Saturday, May 1, 2010

Nyxen's Review of "The Forest of Hands and Teeth"

The Forest of Hands and Teeth By Carrie Ryan


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 are failing her. She's learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secret, 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 by so much death?

When I first heard of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I was a bit hesitant to read it. For some unknown reason it wasn't calling out to me and I assumed it was just another teenage vampire love story. Well, you know what they say about assuming. "You make and ass out of u and me." That's exactly what happened. I assumed something and was completely wronged by it. When I went to LA Times Festival of Books I saw it and I bought it. I knew I should at least give it a try. Was it worth my ten dollars? Yes, I fell in love with it reading page after page. I was hooked on it that I read it in less than a day, and I still comprehended what I read. That's how spectacular of book Carrie Ryan has written.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a first person, present tense novel in the eyes of a teenage girl named Mary (at least I think she's still a teen). Mary lives in a small village, one of the last ones i the world, or so she thinks. The whole world has been infected by a sort of virus that when bitten from a source-an Infected-you die and then Return. Mary's people call the infected The Unconsecrated. The Unconsecrated live in the Forest of Hands and Teeth and her village is surrounded by them. The only thing that stands between the Forest and the village is a single fence. And the Guardians are the ones who protect that fence from anything that tries to get in, or out.

The village's job is to survive the Unconsecrated and pretty much reproduce. The Sisterhood, a religious group of women in charge of the village, "force" everyone to find someone, a partner. The sisters and almost everyone in the village didn't believe in being in love to marry. They believed that the partners should be committed to each other. Because all you needed was an offspring. But Mary didn't believe in that. She didn't believe in marriage without love. Of course she wouldn't. She's the main character and usually the main character has something they disagree with or feels strongly about.

Mary falls in love with Travis, a boy who she has known and her brother's wife's brother. But Harry, Travis's brother, is in love with Mary. Harry invites her to The Harvest Celebration, a celebration in the "fall when those of marrying age declare themselves to one another. It is the beginning of the courtship determines whether they will make a suitable match." Before she can accept or decline the offer, alarms blare from the speakers and Mary's world is turned upside down. And before you know it, the novel takes a step further and you're sucked into it, Reading it without wanting to let it go. Mary, her brother, Harry, Travis and her best friend Cass along with a little boy Jacob are thrust into a long journey of survival and over coming the Unconsecrated.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a very dark and impressively written novel. It has love, betrayal, horror and religion. Carrie Ryan takes us into an unforgettable world where you feel as if you're apart of her world. You won't regret reading this. If you're tired of reading about vampires then this book is the one for you. I give it five stars.

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