The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
67
9
4
 …
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2009]
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780385736817
9780385906319
9780385736824
Branch Call Number: RYAN
Characteristics: 310 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.

One part post-apocalyptic, one part zombie fiction, and one part M.Night Shyamalan’s The Village.

Comment
SurreyLibraries_Reads Oct 29, 2018

Mary dreams of the ocean, but lives in a post- zombie apocalyptic gated village run by the religious order called the Sisterhood. Surrounding the village lies The Forest of Hands and Teeth, filled with the Unconsecrated: once men, women and children; now lifeless, flesh-eating bodies. The fences ... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
i
IntrovertReader
Jul 03, 2020

Mary's village is a small outpost against The Unconsecrated, the restless dead who will stop at nothing to enter the fences and feed on the living. As far as the villagers know, they're the last vestiges of humanity left in the world. But Mary wonders. She grew up on her mom's stories, passed down through generations, of a place called The Ocean, where there's nothing but water as far as the eye can see. Surely such a place would be free of The Unconsecrated? Mary longs to search for it but she doesn't know how to even begin when she's surrounded by The Unconsecrated and strictly governed by the religious Sisters.

I'm a little out of practice with my reviews, but I'm having a hard time putting my feelings about this book into words. On the one hand, I would actually love to see this as a movie, filmed in the style of <i>Schindler's List</i>. The world is bleak but lends itself well to the unexpected pops of color I remember from Spielberg's movie. On the other hand, I just didn't care for Mary.

Mary feels like a hugely unreliable narrator. The book is written from her first person point of view and her actions still feel like they come out of nowhere. Does she live that much in the moment? Is she that much a creature of instinct? Whatever the case, she's very antithetical to my own more cautious, more thoughtful nature and she drove me up the wall. She would just suddenly be screaming or crying or doing something that I thought was ridiculously stupid and putting herself and others in danger and I would just be sitting there like, WTH? Glad I don't have to deal with her crazy ass.

Part of my problem is that I felt shoved into this world with no context. I'm a fantasy reader; I'm willing to suspend disbelief and roll with the world that I find myself in. I don't need things spelled out in short syllables, but I would like to understand some things, at least in context. I just kept asking more and more questions and never got any answers. To be fair, Mary herself doesn't understand much of what's going on. Her village is her entire world. She doesn't have many answers. She's so far in the future after whatever event created The Unconsecrated that she doesn't question their existence at all. I get that. But throw me a bone and give me at least a sentence or two about the history of The Sisters or The Guardians. Maybe Mary doesn't know that either? History with its emphasis on facts might interfere with the mythology of The Sisters? But I don't know their mythology either. They're just a group of women who rule the village and who feel pretty sinister for reasons that I don't have access to.

I might continue the series if I find myself in the mood for some sort of spooky read around Halloween, but I don't think I'll actively seek out the other books. Readers who are more willing to put in time now for an explanation that may or may not be coming in future books will probably enjoy this more than I did.

b
britneym
Aug 05, 2019

So I don’t really do zombies, and maybe it was my own ignorance but I didn’t realize this was a zombie book when I grabbed it. That being said, once I started reading I couldn’t put the book down. This book was a mix of “The Village” meets “Resident Evil” and “I Am Legend” the author wrote beautifully and made everything so realistic. I feel like the main characters were developed well considering the type of community they lived in and I was in suspense through the last 2/3 of the book. I thought the ending could have been better, but it was worth the read.

k
kaylaj1996
Dec 06, 2018

This really gave me a true insight as to what a dystopian world might look like. I truly enjoyed the "society" the main protagonist felt oppressed by. And, quite frankly, she's a strong protagonist, with the wits and might to maybe, just maybe, survive the Forest of Hands and Teeth. A very good read!

t
theythem
Nov 23, 2018

Once I picked this book up I just couldn't put it down. And while the romance in this book is kind of cliche, and some of the side plots thrown in don't mesh well with the story and even ended up kind of confusing me, the last half to third of the book really drew me in and I'm excited to read the rest of the series.

Mary dreams of the ocean, but lives in a post- zombie apocalyptic gated village run by the religious order called the Sisterhood. Surrounding the village lies The Forest of Hands and Teeth, filled with the Unconsecrated: once men, women and children; now lifeless, flesh-eating bodies. The fences to the village are under constant watch and repair by the Guardians… don’t get too close, the Unconsecrated push against the metal wires and test its strength when they smell human flesh. One part post-apocalyptic, one part zombie fiction, and one part M.Night Shyamalan’s The Village. Next in the series: The Dead Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. And it’s being made into a movie. (submitted by EM)

a
alycree
Nov 10, 2017

I absolutely loved this book! But, there was unnecessary death of a few characters that could have been avoided. Overall though, this has been one of my favorite reads. Once I picked it up I literally could not put it down and read the whole thing in a couple of hours. Great book for anyone interested in fantasy horror-ish books.

GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

Great for those who love horror and zombies!

t
TEENREVIEWBOARD
Mar 03, 2017

Being the typical me, I read this book last, after reading the second and third book. I mean, it was good in the sense where I knew some stuff that would happen, and I also didn't put the pieces together fast enough to clue in. The whole zombie and end of the world thing was recommended to me in grade eight, which I think I would have enjoyed it more a year older. It is violent at parts, with deaths and gore, but I guess those can't be avoided in your average book about an apocalypse. Online, I feel like the three categories of people who comment are the "absolute love it," "the absolute hates," and the "meh, its okay" people. I would probably fit somewhere in the third group, as the book was good but not the best.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

k
koiishi22
Nov 13, 2016

i really had high hopes for this, wanted to like it but the pace and the our lead character is just so frazzled half the time i found myself getting more and more frustrated with her.

n
nidofito
Feb 09, 2016

I had no plans to read the sequel but that last third of the book is so COOL! For one, we finally get some answers and the characters (finally) talk. Yay for communication!

I think most of the book is a little heavy on the emotional side of things. But I think it's meant to be that way. However, so many intense, contradicting and rebellious emotions end up distracting the reader off the mystery and horror rather than enhancing it, imo.

View All Comments

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
a
alycree
Nov 10, 2017

alycree thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

michelle_larson_160 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

m
Mr_Water
Sep 19, 2012

Mr_Water thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

k
kuuihe
May 29, 2012

kuuihe thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

b
BandGeek24
Mar 29, 2012

BandGeek24 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

g
Gabbry
Nov 23, 2011

Gabbry thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

g
GWilliams11
Oct 03, 2011

GWilliams11 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 20

j
jomel_f6
Sep 28, 2011

jomel_f6 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

e
E_Kazan
Jul 29, 2010

E_Kazan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Quotes

Add a Quote
s
scifiid
Nov 13, 2019

“I want to sleep, I want dreams to pull me from this world and make me forget. To stop the memories from swirling around me. To put an end to this ache that consumes me.”

s
scifiid
Nov 13, 2019

“I realize that sometimes death comes before you expect it. That while we are rarely prepared for our friends, family and loved ones to die, we are never prepared for our own deaths. Never prepared to reconcile our own regrets.”

THE OCEAN MARY, THE OCEAN! SO BEAUTIFUL THE OCEAN

e
E_Kazan
Jul 29, 2010

When I return my hands are red and raw from gathering the snow. I slowly approach the bed. The patient is calm now, and when he hears my shoes against the wooden floor he turns and I see who it is.
"Travis," I gasp. My voice feels raw in my throat and I look around quickly to make sure that Sister Tabitha has not heard me speak. I have no doubt that she would send me into the Forest if she felt the need.
"Mary," he wishers. "Oh, Mary." He reaches out and grabs my hand and brings it toward his cheek such that I am pulled forward and I end up stumbling and falling onto my knees next to the bed.

Notices

Add Notices

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Death occured

Violence: Lots of Violence

Summary

Add a Summary
b
BandGeek24
Mar 29, 2012

Mary lives in a a village surrounded by the unconsecrated and they supposedly are the last people in the whole world. The village is run by the sisterhood who have secrets that marry discovers. Mary's long time love bails on her and she is forced to marry his brother until.....

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at SL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top