The Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
Mary's entire world lies within the metal fences that protects her village from the dangerous inhabitants of the woods beyond. She has never once seen the ocean, or anywhere else that lies over the guarded gates. As far as the other villagers are concerned, there are no worlds outside their own. Mary has always dreamed of leaving her prison, leaving the ruling Sisters, her failed attempts at love, and her unhappy memories of her mother and father, both killed by the Unconsecrated, who now roam and hunger for human flesh, just beyond the border. When her village is slaughtered, Mary and the other few survivors embark on a dangerous journey, seeking salivation.
This book was not one I would recommend to other readers. I thought the basic plot was brilliant, how experimenting with immortality could lead the entire civilization to absolute ruin was a fantastic concept. If the story was more centered around that, like explaining a little more about the Unconsecrated, and how they became that way, the overall story would have turned out a lot better. Instead, the plot weaves through different Ideas and goes off in all different directions, leaving a lot of loose ends at the end. Did the brother die? Were there more civilizations out there after all? What happened to the other survivors? Was there a moral to the story? None of these questions were answered in the novel, nor anywhere else I know of. I think that if the story was fitted and cleaned up, and also tweaked a little here and there, this book could be amazing. As I said, I loved the main Sci-Fi concept. If it could be outfitted a little better, it would be truly astounding.
The cover was pretty mediocre, not awesome, but not something you could look straight at without seeing either. Maybe if there had been more intrigue, more color or figures or even a different expression, it would definitely leaped out.
Clare Schuett is 13 and lives in Sebastopol California. She is a lover of books and a voracious reader. She reviews YA books, prior to their publication, for the American Library Association. We have the privilege of posting her reviews on our blog.
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