Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

I am teaming up with Chris from Stuff As Dreams Are Made On for a review of this book. I am a bit late putting my post up, but that is not really all that surprising! I like formats like this. It adds a bit of variety to blogging and reviewing!
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?
1. What was your immediate reaction after you turned the last page of the book? (without giving anything away of course.)
- I was disappointed that the book was over. It was a really good read, and once I got into it I read it in one sitting, so it was sad when it was over with. The book is an emotional roller-coaster and I was still trying to digest everything that happened in the last 50 to 100 pages. I was impressed by how Ryan successfully made this book a page-turner and kept you wanting more until the very end! Then, you were rather sad that it was over with...

2. How did you feel about the main character, Mary? Did she surprise you, were you annoyed by her, did you think she was a strong character, weak, etc?
- I had my moments with Mary. She wasn't a perfect character, but she was still very readable. She could be very strong-willed; and often times that was to a fault. I really liked her, though. If she annoyed me for a bit, she just as quickly redeemed herself and I found myself really liking her. I am not sure I always agreed with all of her decisions, but then, I don't think she always agreed with them either. That made her all the better of a person.

3. The film rights to the book have just been sold. Would you be interested in seeing a movie made out of this novel? Do you think there are things they’d have to change?
- I don't know... I am always so scared when books are made into movies. I have an idea in my head about how things are supposed to be, and the movies often crush that. Even just having movie posters on the front of books is a distraction because then you see the characters as famous actors and actresses instead of ones from your imagination. I am always worried that the movie will ruin the book.

4. What did you think of the secondary characters in this book? Who was your favourite? Anyone that you didn’t like?
- Well, I thought the secondary characters were written really well. I didn't like all of them, but that was sort of the point. I found Harry really annoying, if I must say so myself. He was like a loyal puppy dog. He just annoyed me in his devotion a lot of time because he handled it so strangely. I didn't hate him, though. His character added to the story. Cass also annoyed me. She is the type of person that you just want to slap some sense into once in a while, but she was a person that didn't like change and everything that she was used to was changing.. It's hard to know what to think.

5. What did you think of the title? As you got to know the setting that the book was named after, did you think it was a fitting title?
- I loved the title of the book. It suited everything. I wasn't sure what to expect from the title, so it surprised me and I really loved it. Enough said!

6. What did you think about the zombies? Was this your first zombie novel? Did you find them realistic?
- I loved the zombies. I thought they were really well-done! It wasn't humour, it was just plain scary! I have seen a lot of zombie-type movies, but I think this is one of few books I have read where zombies played such a central role! It surprised me that it was possible to love a book about zombies, but I did!

To sum it all up, I should say that this is probably one of my favourite reads from 2009 and it will likely make my best of lists at the end of the year! You really should read it, it is worth it!

My thanks to Random House for a copy of this book!


  1. Anonymous6:54 AM

    I sooo want to read this book. I've never read a book on zombies and this one sounds really really good.

  2. Yeah! I'm so glad you liked this book! I loved the Q&A format of your review too. I can't wait for the parallel novel next year!

  3. I can't wait to read this!!! I hope I'll have a break in my calendar soon, so I can slip it in! :)

  4. Anonymous4:37 PM

    This is such a fun format... ^-^

    I'll just have to pass the title on to a friend of mine who's less nightmareprone. She might be interested, though I'm not sure what her feelings on zombies are.

  5. The more I read about this book, the more I want it!

  6. It sounds like we had very similar reactions to this one!! I had so much fun reviewing like this...we have to keep doing it :) And I'm with you...it'll probably make my top reads too!

  7. I liked this post a lot! I want to read this book and now knowing it made your fave list of 2009 has me really chomping at the bit!!

  8. kelly: this doesn't appeal to me for some reason... but glad that you and chris did this review.. pretty nice when more than one read the same book and get both views at the same time

  9. "It surprised me that it was possible to love a book about zombies, but I did!" ---- Awesome!!

    Glad you enjoyed this one, I loved it - thought it was great to see a YA zombie book that was serious rather than humorous.

  10. violetcrush: It was really good! I hope you get a chance to read it!

    Nicola: I can't wait for the parallel novel, either! It was a great book!

    Heather: I hope you find a chance to slip it in. I am sure you will love it!

    libritouches: Thanks! I hope she enjoys it!

    Bart: Very worthwhile read. I hope you do get it!

    Chris: It was fun reviewing like this, I agree! So much so that I sent you a list... lol

    Staci: It was great! I really enjoyed it.

    Pat: It was a good book, but not for everyone! Glad you enjoyed the review style, though.

    Joanne: Yes, a serious book worked much better than a humourous one!

  11. 'It surprised me that it was possible to love a book about zombies, but I did!' - LOL!

    I can safely say I have yet to read a zombie book, but I'll keep this one in mind. The title is fantastic.

    By the way, I have to push my first Dewey book review back a week, because I forgot it's my sister-in-law's birthday tomorrow - and I'm having an art show of her paintings in her honour.

  12. Julia: You should read it. It was a great book! I still look forward to your review!

  13. I love the format, but I'm unsure if the main character appeals to me enough to read it. Maybe I'll see if our library has it.


  14. I would really like to get this book very soon. I've been wanting to get it. Great review! :)

  15. Oh, you guys are killing me! Absolutely killing me. I want this book so much I can hardly stand it!!!

  16. I loved the narrative voice of this book, and yes, the title is excellent (although I keep stuffing it up and calling it The Forest of Hands and Feet). I'd like to see a happier ending for some of the characters in the film.

  17. I just had to chime in here again. No, no, no Kat, we can't change the ending for the movie. The inevitable sad ending for certain characters is what really makes this book great as opposed to just good. What's the point if everybody lives happily ever after?

  18. Nicola, I'm a card-carrying member of the must-have-a-happy-ending crowd. To be fair, I wish the book had happier endings for some of the characters, too. Not all, but some. For me, what makes the book great is the narrative voice, not necessarily the ending.

  19. Bookwormom: It is worth a try. Especially if you get it from the library!

    Alice: Thanks! I hope you do get it soon, it is worth a read!

    Debi: I hope you get a chance to get it soon! It's a good book and I am sure you will enjoy it!

    Kat: I don't know if I would change the ending myself, but I know that people like their happy endings. I think the book worked for me because it wasn't all happiness, but everyone is entitled to their opinion!

    Nicola: I agree with you. :)


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