” 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?”
Anyone that knows me knows that The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is one of (if not my absolute) favorites. Carrie Ryan paints a haunting and post apocalyptic world through the eyes of a young and confused girl named Mary. Torn between two suitors and constantly threatened by the unconsecrated (AKA zombies) that beat on the fence surrounding her small town, Mary has a lot on her plate. Mary is a relatable, strong, and intelligent protagonist living in a dark and troubled world.
I absolutely love how Carrie Ryan writes a story of hope and love in the midst of the death and darkness of the Forest of Hands and Teeth. At no point does the plot grow stale or ridiculous (and, I mean, we’re talking about zombies… it would be very easy to slip into the cheesy genre). Mary grows significantly throughout the novel and becomes more confident in herself. And don’t even get me started on her relationship with Travis.
Ryan’s characters have a life of their own and reach out to me from within the pages of the book each time I read this novel. I consider Travis, Mary, Harry, and Cassandra to be friends of mine because they’re written in such a real and poignant way that they do not just sit lazily on the page of the novel, but seem to step out of the pages. Carrie Ryan is so dang talented!
I would definitely recommend this to everyone that enjoys suspense, a good romance, and a slight touch of horror. There are some gruesome descriptive elements of this book that may trouble some readers (I have a friend that cannot touch these books because some of the scenes make her sick).