In the Forest of Hands and Teeth, you never stray too near the fence.
Mary cannot remember a time she did not live with the presence of the UnconsecratIn the Forest of Hands and Teeth, you never stray too near the fence.
Mary cannot remember a time she did not live with the presence of the Unconsecrated: dead bodies propelled by a savage appetite for human flesh that push against the fence surrounding her village day and night. She learns to tune out the endless moans and cries, and when the darkness comes you pray for a dreamless sleep, because no nightmare compares to what constantly rattles and claws at your all-too vulnerable borders between her village and the forest.Her people live in the shadow of the Cathedral and the Sisterhood, obeying the Sisters who enforce God’s laws and praying that their precious fence holds. Despite the obvious dangers, Mary dreams of the world that must exist outside the Forest of Hands and Teeth, and of the ocean that her mother told her about but that those around her insist is just a myth. But when Mary’s family is destroyed, she must make a choice between the Sisterhood and marriage with a man she does not love. All the while, Mary wants to know what lies beyond the perimeter of her tiny village. Is there an ocean out there? And how can it be reached when the Unconsecrated are a constant and relentless threat in the forest? Even when surrounded by so much death, Mary wants to live. At times the longing in her chest for freedom seems as desperate as the ragged need of the Unconsecrated.
Then a stranger comes to the village, from the fenced-in path that the Sisterhood has forbidden anyone to explore. Her mysterious presence sets in motion a chain of events that catapult Mary far beyond the borders of her tiny village into an uncertain future fraught with fear and death. It is fascinating that this novel deals with zombies and yet that word is never mentioned. The strength of Carrie Ryan’s walking dead debut is the menacing mood it strikes–I could hear those cold, clammy fingers grappling with the fence and the moans of the unconsecrated by novel's end. SHUDDER!!!
I was left with more questions than answers by the time I turned the last page, and frustrated by the clues Mary found of modern life gone wrong and the potential corrupt nature of the Sisterhood that were dropped and not picked up again. Yet, the story is so very engrossing that you get past it. Also Mary’s constant back-and-forth can make things drag a bit: one minute she wants to risk everything to get to the ocean, then she does an about-face and goes into a downward spiral of self-doubt and self-defeat…then she’s back to being all bold and trying to get to the ocean again…then back. Even though this personality flaw of Mary’s gets annoying, I still think it’s a fairly realistic reaction to what is happening around her.
I hope there is a sequel, for I cannot wait to read more about Mary and her world. I normally do not fancy ANYTHING that has zombies in it (ask anyone that knows me), but this story is well done, a page turning powerhouse. If your interested in something with a dark edge that is different than vampires and werewolves then take a lurch on the wild side with Ryan’s disturb-arific zombies as soon as they start staggering into the nearest library or bookstore, which unfortunately will not be until April 2009.
Just to whet your appetite a bit more. Here is a video that was created by Student filmmaker, Jessica Pilkes for IN THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH and she was honored at the teen book video awards for her effort.
I am not one for writing reviews, because I think I am horrible at them. I cannot seem to properly express how I feel aboAMAZING. A must read for 2008
I am not one for writing reviews, because I think I am horrible at them. I cannot seem to properly express how I feel about a book . I am afraid that I am doing a terrible injustice when I try to channel my emotions and put them into words. Yet, I will try this time and see how things go. I am doing this because I think that this book is amazing and even though it has been weeks since I finished it...I am still thinking about it. Because of that fact I think that it merits some words of praise on my behalf. So here goes.
I believe that this book should have a disclaimer: "Warning: This book is not for the weak of heart."
The premise for this book is based on a dystopian society set in the lands that were once the United States. The author cleverly avoids the questions of how and why things have changed, and one does not ponder this fact because this story engages you from the very first page. It pulls you in and makes you gasp for breath, it makes you cry and it really makes you think. How far would you really go to survive?
16-year-old Katniss lives in District 12 of Panem and volunteers to represent her district in place of her younger sister, in the Hunger Games, a televised reality show where two representatives from the 12 districts, ages 12-18, fight to the death. These games were the surrender terms that were set by capitol when the districts were defeated after waging a war on them. BRUTAL!
For being targeted at a YA audience, this book is surprisingly brutal, but in a good way. There is violence, murder, betrayal, and everything else inherent in a gladiatorial fight to the death. That said, "The Hunger Games" was absolutely riveting. Collins does not pull any punches in saving beloved characters from horror and pain, and she also occasionally pulls the rug out from under your feet. Plus, there is a twisting romance that pulls your heart in different directions. In true series preparation the ending ends on a cliffhanger, making me yearn for book number two, and you know this will lead to something big for Katniss does something that would never go unpunished in her world. There will definitely be repercussions...
This book is just amazing, plain and simple. Read it.