The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

the-forest-of-hands-and-teethThe Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
2009
320 Pages
3.5/5

Kailana and I are pairing up for a review of this one. I really love this format!! If anyone else wants to do this with me, just head on over to my LibraryThing page, click on the TBR tag and pick anything you want that you plan on reading and we can review it together!!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a fantastic read. If you’re a fan of YA books, zombie novels, philosophical novels or all of the above, this is definitely one to pick up. It’s not often that you can put those three categories together :p The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a dystopian novel. The world as we know it has been destroyed by a virus. A virus that has turned the inhabitants of our world into zombies, or the Unconsecrated as they are called in this novel. But there is a small camp of people who live in a commune type setting surrounded by a fence in the middle of the forest of hands and teeth, a forest where the Unconsecrated live. Mary is one of the inhabitants of this village. After not being spoken for by a boy who she thought would speak for her at the marriage ceremony, Mary is forced to join The Sisterhood, a group of religious women meant to protect the secrets of the Unconsecrated and care for the small town. But Mary’s mind does not allow her to turn a blind eye to the goings on of the sisters, and she’s fallen in love with her betrothed’sΒ  brother.

Everything changes when there is a breach in the fence and the Unconsecrated reak havoc on the town, killing most of it’s residents, turning them all into Unconsecrated as well. But Mary is lucky enough to escape with her life along with her new fiancee, Harry, and the boy she truly loves, his brother who is engaged to Mary’s best friend (also with them). Yeah, there’s a complication there. The book is a truly terrifying novel that leaves you totally creeped out and weeping at the sadness of it all at the same time.

1. What was your immediate reaction after you turned the last page of the book? (without giving anything away of course πŸ˜‰

I was so so sad 😦 Not that the ending is one of total desperation, but the book is an emotional rollercoaster…going downhill. I’m always amazed when an author can evoke such strong emotions in me, and Carrie Ryan did just that. I really can’t wait to see what she comes out with next! If it’s half as good as this one, we’re in for a treat. Truthfully, when I put the book down after reading it, I didn’t want it to end. I was left with one of those “wow” moments where I really just had to sit back and let it all sink in.

2. How did you feel about the main character, Mary? Did she surprise you, were you annoyed by her, did you think she was a strong character, weak, etc?

I was up and down about Mary. I think she’s an extremely strong character, but at the same time, I think that the same attributes that make her strong may make her weak. She’s extremely headstrong, which comes in handy at times, but at other times it seems to be her detriment. I think Mary is someone who is still trying to find herself throughout this novel…still trying to learn who she is. She’s sort of all over the place. All that being said, she was probably my favorite character and I felt for her.

3. The film rights to the book have just been sold. Would you be interested in seeing a movie made out of this novel? Do you think there are things they’d have to change?

I would definitely be interested in seeing this made into a movie! It was one of the most vivid novels I’ve read in a long time. It reminded me quite a bit of The Village by M. Knight Shyamalan actually. That’s the reason it lost half a star to be honest. I thought that it was somewhat of a rip off of The Village at the beginning. Same basic concept….a town where you’re taught to be afraid of what’s outside the walls, you don’t ask questions, a few chosen people know the truth, traditions that have been developed…all of that’s there. But it evolves into much more eventually and I think it would make a great movie. That being said, I think they would have to change a few things to not make the movie look like a rip off of The Village.

4.Β  What did you think of the secondary characters in this book?Β  Who was your favourite?Β  Anyone that you didn’t like?

I liked the secondary characters for the most part. I thought everyone was developed really well. Some of them annoyed me at times, but they were supposed to annoy me, so that was ok. I think my favorite secondary character in the novel was Harry. He never really gave up on Mary, despite the fact that she gave up on him. He was always there to protect her and you could tell he really cared. I also really liked the character of her fiancee, Harry’s brother Travis. There’s one scene with Travis that just tore my heart apart. If you’ve read the book, you know what I mean. I didn’t like Cass at all. That’s Mary’s best friend…I kind of thought she was a bitch for a best friend.

5.Β  What did you think of the title?Β  As you got to know the setting that the book was named after, did you think it was a fitting title?

This is one of those titles that I wish I would’ve thought of :p It perfectly captures the feel of the book….creepy as hell! I LOVE LOVE LOVE the title of this one and I love the cover as well. I thought it was an extremely fitting title. It defines the book, it defines the feel of the book, and most of the action takes place surrounded by the forest itself.

6.Β  What did you think about the zombies?Β  Was this your first zombie novel?Β  Did you find them realistic?

The zombies rocked! In a very creepy sort of way. I thought they were extremely realistic. Real enough to creep me out. She wrote them perfectly. Imagine sitting in a path with two feet on either side of you with zombies clawing at you, trying to get to you. Scary stuff. These weren’t funny zombies…they were just downright creepy…like 28 Days Later zombies :p I think the creepiest of all of them was Gabrielle, the zombie in red…the “fast one”. This wasn’t my first zombie novel. I’ve read quite a few others, but not in a while! The most recent one I read was Cell by Stephen King. A lot of people were disappointed with that one, but I really liked it!

Other views and opinions:

Book Zombie (of course :p)
YA Fabulous
{Insert Book Title Here}
Becky’s Book Reviews

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16 Responses

  1. What a fun team up! This one sounds really great, the title is hauntingly cool, and that cover has been on my mind ever since seeing it on your sidebar indicating that you were reading it. I’ll be looking for this one, though perhaps I’ll wait until R.I.P. comes along.

  2. Yes, Mary’s headstrongness πŸ˜‰ got on my nerves!!!! I thought the beginning was a bit like the Village, but overall I really didn’t think it was like the Village at all. Now I want to rewatch The Village!

  3. Actually, when I started reading your review I thought it sounded like the Village. Was that one ever a book? I’ve only seen the film.

  4. *shudders* That sounds like a good book, though not for Shanras… I have enough problems with books that involve one undead creature falling to piece. No, really, I do. It was traumatising.

    As for the invitation at the top… I’m planning on rereading The Vintner’s Luck somewhere in June/July when I (should hopefully) get the sequel in my hands. (I also have Possession, but most of the ones on your TBR pile that I have too are books I’ve already read. *sulk* Or gigantic books like War and Peace… I think that’s it, actually.)

  5. You both did great reviewing this one! I’m glad that you both liked it.

  6. Damn. I am so mad at myself right now. I was going to buy this on Sunday. And then at the last second put it back because I was too cheap to buy it in hardcover. Damn. Now it’s going to cost me more, because I’m going to pay for another trip to the bookstore. I must have this. Damn.

  7. Debi: You really won’t regret it! Great book. πŸ™‚

    Okay, Chris, what’s next? I need to continue this ‘clean off the TBR pile’ project. You know, I’ll go look at your librarything and make a list. πŸ™‚

  8. I love the cover of this one!

    It went on my wishlist for that reason alone! πŸ™‚

    As for a match up, how do you fancy tackling The Amulet of Samarkand or Everything is Illuminated?

  9. I must have this! And then read it πŸ˜› I’ve actually never seen The Village, so that bit won’t bother me. Btw, what do you think of starting Girlfriend in a Coma next week? Like Monday? let me know if that works for you.

  10. Great review. I like the format!

    I just finished Long Way Down by Hornby and really enjoyed it. (I took a cruisin’ over at your TBR list). Some good choices you got there. πŸ™‚

  11. Great review. I loved this book and yes “that” scene with Travis and Mary was heartbreaking.

  12. I’ve got to read this and soon!! I love this feature you two did together…quite fun!!!

  13. This was an awesome partnered review you two did! And I’m so glad that both you and Kailana enjoyed it! Score for Team Zombie πŸ˜›

    I think I agreed with pretty much everything you had to say about FOHAT except about Harry – I really didn’t like him, he just seemed like such a pushover, as though doing the acceptable were more important than doing what would make him(and maybe everyone else) happy. But your thoughts on Cass and Travis were exactly the same as mine.

  14. i wish you had a goodreads page! reviewing like this seems really fun!

  15. […] Stuff as Dreams are Made On- The Written World- The Sleepy Reader- One Literature Nut- Mari Reads- The Little Bookworm- […]

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