Dec 3, 2009

Review | The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1
Genre: YA - Horror
Publication: July 2009 by Gollancz
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Rating: ★★

Synopsis: 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 about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, 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 in so much death?

Thoughts: I was pretty excited to pick this book up because I'd heard so many good things. I was expecting a zombie full, action packed sort of book. But instead, I was left pretty disappointed.

It started out interesting enough, with an attack, a beginning to a love story, and hints that there might be many secrets which would explain why everything was the way it was. It seemed like it was setting it off to be a great story. But then it kind of stopped being interesting. There was no real explanation to why there were zombies, no real reason to why Mary was in love with Travis, no real background to her family or her lost friendship with her brother. It felt like there was too much going on, but nothing was really happening. There were chunks and pieces of what felt like some mystery, some romance, some horror, but nothing really concrete.

Although there were some really great and descriptive scenes, full of gore and mayhem, I think the characters lacked personality and any connection with each other. Mary seemed sort bland, being nothing more than selfish, caring really only for what she wanted. I didn't really feel the bond between her and the other characters. I saw no real connection between her and Travis, her best friend or her older brother. The other characters just seemed to be just there.

I really thought the ending was terrible because it seemed quickly done in order to keep the reader wanting more for the sequel, but there were too many loose ends to provide a satisfying ending. It was really abrupt leaving too many unanswered questions, sort of like stopping the book blindly somewhere just to call it an ending.

I think I may be one of the few readers who didn't enjoy this book, but I still think that if you want to read it, go ahead and pick it up. You might really enjoy it like many others have. As for me, I'm still undecided whether I'll pick up the next book, The Dead-Tossed Waves, which I can only hope to be better.


  1. Your review is so interesting to me because it seems like I've only heard good things about this book. It is on my never ending 'to read' list so I'm sure I'll get around to it eventually. I wonder what I'll think of it.

  2. You remind me that I really need to do a short review myself sometime because I agree with most of what you said. While the plot was good, I definitely felt that quite a few characters lacked the necessary details and motivations that would have made them "pop!" Great review, and it's always nice to see the other side of the mountain (forgot the word here)! :)

  3. I just skimmed and read the last paragraph because I haven't read it yet and I'm planning to xD I have only heard good things about it, it's interesting to see other perspective.

  4. You might be surprised to know you aren't the only one that thinks that way. I too, didn't get what I expected from the book. I was left feeling unhappy with the book in general. I can't really say what one thing led me to that point but I was disappointed.

  5. Aww what a shame you didnt enjoy it as much as you hoped!

    I'm just about to write a review up for it - I'll link your review from it, if that's ok :)


  6. Bummer! Sorry it didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped.

  7. Hey I nominated you for an award over at my blog.