Review: THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan

 

A long overdue review… why didn’t I post my thoughts earlier? Frankly, I thought this book was so original and strongly written that it would do just fine without me gushing over it. But, of course, it takes each one of the reviews out there to build up word-of-mouth buzz.

That said, these were my initial reactions while reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth: (1) Cool. Dystopian world where people have reverted back to almost-medieval technology. Wonder when they’ll figure out what happened to their society? (2) Hey, I like Mary. She’s tough and independent, yet sensitive in a non-wimpy way. (3) Zombies! (Okay, okay, Unconsecrated.) Hope they’re scary enough for my tastes. (4) This is starting to get creepy… especially those Sisters who control everybody in the village. (5) Mmmm, some romance. And it’s quite sexy. (6) Eeeee! Eeeee! Get away from the zombies! Don’t touch it! It’s not alive anymore! (7) Okay, whew. Lull in the storm. Character growth. (sniff) I feel sad for Mary. (8) DON’T TOUCH THE ZOMBIE BABY! PUT IT DOWN BEFORE IT BITES YOU! (9) Runrunrun! Oh, man, you’ve got to escape. ZOMBIES. (10) (Then I read the rest of the book feverishly.)

Ahem. I managed to read 300+ pages straight of this book before someone knocked on my door and I jumped out of bed, adrenaline rushing at the thought of a zombie outside my apartment. That snapped me out of it for awhile, though I kept muttering about zombies until I got back and finished The Forest of Hands and Teeth that evening.

Disclaimer: these are just my reader reactions. The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a lot more rich and subtle than my tongue-in-cheek review. A large part of the story focuses on the ethical dilemma of doing things for yourself versus sacrificing for those you love. I do, however, want to keep any spoilers to myself, since the twists and turns of the plot build most of the nail-biting suspense. You’ll have to read it for yourself, and I recommend you do.