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[Book Review] - The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
   Series: Carrie Ryan
   Series: #1 - The Forest of Hands and Teeth
   Format: Paperback
   Release Date: February 9th, 2010
   My Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0

     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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
     Now, 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 Review:

     The Forest of Hands and Teeth was a book that I was looking forward to, and frankly while it wasn't a top pick or completely what I had anticipated, the book's plot took control and made it a quick read. While Ryan does a great job weaving her words together, and keeping the story moving, the lacking part is a bit of confusion with some of the more major parts of the story. The zombies were great and while I am normally enjoy horror movies they weren't much of an annoyance to me.

     My biggest complaint about the book would have to be Mary. She wasn't that independent strong, type of girl that I was wanting her to be. Time and time again she was relying on those around her to save her. It was disappointing and while I was hoping for more out of her. I wasn't sure if Ryan was trying to get across that Mary is confused or just a plain selfish brat. Mary was stuck between two worlds she didn't want. A life with a boy she didn't want or a world in the sisterhood.

     What was the point of the sisterhood anyways. yea it was a feminist point in the book, but none of it seemed to be really relevant with the book. I viewed it all as just how they managed to deal with the zombies and how their entire world went to crap. However at the same time I was looking for why it was even part of their village. Yea the women made all of the choices and yet the men chose who to wed. It was complete backwards. I wanted a better explanation for the purpose for the sisterhood than was given.

     Further the Sisterhood holds most of the power within the village, however the other group The Guardians when it's all said and done they hold the power in the village. They know all the secrets and what the Sisterhood has to hide from the village they try to protect. However, it's the Sisterhood that feeds the Guardian, that gives them the power. It's more than anything confusing, and really doesn't allow the women to really be in control of anything.

     For once I wanted a book that used the zombies effectively and while the zombies were prevalent and always around, they didn't really play a major part in how the story was told. They aid in the suspense and keeping the story rolling, and they play aid to some of the more impactful scenes, but they didn't define the book. I loved how they took a backdrop to the main story and how Mary want's to unravel and find a safer place to live than in a cage.

     While I may be a bit more prevalent to the horror of this book, maybe some others could find the zombies more impactful. I can understand where they would, and frankly I hope some do. It's just hard to look past the confusion of the writing and how the relationships just didn't seem rounded enough for me. It was a quick read due to the pace Ryan had set up in the book, but it left for some confusing bits that ground on my nerves. I wish it hadn't I wanted to rate this book higher, I just can't due to what is lacking from the book. 
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