Thursday, 9 June 2011

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan

Series: The Forest of hands and teeth 1
Genre: YA, dystopia
Pages: 333
Published: 2009 (Swedish translation 2011)

In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?

My thoughts:
Since I read a translation I can never be really sure if I would have liked the original better (but I think so). Still it was a good book. 

Anyway, the book is about Mary who lives in a village in the middle of a forest. They are ruled by the Sisterhood (let's just say strict nuns who preach fire and lie) and all around them are zombies. They believe they are the only ones left (at least that so the lying "nuns" tell them.) Mary has a choice in this book, hope someone fancies her and marry her or become a Sister. Cos the village need babies. There is also a sort of love triangle. Her best friend really likes her but she likes his brother. Oh the drama.

Back to Mary, she had questions, which was good. But even if the whole romance drama was good it was still a bit, well just spit it out people. Tell the other one you like them instead of everyone getting paired of in loveless marriages. Foolish! Of course I still liked it but it did irk me a bit at the end. Will not say why, and yes that sounds cryptic I know.

Scary, not really. Perhaps the translation took away some of the scary. Yes there were zombies, yes they killed *yawn*. When I look back I remember the love drama more than creepy zombies.

But it was still good. I did not want to put it down and I loved learning more what had happened to the world.

A good zombie/horror/dystopia/love YA book.


It looks..kind of childish. And the font and the cover is too much. One would have been enough. And barbed wire?! really?! That is not gonna keep zombies out. They just put it there to look scary


  1. Great review - I know what you mean! I read this book a while ago (before I started blogging) and had similar thoughts. I liked it, but just don't feel the need to rush out and the buy the sequels. To me it felt like a book of two halves - first part in the village and then in the forest with little linking the two.

  2. It has zombies! Which puts me off completely. I just can't do zombies.

  3. Since zombies freak me out, I think I might enjoy the fact that this one focuses more on the romance than the zombies:) Glad to see you still enjoyed this one despite it's minor drawbacks!

  4. You didn't get scared?! :O I did! The book creeped me ou so much! Pehaps it was because this was my first zombie book.

  5. I've wanted to read this for a while; Kiss Me Deadly had a short story set in the same universe (maybe featuring the same characters, I'm not sure) that was good but not great, so I've put off picking this up. Might try again in the autumn.

  6. While I did enjoy this book, I admit that there were a few times where the prose felt kind of dry and Mary as a character just felt a little bit lacking--she just didn't seem to pop for me.

    I haven't read the second or third book yet, so I'm interested to see how different they are.

    Thanks for the review!

    On The Blog: Early Review of Half-Blood (Covenant #1)

  7. @Mel
    I did feel like I wanted to read a sequel and see how things played out. But then I got to Goodreads and found out it's about her adoptive daughter or something so no thanks. Library yes, but nothing else.

    Lol, I understand the feeling. I hate zombies

    Oh they scare me too. Really scare me, I have zombie nightmares. But I never felt this one was scary.
    The few bad things, well they were never bad so no prob

  8. @Misha
    Perhaps it was the translation. I once read a fantasy book for adults but it was written like it was meant for 10 year old boys. And I had read the original so I knew

    Hm, I did not know that. The thing is that the next book seems to be about someone else and the third another person so who is then the novella about. So curious now

  9. Hi Carissa
    It was good but yes sometimes I felt like things were missing. But so hard to know what the original feels like. But I enjoyed it and it was a fast book to read

  10. I just can't bring myself to read a zombie book, although this one did attract my attention when it first came out.

  11. It was an interesting review and I would like to read the book t decide for myself, so if the giveaway is open worldwide, please enter me.


    Carol T

    buddytho{at} gmail DOT com

  12. What? You read Swedish?

    Gah! This book frustrated me so much. I didn't like Mary. I thought she was too selfish. And yes, I yawned my way through some parts to, but I remember thinking the writing was very poetic, and I like that.

  13. B,

    I really liked this one. :) I agree, the zombies weren't that scary - even when they started eating people. LOL I am looking forward to the next installment in the series.


  14. I've read different reviews of this one and I am in two minds about it. Zombies I don't like , love traingles I don't like but a dystopic village is always an interesting feature. Great review!

  15. @Carol
    They are much easier to read about than to watch ;)

    @Carol do mean the Nightfall review do you or? Anyway will count you in there.

    Lol, don't go and think I am that good now. It's my mothertongue. To make a long story short. Finland is kind of like Canda only with Finnish and Swedish.
    That whole triangle + one was pretty annoying and she never made up her mind and..well there were zombies and I liked that

  16. @Aurian
    Lol, it is not for everyone

    Hihi, I guessed that ;) You do like your zombies. Ok so it wasn't just my book then. The zombies were never scary, not even Gabrielle

    It was a hit and a miss. A hit because I could not put it down. A miss because I did not get certain choices or like the end that much

  17. Attack of the zombie barbed wire?! ;)

  18. I really like this one too and still need to read the other two books.

  19. Oh I need to read this one. I've been wanting to and just haven't gotten around to it. I didn't know how much the love part played into the book, but now I know!

  20. Great review :) TFOHT has been on my wishlist for some time now and I'm glad to hear that it's good.

    The cover was a bit weird, it almost looks a bit cheap in a way, like it's made with Paint(I'm hoping the illustrator doesn't see this comment, I'm not trying to be mean, just honest, I swear :)).

  21. I definitely like the US cover better. I'm not too sure I would like this one either. I'm not totally into zombies haha.

  22. Great review! The cover isn't the best though.

  23. I'm going to read this one during the summer break...sounds like I'll enjoy it!

  24. I recently borrowed this after hearing so many good things about it! Maybe I will get to read it, maybe I won't!

  25. So do you prefer the US cover? I admit that the cover of this edition is not very exciting.

  26. Mary kind of annoyed me, but I loved this book. But, like you, I didn't NEED to rush out to buy the next book. Maybe soon ;)

  27. @Chris
    Lol! Who knows

    I hope you do :) I have not seen many reviews of those

    Oh yes she is lusting after the boy a lot and...oh I am going evil again, can't say more! ;)

  28. @Ladybug
    I hope you read it cos it was cool. I like a good zombie apocalypse.
    Yes cheap, that too. Just go out, take a creepy pic, make it green and put some weird font on it. And I do not think they will see it ;) Yikes, I hope! I mean I wrote it in English and did not mention the Swe title

    I hate zombies, and still I read the books. I am crazy ;)
    And yes the US one is much better

    Nope, it really isn't :(

  29. @Staci
    Yay, enjoy the zombies!

    Get started on it and see if you like it. Cos it was such an easy and fast book to read

    Well, over this? Totally. I like the new one, is it the paperback one? Where she hides behinda branch. But the old one is great too

    I did want the next book, but then I read the blurb for it and not so much any more after that

  30. I loved this book. So scary at times. I still haven't read the second or third book, but I really want too. ;) Zombies rock. ;)

    Ps; check this site out for verse novels =

  31. @ladybug
    Lol, it's so weird

    Thanks!! I do not know if I have ever heard about them, really heard or seen one that is

  32. LOL - That is not gonna keep zombies out. They just put it there to look scary - again LOL
    yes, this was a good YA zombie book!

  33. VV
    Lol, I know. ohhh barbed wire, I am sure the zombies are shaking ;)

  34. No, barbed wire will not keep out the zombies. Thanks for the review :)

  35. Oh I remember hearing about this one when it first came out here. And I wasn't sure if it was for me or not. But I have to say I like your review of it. :) Thank you!

  36. @Jenny
    I do get why they put it there, cos it looks creepy but come on! We are talking about zombies here. People are not dumb

    Thanks Melissa :)
    I have been curious for a long time so I was glad I found it :D

  37. I'm a fan of this genre and I do like zombies. I think something is always lost in translation.

  38. @Naida
    I think so too because I have come across books that were so changed


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