The Forest of Hands and Teeth
By Carrie Ryan
A Dystopia with Zombies
Paperback, 336 pages
Published by Delacorte Books For Young Readers
Released February 9, 2010
Mary has always trusted the truths of the village. They were the truths of the Guardians and the Sisters. When those truths are revealed to be false, Mary clings to the one thing she’s been told to forget: the Ocean. She’s never seen the sea, but she longs to escape the village and find it. When an outsider comes to the village – hidden away from the villagers by the sisterhood, Mary knows there’s life beyond the fence; beyond the unconsecrated. When Mary sees the outsider on the other side of the fence, dead and returned, she knows she must escape before the sisters can throw her to the unconsecrated as well.
I read this novel as part of my celebration of Zombie Awareness month. In general, the novel felt a little rushed. And I have to admit, I felt absolutely no connection to a character I think as the reader, I was supposed to. The setting was interesting, a future after the zombie apocalypse where one small town has survived by vigilant upkeep of the fence surrounding them and a religious set of rules that keep people appeased and safe.
The main character is a bit of a sticking point for me. I don’t know what she wants other than to get to the ocean and in the end, she basically hurts everyone she loves in the process of getting there. And the end leaves several characters up a creek (or in their case – in the middle of the woods) with no resolution. In the end I felt like my copy of the novel was missing a few chapters.
Buy, Borrow, Brush Past:
If you enjoy zombie novels, and don’t mind a protagonist who doesn’t know what she wants, I’d definitely suggest getting this from the library. Or, if you love protagonists that don’t know what they want, and don’t mind zombies, Amazon has the hardcover edition for $3 less than the paperback .
Can you escape death when it’s trudging after you?