The Forest of Hands and Teeth — Creepy Zombies in a YA Novel? I’m So In!


It’s been a while, right? Yeah, I know … so sorry about that. I’ve been busy reading my ass off. I swear, I swear.

One of the novels that I picked up from the library recently was called The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. (Imagine asking for THAT title in a conservative library and not getting put on some kind of “list”) It’s a YA novel, even though the library had it filed under adult fiction.

The novel follows the story of Mary, a young girl living in a caged distopian village in the middle of the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Aptly named, due to the rampant outbreak of zombies that drag themselves along the fence line moaning and groaning and looking for an unsuspecting villager to nibble on. Mary’s mother has told her stories of what the world was like before “The Return” turned the dead into “The Unconsecrated” and filled Mary’s head with dreams of the ocean and a better life away from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. So, when Mary’s mother gets too close to the fence line and turns into an “Unconsecrated” herself, Mary is sent to live with The Sisterhood that runs the village, keeping the occupants in constant fear and remorse.

It is there that Mary discovers The Sisterhood has been hiding the truth from the villagers and after a breach in the security of the village, Mary and a group of fellow survivors of the breach set out on the paths of the Forest of Hands and Teeth to find out just exactly what is out there and if Mary’s mother’s stories are actually true.

This novel was relatively short and hard to put down. I immediately found myself engrossed in Mary’s story. Also, with the surplus of Vampire novels as of late, it was refreshing to get a little zombie reading in. There are currently two companion novels to follow The Forest of Hands and Teeth … The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. (Look for my reviews of both soon) But, since they are companions to the novel, Mary is only a secondary character in the follow ups.

I strongly suggest this novel if you’re looking for something interesting to read. There are a lot of creepy elements to the novel, as well as some great story telling. This is the first novel I’ve read from author, Ryan, and look forward to reading more from her.

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