You will need a spare pair of underwear whilst reading this for two reasons: one, it is scary. Really, really scary. Like, you will pee yourself. The descriptions of the zombies--did I mention there are zombies? Did I mention how awesome that is?--are truly haunting, beautifully written, and so imaginative that they almost pop out at you. While I was reading it, everytime one of my family members trudged outside my room, I jumped a little, fearing my home was being overrun with the Uncosencrated from The Forrest of Hands and Teeth. That's how descriptive it was. I couldn't tear my eyes from the page.
Which leaves me with the second reason you will need extra undies: you will simply not want to put it down. Not even to go to the bathroom. Mary's frightened, fragile but strong narrative is simply addicting.
Now, just because it's a scary read, doesn't mean there aren't any heart felt moments. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is, at it's core, a tear-jerker. Mary and her friend's relationships with each other, all different, all layered and extremely complicated, tug at your heart and don't let go. From Mary's love/hate relationship with her brother, to her brother's anguish over his wife's infection and, in turn, the death of his unborn child, every aspect of the lives these characters lead are heartbreaking in their sincerity, and it gives you a horrible feeling of despair whenever they fight, whenever one of them dies, because you grow to love each and every one.
Ms. Ryan's prose is haunting, in that the characters are just as in the dark as the reader. They know little about the creatures around them, except that one scratch my their decaying fingernails will, no doubt about it, turn you into a Unconsecrated. There's no information dump, no long paragraphs about the Forest or how it came to be. Just Mary's need to survive. She doesn't know why, she just knows she has to.
I'd definetly suggest this to any fans of The Hunger Games, The Knife of Never Letting Go, and any fans of zombies. You won't be disapointed!