stay away from the Unconsecrated in the Forest of Hands and Teeth. This is the only life she's ever known: a village surrounded by fences with the large Cathedral dominating every day life. But Mary's mother always told her stories of the ocean and Mary is sure there must be something outside of their tiny village. After the fence is unexpectedly breached and the town is overrun with Unconsecrated, Mary flees with her brother and his wife and her childhood friends Cass, Harry and Travis through a series of gates without any clue as to where they will lead.

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.
seemichelleread.blogspot.com

posted by SeeMichelleRead on July 16, 2009

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  • Posted December 11, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Ashley B for TeensReadToo.com

    Mary lives in a village surrounded by the Forest of Hands and Teeth. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>The Sisterhood holds the secrets of the village, from before the Return. No one knows the truth, except them. <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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? <BR/><BR/>Mary must choose between her village and what may or may not exist beyond that one gate. <BR/><BR/>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!). <BR/><BR/>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. <BR/><BR/>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!

    14 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2011

    Omg

    I love ths book! I recomend to anyone who wants a good book to read! I Love this book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Wow!!!!!

    This book was just amazing! From beginning to end you want more more more. I love this!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I loved it, depressing but excellent.

    I understand why most people would not like this book, they are too used to happy endings, I am not going to go into detail but just from the first chapter you could tell this wasnn't going to have a fairy tale ending. While reading this I found that Mary had a tendecy to go over the sames things over and over, an example is the ocean in almost every chapter she always said something about it. I undestand why, it being one of the few hopes and dreams she has left. I admire Carrie Ryan for writing this book for the simple fact that she wasn't afraid of killing of characters like most authors are. She wasn't afraid about wether or not people would understand the neccesity of making this the dark book it was. This is a excellent and fast read I read it all in a day. I loved that even though her world was turned upside down Mary still had a tiny bit of hope. Again excellent book, if you are not into books that don't have happy endings I don't recommend it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Sci fi fan

    Ok, this book was very very scary. It gave me nightmeres, once i read about seven chapters one night. But besides the scary part it was a wonderful postapocolyptic book and anyone who likes to read sci fi would love it. But honestly i felt so bad for mary. She had to marry in her teen years and the guy who wanted her was a guy that she did not like back, they are at a lake of some sort and harry just keeps stalling and stalling her when she finally goes back to town she finds out her mother was bitten and infected by the uncosecrated and she was dying, surrounding this sad little village is a gate and beyond that gate is the forest of hands and teeth and many mysteries and possibly an ocean that mary feels as thogh she must find it, many more scary and depressing things happen so please read it unless u r scared of having nightmeres

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2012

    Loved

    This book was awesome! I dont really like "zombie" books ( love zombie movies) but this one (all 4) have horror but also love and family. Everyone should read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Haunting and Emotional - Way More Than Just a Zombie Story

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth lies at the edge of the Village that Mary has lived in her whole life. Surrounded by fence, trees, and the Unconsecrated has forced Mary into a lifetime of fear lingering under the surface of every emotion she has ever felt. After her Mother is turned, Mary's life takes a turn she never imagined and she begins to learn the secrets of the Sisterhood and just what lies beyond the Forest.

    Carrie Ryan has this astounding ability to write about zombies, but to do so in a beautifully haunting way. Nothing about this book is quite as it seems and I was instantly pulled into Mary's world of fear and despair. It is so much more than just a zombie story. It's a story about hope and faith and love and loss.

    Ryan writes with such fervor that Mary's journey past the fences feels so real, like the reader is stumbling along with her, hearing the moans of the Unconsecrated and feeling the hope seep out as the days carry on. The fact that this story is so strongly about staying true to oneself, breaking free from the expectations of a devoutly religious society, finding and holding on to love and family, while holding zombies at bay by the fences, is incredible. Not many people would be able to include so many pieces of a puzzle and fit them together so flawlessly, but Ryan does.

    I was entirely unprepared for the depth and emotion that poured forth from the pages of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. At times haunting, at times terrifying, but above all else, this book is filled with life; in good times, bad times, times of joy, times of despair, and times when hope triumphs over even the worst circumstances.

    Opening line: My mother used to tell me about the ocean. ~ pg. 1

    Favorite line(s): I sob because this is not a life. This is not the way life should be and because I don't know how to fix any of it. ~ pg. 50

    And this one:

    It is a bright clear day, the sun sparkling off the ice crystals. One of those days when you can't understand why there is such beauty in a world that is nothing but ugly. ~ pg. 69

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Zombie Apocalypse

    When I first read this book, I had no idea that it would be about a zombie apocalypse. I absolutely loved the characters and the story. I loved how even though the book was basically a horror movie in a book format, it added some romance as well. I couldn't wait to read the companion. I absolutely loved this book, loved it. After I picked it up, I ripped through the pages. It was beautifully written and I would love to see more from Carrie Ryan. I think it was brilliant to write about a topic that really draws attention to most teenagers, like myself. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who aren't great with gore. Even though you can't see it, Carrie Ryan does an amazing job to make it seem so real. I would definitely reread this book and I highly recommend reading it too.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 28, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Very good.

    I really did like this book even though I'm not so into the whole zombie thing. I really like how Mary wanted to find out what was beyong her little village for a better life. This book had me on edge and shocked throughout it. I felt Mary's pain and heartbreak and such. I definitely recommend this book to anybody who likes action books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

    In Mary's world, there are simple truths.<BR/><BR/>The Sisterhood always knows best.<BR/><BR/>The Guardians will protect and serve.<BR/><BR/>The Unconsecrated will never relent<BR/><BR/>And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village. The fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth<BR/><BR/>Mary was raised with these edicts, it was her life, the law to survive. To question it was unthinkable considering what lay waiting on the other side of the fence. The constant moaning and cries of the unconsecrated that surround her village borders are relentless and the sisterhood never lets anyone forget.<BR/><BR/>The sisterhood in the village rule over everyone, their belief in constant prayer and rituals to keep the villagers safe are never questioned, but Mary does. Her mother had always told her about the ocean, and Mary holds on to this dream, despite everything.Those close to her believe her crazy to entertain such thoughts, but Mary always felt that it existed beyond the forest of hands and teeth. It is this belief that drives her when cataclysmic events brought on by a stranger forever change her "protected" village.<BR/><BR/>Mary's fragile world begins to unravel as she realizes that the sisterhood has been keeping secrets, and the village walls are breached and Mary has to make some choices. Does she stay in they only world she knows? or does she follow her heart and explore the dangerous world beyond her destroyed village? Mary is not alone, with her are a few survivors including the one that she loves and the one that she is betrothed to, thus causing her to question how much she will sacrifice to follow her dreams. Mary's strength and conviction are what push her and the survivors forward into unknown territories and at times they resent her actions and consider her selfish, but at the same time they admire her tenacity. The characters in this novel experience a terror filled situation that Carrie Ryan has written so wonderfully that in the end you have a hauntingly beautiful story that stays with you long after the pages have been read.<BR/><BR/>I must admit that I am not a fan of the "zombie". Honestly they freak me out, but this book only had me wanting more...brains?..no, more book. Maybe, because you read this entire novel about zombies without ever seeing the word mentioned, or the fact that Carrie Ryan wrote an amazing post apocalyptic story so well that you could actually feel those cold fingers reaching for you beyond the other side of the fence. SHUDDER!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    Fiercefire

    She kicked him off " it wasnt you" and ran behind him and grabbed his tail in her teeth

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2014

    SilverClaw

    As he ran he pounced and landed on feircefire,slashed her muzzle and growled. Then the real silverClaw said sorry i did tjat. And some tears came out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Chenoa toler

    Luv book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2014

    Julia Smith

    Love it!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 11, 2014

    Megs

    The guy who dumped me

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    Jake

    Who the hel.l is zack

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2014

    Angel

    Can u stop running

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2014

    WHY YOU HATE!

    All you haters shut up. I think the story is great. If you think Mary is selfish that is the point. Humanity isnt perfect and that along with love is what this story is about. And to whoever said that persuing her dream of the ocean is going to get her flesh eaten or something like that Rodger said THERE IS A VILLEGE

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    Fav all time book.

    I hate to read but I absolutly could NOT put this book down I finished it in two days... It made me cry... It made me smile... and it made me want more! I felt as if I were mary actully living this out and not if it were a book! Even if you don't like reading this is a must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Love this book.

    Love this book.

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