Title: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Series: The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1
Author: Carrie Ryan
Publication Date: July 2009
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, 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?
Review: Mystery, suspence, and sweet romance that will tear your heart to pieces (in the best and worst ways), The Forest of Hands of Teeth is a novel that truly transports you into a whole new world, where, even as a kid, everyday could be your last. Everyone is left with few choices, and for some, death is the best one.
In a world where every other civilization is gone and yours is the only one left, survival and continuation of the human race is the main priority. And the Sisterhood thinks that the best way of doing this is to keep everyone in the dark...about everything. To ask questions is to defy their way of life and to defy god. In a world so strict a girl like Mary can't help but defy, even when she doesn't mean to. Mary has always had questions, but when she is forced to make the decisions on whether her mother should be killed, or live a life of the unconsecrated (former humans turned savage monsters), either choice seems to be a wrong one.
This is when she really begins to wonder about life beyond the fences, and life past the forests. This is where the mystery comes in. I have to say I loved this book mainly because the main character Mary seemed to be so hopeful. Yes, maybe in a way slightly disillusioned, but none-the-less be the voice of reason for me, even if to others she was more of the voice of insanity. She could never just accept anything as law, or 'fact", she had to ask questions. And when people couldn't (or chose not to answer them) she went looking. Whether or not that was the safest route. Her questions and thirst for answers lead her straight into the place she has been taught to fear her whole life.
The romance in this book was, in a word, complicated. I mean, don't you just want everybody to be who they want to be with. But of course in any love quadrilateral, that can never be. To put it simply, everybody wants who they can't have, and if they do want them and have them, then the other doesn't want them. Does that make sense, of course not. But thats exactly how the romance in the book felt. Which is a large part of what made it so much fun to see play out.
All in all, this book was an incredibly fun and new read for me. I haven't really dabbled into the dystopia brook yet, but this book definitely makes me want to!
Recommendations: DYSTOPIA for the win! If are looking to get a taste of the latest YA dystopia trend, I most definitely recommend this book!
Writing Style: 4/5