- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 9, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0385736827
- ISBN-13: 978-0385736824
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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
Now 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 by so much death?
Mary lives in a secluded village surrounded by The Forest of Hands and Teeth. The only thing standing between the people in the village and the "Unconsecrated" is a fence surrounding the village. This is a way of life for them though, as they have never known it any other way. But Mary's mother told Mary about the way things were before. Before their world was consumed by the infection that turned so many into the walking dead. She told her of cities, buildings that reached the sky, but mostly she told her about the ocean.
After her mother and father are turned, Mary is consume with thoughts of escaping to the ocean. The idea that something so huge can exist out there is the only thing that gives Mary hope. But this way of thinking is strictly forbidden by the Sisterhood. The Sisters have their own plan for Mary, which include marriage to a man that Mary doesn't love, and living quietly in the "only remaining village in the world". But when a stranger comes to the village, all of Mary's suspicions of another life out there are confirmed, and her desire for a life by the ocean, and not just marriage, but love, are things she doesn't know if she can deny any longer.
I loved this book! I felt like I was reading a mixture of I Am Legend and The Village, two movies that I watch again and again. It's been a long time since a book has really affected me this way! Once I started reading, I didn't want to stop. It's the first book I've ever read where I was actually a little afraid. After I finished it, I was exhausted from holding my breath. And it wasn't just because of the Zombies. The love
The only thing that I wasn't crazy about was that I felt that there wasn't enough information about the main characters relationship. I knew that they had past relationships, growing up together, and that they had strong feelings for each other, but it never really explained why they loved each other so much (sorry, trying not to give anything away). It was also hard for me to relate to how much Mary valued being at the ocean over being with the people she loved. Don't get me wrong....I love the beach! I just love my family more. Overall, this was a fabulous, though heart-breaking book that I would recommend to anyone who doesn't have an aversion to scary (and a little gory) stories.
The companion book, The Dead Tossed Waves, is even more amazing, and The Dark and Hollow Places is set to be released March 22, 2011. Thank you Carrie Ryan, for a fantastic adventure and love story!
You might like to know: This is a horror story. It gets scary and gory in parts. There are a couple of religious exclamations, but no other language issues. It also has some kissing between the main characters with some sexual tension, though there's no sexual content. For more details, go to The Forest of Hands and Teeth on Parental Book Reviews.