The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Book - 2009 | First edition.
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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 villa≥ 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?

[ STAR ] "A bleak but gripping story...Poignant and powerful."- Publishers Weekly , Starred

"A postapocalyptic romance of the first order, elegantly written from title to last line."-Scott Westerfeld, author of the Uglies series and Leviathan

"Intelligent, dark, and bewitching, The Forest of Hands and Teeth transitions effortlessly between horror and beauty. Mary's world is one that readers will not soon forget."-Cassandra Clare, bestselling author of City of Bones

"Opening The Forest of Hands and Teeth is like cracking Pandora's box: a blur of darkness and a precious bit of hope pour out. This is a beautifully crafted, page-turning, powerful novel. I thoroughly enjoyed it."-Melissa Marr, bestselling author of Wicked Lovely and Ink Exchange

"Dark and sexy and scary. Only one of the Unconsecrated could put this book down."-Justine Larbalestier, author of How to Ditch Your Fairy
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2009]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2009
ISBN: 9780385736817
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Ryan
Characteristics: 310 pages.


From the critics

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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!

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)

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!

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

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.

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.

cmlibrary_aghilton Feb 01, 2016

An AMAZING start to a series about a dystopian society surrounded by the unconsecrated, which is a fancy word for zombies!!

I picked this book up because I couldn't resist the title and ended up really loving the main character. Mary doesn't know what she wants in life, but she does know that it isn't any of the options available to her in her village- how can you picture something you've never seen? Though I am usually drawn to details, I liked that Ryan left a lot of room for the imagination in the plot of this title. A great rainy day read with a cup of tea!

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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

Sep 19, 2012

Mr_Water thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

May 29, 2012

kuuihe thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 29, 2012

BandGeek24 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 23, 2011

Gabbry thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 03, 2011

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

Sep 28, 2011

jomel_f6 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 29, 2010

E_Kazan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Frightening or Intense Scenes: Death occured

Violence: Lots of Violence


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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.


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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.....

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