This book is scary, intense, frustrating and heart-breaking. It takes place generations after the zombie apocalypse, and almost everyone from Mary's village has forgotten all the stories of the world outside their fence, of the time Before. Only Mary yearns for something more than the small village; it seems only Mary still hopes for a life that is more than just surviving. This story is intense and at times horrific, as you, with Mary, are left bereft of everything but Mary's precious sliver of hope, hope that there must be something out there beyond the Forest of Hands and Teeth. And the story is a rough ride for the reader, as Mary sacrifices everything to pursue that hope. Even at the end, you can't help but wonder, as Mary must, if it was worth it. What is the value of hope? How much are you willing to spend, to feed it? In the end, Mary chooses to spend everything, deciding, I think, that if she's wrong, then its not a world she cares to live in. A book that is tough, and thought-provoking. Very definitely worth a read.