The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1)

 
4.5 (2)
 
3.8 (24)
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24 reviews

 
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(8)
 
(1)
 
(1)
Overall rating 
 
3.8
Plot 
 
3.9  (24)
Characters 
 
3.6  (7)
Writing Style 
 
3.9  (7)
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Whats beyond the fence? Unconsacreted?
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Sarima89

What´s out there? Are there other villages? Other people? Is there an ocean?....Because it is I want to know... I want to know it all...
Yes, that´s Mary, an intrepid girl who is just looking for... more. More than a village run by The Sisterhood rules, more than a man she does not love...
The book makes you connect with her, with her dreams and fears, with her love for Travis, the forbbiden love... the forbidden thoughts.
What else can I say? It´s such an amazing book, I have never read something like it and I´m glad I did, because it was really book... and the final part.... well you just have to read it.


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Better than the average zombie book
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by mearley

I
resisted this book for a long time because I just wasn't convinced that
I would enjoy a book about zombies. But after reading so many positive
reviews, I gave in, and I'm glad I did!



Mary lives in a village surrounded by a forest where the
Unconsecrated live. The villagers have always been told that there is
nothing beyond the forest and their only hope for survival is to stay
in the village and not question the Sisters or the Guardians. Mary,
however, remembers stories her mother used to tell about the ocean, and
she longs for something more than village life. After the Unconsecrated
attack the village, Mary and a small group of her friends (including
Travis, a boy she loves, and Harry, Travis's brother who loves her)
leave the village in search of any life beyond The Forest of Hands and
Teeth.



Ryan's first person, present tense narration gives the entire book
an urgency which makes it nearly impossible to put down. Yet the
writing is complex enough that the reader will not want to skim or rush
through. This will appeal to fans of the vampire/werewolf/zombie genre
as well as fans of dystopian fiction.


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An unforgettable novel
(Updated: June 23, 2012)
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Previously published on my blog: http://fictionfervor.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/review-the-forest-of-hands-and-teeth-by-carrie-ryan/

Dark and haunting, The Forest of Hands and Teeth was an emotional rollercoaster. At times, fear consumed me, and at other moments, I was overwhelmed with sorrow. But I was certain about one thing: The Forest of Hands and Teeth is an unforgettable novel, one that may catch up to you in your dreams … or your nightmares.

When I first cracked open this novel, I was struck by how similar the world of the Forest of Hands and Teeth was to the world of Ann Aguirre’s Enclave. However, before you begin pointing fingers at Carrie Ryan, note that her novel was published in 2009, whereas Enclave was published in 2011. In addition, I did find differences in the two novels; for example, the zombies in the Forest were dubbed “the Unconsecrated” and were created by “Infecting” a human with a single bite, whereas those in Enclave were called Freaks and had no known origin. The societies in both books were also incredibly different; the Forest included the Sisterhood and the Guardians, unlike Enclave’s society of Breeders, Builders, and Hunters.

The world of the Forest can be described with one word—frightening. Imagine a village enclosed within a fence, and beyond that there is only the Forest. A Forest of zombies craving to feed on human flesh. The life that the villagers lead in the society is purely to survive. Love is second to commitment in marriages, and the Guardians serve to protect while the Sisters keep secrets from the villagers. Add in those insane zombies trying to claw their way into the village (oh, yeah, and if they manage to bite you, you’ll die and turn into a zombie), and you’ve got yourself a dark postapocalyptic novel. In other words, I loved this account of the zombie apocalypse. It’s nice to get a haunting novel every so often.

While I may have loved the world Carrie Ryan created, I was not so much a fan of the characters. Though realistic (and I love realistic characters), the main character, Mary, was incredibly selfish. I loved that she was curious, always wondering about a world beyond her secluded village, but so much that that idea consumed her? She paid no attention to her best friend, her older brother, the two boys who loved her, and her own mother. And by the time she realized how much they meant to her, she had lost them all.

I was disgusted with Mary, true, but I absolutely loved the boy she fell in love with. He understood her ever so well, and he always wished for her happiness. But I think I really fell in love with him when (spoiler!) Mary had to kill him. Because who doesn’t long for happy endings?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth enraptured me from its first word; Carrie Ryan’s dark style of writing created a bleak world caught in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. I guarantee that you will not be able to set down this haunting novel.

Source: copy received from giveaway
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A pretty good book
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This was my favorite of Carrie Ryan's book. It had a pretty good plot kinda unusual for the post zombie takeover world. Low on the sappy romance stuff that always seems to ruingood horror books. worth a read fo who!
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Yes, no...maybe so?
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
I'm having trouble deciding if I liked this book or not. It had a great plot that really kept me reading, yet sometimes Mary(the main character) really annoyed me. She was very selfish. Also it was very sad and gruesome, but while I didn't like that, I did like it at the same time, it was interesting to read a book without a completly happy ending, where the romance is doomed almost from the start. I didn't like the take the book had on God, as though he didn't exist and the only thing you can have faith in is your dreams. All in all though it was an interesting read that was out of my element, something I normally would never pick up. Maybe that is another reason I didn't absolutly adore it. I would recommend reading it if you want to read something that is different from most books, that has an extremely bittersweet ending, and a fascinating plot.
Good Points
Plot
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zombie acopalypse
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by stephanie

I had heard a lot of mixed reviews about Forest of Hands and Teeth before reading it so I was pretty skeptical about the whole thing. I have to admit, I still have a lot of mixed feelings for this novel. On one side, it's a very captivating novel and on the other side, there's lots of things that could've been polished for a better novel.

What I enjoyed about Forest of Hands and Teeth was the plot - zombie apocalypse, I mean, hello?! I've watched so many zombie movies but this is my first time reading about an actual zombie apocalypse. The plot was very captivating as well as suspenseful and definitely drew me in.

The writing was fascinating as well. Forest of Hands and Teeth is beautifully written and I enjoyed reading about Mary and the zombies.

The character Mary is uniquely portrayed. Though at times I felt as if she was extremely selfish, there were other times when I admired her courage and her bravery.

Travis and Henry were also pretty important in the novel. I have extremely mixed feelings about Travis because sometimes he seems so brave and other times, he seemed like a wimp. He doesn't really chase after Mary despite his feelings for her and gave up in the really beginning. Henry seems more brutish and stuff and though he was more capable of expressing his feelings, I found his character lacking emotion and any depth.

What I didn't really like about Forest of Hands and Teeth was the lack of emotion throughout the entire novel. Yes, it was depressing and stuff but besides that feeling, it lacked anything else. Hope was mentioned briefly throughout the novel but it wasn't really in depth. I also didn't like the fact that were so many loose ends. No one knew what happened to the rest of the village and though there were speculations from Mary and the others, no one knew for sure. And, the history of the zombies weren't really mentioned either.

The ending was also pretty moot. It was a huge cliff-hanger and I felt like the ending killed the book. It definitely didn't feel the the book was supposed to end...but it did.

Overall, though I have mixed feelings about Forest of Hands and Teeth, I can't wait until the sequel of this novel.
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Good concept, irritating main character
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Debbie

I really liked the concept of this book.  It was different from the
zombie books that I have heard about lately.  Its more of a
post-apocalyptic story of how people move on and live their lives after
the initial wave of zombies.   It doesnt surprise me that in Marys
town a religious group has pretty much taken power and steered how life
would carry on.  The main reason I did not rate this book higher is
that I really could not stand Mary as the main character and found
following her story irritating.   Im not saying you should not read it
because the story is written well but there were some things that
bothered me.  Stop here if you do not want any spoilers.


Although at some points it seems like its breaking through to her I
dont know if Mary ever truly comprehends just how selfish she is.  I
cant imagine living a life like she has but she basically ruins the
life of Harry, Travis and her brother, Jed, due to her caring only for
her own desires.  Initially Jed comes across as a big jerk but in the
end he probably dies trying to help Mary fulfill her dream.  Travis
gives up his life trying to protect her, hoping he will be enough to
keep her happy and Harry was so in love with her he did not realize
what he had in Cass, who loves him.  It almost seems unfair that in the
end Mary does achieve her dream and apparently can go on to live a
happy life while her brother is most likely dead and her best friend,
Cass, Harry and the young boy they save are stranded in the forest with
the zombies.

Reprinted here with author's permission.



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Good read!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Julie

This book was different than what I am used to reading. I saw it in the library and thought it sounded pretty neat. And it was! The book was about a girl who lives in a village, not knowing there is anything else out there in the world. Unconsecrated (almost like zombies) stalk the fences outside the village, making it impossible for Mary to find out what really is out in the world.


I think this book is 3 out of 5 stars. I liked the creepiness of the books and the fate of the unconsecrated. I just didn't understand <i>how</i> one was turned into an unconsecrated. I know that it happened, but what made them get that horrible fate in the first place. I don't think it explained it enough. (But, i may be wrong because I read this a while ago!)

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disappointed after all the hype
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by The Flashlight Reader



I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I cant say that I loved it. In fact, Im a little disappointed. I have been reading so many raves about this series, that I just knew it would be great. And the first half of the book was great. Then, I spent 100 pages feeling as if I was reading the same story over again. It was too repetitive for me. I almost put the book back on my bookshelf to finish at a later time because I had lost interest. Luckily, the last 50 pages or so were interesting enough to make me want to finish reading.


   Since I have mixed reviews, I should tell what I liked and disliked about the book. On a positive note, there was ample character development. More than ample, actually. I really felt like I knew Mary. She was a complicated character, constantly changing throughout the story. I loved that she was conflicted for almost the entire book. She did not have a simple life or easy choices to make, and the author made sure we understood that. The love triangle that she found herself was very complicated. (Complicated is an understatement, actually.) I also liked the fact that Mary knew what she wanted for her life (for the most part). She never gave up on wanting to see the ocean, even when everyone around no longer believed it existed. That really shows her commitment and courage. She holds the hope that the others do not have.   


   Another character that I liked was Travis. He was the broody male figure throughout most of the book. While he didnt say much, he shows that actions speak louder than words. Its easy to see how Mary fell deeply in love with him. What really makes me appreciate Traviss role is that fact that he is a broken man. Hes not the typical strong, healthy hero. He has a lame leg that limits much of what he can do, even the simple things like climbing stairs. If he were strong and healthy like the others I dont think his character would have worked as well. There needed to be something physically wrong with him to help illustrate Marys strong and dedicated character. They were the perfect supportin many waysfor one another.


  Along with the characters, the idea behind the story was decent. Im not much of a fan of postapocalyptic literature, but I bought in to this book. The zombies walking around trying to kill the humans held my interest. It was an original take on zombies, at least with my reading experience. Also, I enjoyed looking for the subtle hints of our civilization while I read (i.e. references to New York, Coney Island, roman numerals, Shakespeare). It helped me understand just how far into the future the events in the book were supposed to occur. But thats pretty much where my fondness ends. The plot (for me) was only so-so. It started strong, but it fizzled in the middle. I began feeling like I was reading the same thing over and over again: Oh, the Unconsecrated are coming! We have to turn back. Why?! I can only read those lines so many times before they become stale. I understand the purposethe characters questioning of themselves and their situation is crucial to the theme in the bookbut I really feel like it was over done. In fact, what started as a quick paced plot began to lag in the middle of the book because of all the repetitiveness. As I said earlier, I almost gave up on the book. Luckily things do turn around and the plot picks back up. As soon as Mary makes her final decision, the plot picked back up. Unfortunately, that was the end of the book. There were only around 20 pages remaining in the book at that point.


   Overall, it was a decent book. Ive read many reviews that scream of how great this book is, but Im not as quick to call it awesome. I feel a little guilty about pushing this book to my students based on the awesome book trailer we watched on YouTube. I know I am going to have to help the kids that bought the book from our book fair make it through the book. As a reader, if I struggled and wanted to give up, Im certain my kids will feel the same way. Its not as fast paced as I thought it would be, which I know will present a problem for kids that dont typically like to read. On a positive note& I did start reading the sequel which seems pretty good so far. (I wasnt ready to dismiss the other books in the series.)

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Not like the hype
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by The Flashlight Reader

 I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed it for the most part, but I cant say that I loved it. In fact, Im a little disappointed. I have been reading so many raves about this series, that I just knew it would be great. And the first half of the book was great. Then, I spent 100 pages feeling as if I was reading the same story over again. It was too repetitive for me. I almost put the book back on my bookshelf to finish at a later time because I had lost interest. Luckily, the last 50 pages or so were interesting enough to make me want to finish reading.

Since I have mixed reviews, I should tell what I liked and disliked about the book. On a positive note, there was ample character development. More than ample, actually. I really felt like I knew Mary. She was a complicated character, constantly changing throughout the story. I loved that she was conflicted for almost the entire book. She did not have a simple life or easy choices to make, and the author made sure we understood that. The love triangle that she found herself was very complicated. (Complicated is an understatement, actually.) I also liked the fact that Mary knew what she wanted for her life (for the most part). She never gave up on wanting to see the ocean, even when everyone around no longer believed it existed. That really shows her commitment and courage. She holds the hope that the others do not have.

Another character that I liked was Travis. He was the broody male figure throughout most of the book. While he didnt say much, he shows that actions speak louder than words. Its easy to see how Mary fell deeply in love with him. What really makes me appreciate Traviss role is that fact that he is a broken man. Hes not the typical strong, healthy hero. He has a lame leg that limits much of what he can do, even the simple things like climbing stairs. If he were strong and healthy like the others I dont think his character would have worked as well. There needed to be something physically wrong with him to help illustrate Marys strong and dedicated character. They were the perfect supportin many waysfor one another.

Along with the characters, the idea behind the story was decent. Im not much of a fan of postapocalyptic literature, but I bought in to this book. The zombies walking around trying to kill the humans held my interest. It was an original take on zombies, at least with my reading experience. Also, I enjoyed looking for the subtle hints of our civilization while I read (i.e. references to New York, Coney Island, roman numerals, Shakespeare). It helped me understand just how far into the future the events in the book were supposed to occur. But thats pretty much where my fondness ends. The plot (for me) was only so-so. It started strong, but it fizzled in the middle. I began feeling like I was reading the same thing over and over again: Oh, the Unconsecrated are coming! We have to turn back. Why?! I can only read those lines so many times before they become stale. I understand the purposethe characters questioning of themselves and their situation is crucial to the theme in the bookbut I really feel like it was over done. In fact, what started as a quick paced plot began to lag in the middle of the book because of all the repetitiveness. As I said earlier, I almost gave up on the book. Luckily things do turn around and the plot picks back up. As soon as Mary makes her final decision, the plot picked back up. Unfortunately, that was the end of the book. There were only around 20 pages remaining in the book at that point.

Overall, it was a decent book. Ive read many reviews that scream of how great this book is, but Im not as quick to call it awesome. I feel a little guilty about pushing this book to my students based on the awesome book trailer we watched on YouTube. I know I am going to have to help the kids that bought the book from our book fair make it through the book. As a reader, if I struggled and wanted to give up, Im certain my kids will feel the same way. Its not as fast paced as I thought it would be, which I know will present a problem for kids that dont typically like to read. On a positive note& I did start reading the sequel which seems pretty good so far. (I wasnt ready to dismiss the other books in the series.)
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