March 5, 2012

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Publisher’s Summary: 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?
My take: What can I say? I am absolutely pissed off with this book. And I think the ending pissed me off the worst!

I actually loved how the book started. Something tragic happens that turns Mary’s (the main character’s) already strange world upside down. After this horrific incident, Mary has nowhere to turn and is forced to live with a bunch of strange, secretive women…the Sisters who control Mary’s village and who force Mary to become one of them. Mary’s brother really pissed me off when all this happened, and I thought, “How could someone be so cruel?” But her brother wasn’t the only one who pissed me off. Almost everyone Mary loves or considers a friend just abandoned her to this horrible fate…including Harry (who was supposed to “claim” Mary to be his wife)…Travis (Harry’s brother) who was the boy she always had a crush on…her best friend Cas…and, of course, her brother Jed! How could they ALL do that to her?

In the beginning, I was totally rooting for Mary and I actually liked her character. She is determined to leave the town to get to the ocean that she only knows about from the stories that have been passed down from generations within her family (no one else even believes the ocean actually exists!) This obsession with seeing the ocean had me hoping that Mary would actually reach it before the end of the book.

HOWEVER, as the story progressed, her obsession with reaching the ocean ends up really pissing me off! I came to realize that she is more obsessed with this dang ocean than she is with the still living people who love her! I’m now wondering if that’s why everyone abandoned her in the first place to a fate with the Sisters…they already knew what I now think…that Mary is truly and unbelievably selfish!!!

I liked the world that was created with the Unconsecrated (what we would call Zombies); physically separated by fences from the village that Mary lives in. I liked picturing the Unconsecrated constantly trying to break through the gates surrounding the village; imagining their cruel, tortured moans; and visualizing how their bones would break from pulling on the fences and how their faces were easily distorted by just a kick to the face! There is this one really crazy part in the story where an infant Unconsecrated is discovered, and I was thinking, “Who could come up with a story like this?”

I wouldn’t say that there were a whole lot of slow moments in the book because I was intrigued enough to keep reading and I actually really learned to like both Harry and Travis. I think Harry is my favorite character because he was probably the least serious character given the life they had to live and the hopeless situation they were faced with.

But I was so pissed off with the ending of the book that, in my mind, I came up with an ending that would have totally rocked!!! And no, it isn’t necessarily a happy ending. But it made me realize that the story had a whole lot more potential, and I think I could have said I would have really liked it…IF it ended differently!

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Unknown said...

I think the theme of this review is PISSED. I've seen several reviews of this book. They've mostly considered the book as having great writing, but the story was only okay. I've never seriously wanted to read TFoHaT, but now I definitely don't. Great review!

Jennie said...

Oh wow, I have so many similar feelings to yours regarding this book. Actually, I really hate it! I thought it was horrible and Mary's obsession with the ocean was so annoying. All the characters were horrible too.

Addicted2Heroines said...

I agree, this story had a lot of potential but I ended up giving it a low rating as well. I didn't enjoy it enough to continue on to the next one.

Cathy Keaton said...

People seem to either like or hate this book, and I've been leery of reading it. Not sure I want to, since I'm not a fan of really selfish MC's. I like how you describe how you discovered that the MC is very selfish. LOL!

Great review, and it's helpful. I doubt I'm going to ever read this one (although, I want to know what the ending was, since you hated it so much).

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Holy crap! lol You really hated this one! I had this on my TBR but now...*scratch , scratch* I 'm taking it off!!

Giselle said...

Haha. This is a really love or hate book. Don'T hate me but I really enjoyed them, however I can see where you're coming from for sure!

Candace said...

I've owned a signed copy of this book for ages but haven't read it yet. I'm not sure what to think cause I think this is the first negative review I've read of it. But now I know my expectations won't be so high! Hopefully I'll like it more then you did!

Sophia said...

Oh, bleh. I hate when books upset me--especially the endings! Personally, I could not finish this book. I found Mary annoying and everything was just so dull! I'm glad you got through it, and although you didn't particularly love it, KUDOS for writing a negative, but polite review! Love your review, Mindy! <3

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