Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Author: Carrie Ryan
You'll like this if: You like The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and movies like The Village, I Am Legend and 28 Days Later.
Let me just put this right out there: I'm a scaredy cat. While it's true that I enjoy the occasional horror film, the genre definitely isn't on the top of my list.
That being said, you can imagine, that reading a horror novel, or anything that revolves around anything that could be considered horrific, is probably out of the question for me (I'm still trying to get through The Devouring for goodness sake!).
So when I first heard about The Forest of Hands and Teeth, my immediate reaction was uh-oh. I mean, c'mon even the title sounds eerie! But I decided to conquer my fears of the ever ominous super-creepy and soldier on. And boy, oh boy, am I happy I did.
Background on the book:
Mary lives in a small village in the middle of the forest governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated—a horde of the undead unleashed many generations ago by a mysterious and cataclysmic event. Life is simple but preordained; Mary fears her betrothal to a man she doesn’t love almost as much as the hungry jaws slavering at the fence links. Under the colonial trappings, this is a full-blooded zombie thriller, reminiscent of the paragon of the genre, George Romero’s 1968 film Night of the Living Dead. Soon Mary and a small band of desperate survivors are thrown together to outwit the undead and work through their own weaknesses, suspicions, and jealousies. - Booklist
Trailer for the novel:
Click here to watch!
This dark and enchanting post-apocalyptic novel is sure to give you a sleepless night. And I'm not talking the boogie-man-in-your-closet sleepless night, but rather the I-can't-put-this-book-down-even-if-it-kills-me kind of sleepless night.
Ms. Ryan intelligently spins a intoxicating tale that is a nice breath of fresh air in the horror genre. One of the best things about this story is that it's not just a zombie novel. This is a story about love, lust and how curiosity could potentially kill the cat.
Things I Love:
- First and foremost, I love that this book is driven mostly by the main character's dream of finding the ocean rather than by the constant zombie threat. This is a rare thing to find in zombie-related novels, since generally the main conflict tends to revolve around surviving the attacks and nothing else. In this novel, the zombie attacks feel almost secondary to Mary's dream of finding proof of life before the Return.
- Every single one of the characters in The Forest of Hands and Teeth are fully developed. They feel real. They hurt, you hurt. They bleed, you bleed.
- I love when Mary finds The New York Times and USA Today newspapers, as well as the photograph of the ocean.
- I love both Harry and Travis. Both deeply flawed and wonderful.
"But I don't know what dreams she imagined as she twirled in this dress. What man put his warm hand against the small of her back, making her skin tingle and her eyelashes flutter.
Suddenly, I'm dizzy. All my thoughts collide inside me at once and I must know these things. I run back to the platform, still wearing this woman's dress, and I kneel down and scout the Unconsecrated below. I examine each woman's arms, her waist, her hair, her wrists."
.... There aren't enough words to express how deeply moving this scene was.
All in All:
If I had to recommend one book for you all to read within the coming weeks, The Forest of Hands and Teeth would most probably be my pick. This novel is not only elegantly written, but is also moving, dark, twisted, emotional and above all else inspiring.
Rating for The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: A
Playlist for The Forest of Hands and Teeth: