Thursday, May 5, 2011

Review: The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2009)
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages (Hardback): 478
Series: Forest of Hands and Teeth (Book 1)
Source: Library
ISBN-13: 9780385736817
Genre: Dystopia

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?

I can't say that I didn't like this book because there were things that made me like it overall but I had to much of a blaze feeling about reading this.Overall, though I did like the story, this book has left me feeling too disconnected to say that I legitimately enjoyed it.

The setting for the book is a world consumed by death, America unknown years into the future, where only the fence protects Mary's village from The Unconsecrated. The survival aspect of this book was considerably well written; if you take but one step too close to the fence, you are forfeit if you are bitten. The religion, The Scripture, upheld by The Sisters is overwhelming in Mary's town; the connotations are that God chose them to be the only humans, to save humanity. The religious weight was just as heavy as trying to survive, The Scripture is all they have ever known for truth; but Mary heard stories that drove her to question these truths.

But even in her not-so-quiet determination to find the world outside the fence, the world untouched by death; I felt so far away from Mary. I thought she was selfish in her determination. Her connections to both Harry and Travis put too much emphasis on love and I felt like this was a romance novel with a terrible setting; it was always about Travis, the one she loved but she couldn't have.

I was also disappointed in the lack of information provided by this book. I am a strong lover of zombies (and vampires!) but my favorite part of it all is learning how they came to be. We find out what happens in some of the favorites like Resident Evil (T-Virus) & I Am Legend (virus but I won't spoil it!) but in The Forest of Hands and Teeth we get nothing except for it was a great Return of the dead. There is no known cause, there is no history of the world before or how this village came to be.

Why were outsiders forbidden? What was the significance of Gabrielle? I had too many questions unanswered even for this to be the first book in the series.

In the end, this book was very well written even though I feel it was undeveloped in terms of content; I will continue to read the rest of the series, in the hopes that I find the answers (as I hope Mary does) that I am looking for.

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