Monday, March 9, 2009

Book Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary lives in a village cut off from the rest of the world by a fence surrounded by the Unconsecrated filled forest. The sounds of their hands scraping and their teeth gnashing is so familiar, that although it serves as a constant reminder of their isolation and uncertain future, it fades into the background of the townspeople’s existence as they go about the business of simply surviving.

But Mary is not happy with the status quo. She’s heard her mother’s stories about the ocean, about a happy time before the zombie apocalypse. She yearns for that which is forbidden by the ruling Sisterhood – for knowledge, for true love, for freedom. But is she willing to risk everything for a chance at a different kind of life beyond the forest of hands and teeth?

This novel is bleak and oppressively claustrophobic, but if you can get past that, you are in for a heartbreakingly beautiful story about daring to dream no matter what. About following your heart. About making every moment count.

There is a lot I’d love to discuss in more detail, but I don’t want to spoil it. For those of you looking for scenes of bone crushing zombie action, you will definitely not be disappointed (although you will have to be patient for more than 100 pages). For those of you wary about reading a “zombie” book, don’t be scared. The narrative might not be sugarcoated, but it’s far from being “horror” in the scary movie sense.

Mary’s story will resonate with fans of impossible romances set against perilous backdrops (think The Hunger Games or even, as Jen Robinson suggests in her review, Twilight). This is one that will stay with me, and the big tease at the end has me chomping at the bit like a super zombie to read the follow-up.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth comes out tomorrow in hardcover, and I'm sure you are going to be seeing a ton of reviews of it in the coming days.

33 comments:

PJ Hoover said...

Definitely it's on my list!

Jen Robinson said...

I sure hope there's a follow-up, Lenore! Such a great book!

Alea said...

I'm excited to read a zombie book, but I'm glad you said it wouldn't scare the heck out of me. I have no idea what could go down!

The Book Gobbler said...

Zombies!? True love!? Followin' your heart!? I'm in!

Excellent review!

Insert Book Title Here said...

I want this book! Great review!

jo-scrawls said...

This book sounds so awesome. I'll definately be getting it! Thanks for a great review!

prophecygirl said...

Nice review! I'm looking forward to reading this!

Janssen said...

I have heard nothing but RAVES about this book. Cant' wait to get a copy.

Pen Pen said...

AHH! I want to read this! Ur review is the main reason, but I also saw this preview on youtube for a movie called "teeth"---super disturbing. It's still freaking me out

Steph Su said...

Great review, Lenore. I'd love to read this book.

Aerin said...

So, Lenore, I actually thought it /was/ spooky:

http://www.insearchofgiants.com/2009/01/forest-of-hands-and-teeth-by-carrie.html

but I have a very very (VERY) low tolerance for creepy.

Joanne said...

Great review! I'm dying to read this book :)

Aerin said...

What can I say? I'm a wimp! :)

Donna said...

Absolutely on my list of books to read. greay review!

Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous cover, too. I'm not in the mood for bleak these days, but when I can stomach that again, I'd like to read this.

Marie Hansen said...

Great review!

Diana Dang said...

I wanted to purchase this book but I couldn't afford it. Dx I'm waiting for the paperback and god, I want it so bad!

Bookworm said...

I got this in the mail and I started it...it's chilling and rather scary, but beautifully written, huh? I'm not really into zombies though.....creepy. *shiver*

Tabitha said...

It's so cool how you get books early. Then we get a sneak peek of what's to come. :)

I'm giving away a copy of this book on my blog this month, but since you've already got it then nevermind. :)

Carrie said...

Can't wait for this book.

By the way, I just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the I Love Your Blog award over on my blog. Here's the link:
http://carriesyabookshelf.blogspot.com/2009/03/awesome-award-dig-that-alliteration.html

Cathy said...

This definitely goes on my wish list!

Christina Farley said...

This is a book that I definitely want to read. I didn't know the premise before your review so that was really helpful.

carolsnotebook said...

This has been on my list since I first heard of it.

Dar said...

Great review Lenore. I really want to read this one!

Lisa said...

An uplifting zombie apocalypse romance? That I have to read.

Alexa said...

Great review, I can't wait for my amazon order to arrive. So exciting.

Ann-Kat said...

I finished the book last week and really enjoyed reading it, but I think I'm probably the only person who didn't care for Mary. I just couldn't connect with her emotionally (some of the things she did just irked me LOL), but the writing was good and I was completely wrapped up in the mystery of the Sisterhood, the forest, and how it all came to be. If there's a second one, I'm definitely in. I'm anxious to find out what actually happened and how The Unconsecrated came into being.

Catherine (On The Nightstand) said...

Wow, it definitely sounds interesting! I'll keep an eye out for it if it finally makes it to New Zealand.

Ladytink_534 said...

Have I mentioned that I just love the title of this book? The book trailer was a finalist for the Teen Book Video award. It sounds really neat (even if it does have zombies in it *shiver*)! I'll have to look for it :)

Lenore said...

I didn't have a problem connecting with Mary, though I agree the scenes at the beginning with her mother were a bit...wierd.

The Teen Video Award trailer was very well done. Have they given the award yet?

Amy said...

I have to admit I really don't like the title. But, I do love impossible love stories set against perilous backdrops. ;)

Rabid Fox said...

"Bleak" ... sounds like a good word for this novel. I've read some depressing stuff in my time, so I imagine I'll suffer through that to get to a great story. I can't think of a single bad review I've read for this novel yet. And, it's near the top of my wish list.

Sounds like Carrie Ryan has a real future in writing.

trish said...

Okay, you've done it for me. I've been eyeing this book, but now I'm going to go buy it. I love books that can take something like zombies and turn it into a "heartbreakingly beautiful story".

I can suspend disbelief if a story is well-written, which, based on your review, it sounds like this book is.

#extra entries