The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Mary lives in a village where The Sisterhood rule and The Guardians keep everyone safe. Love is not encouraged, but commitment is what will keep their population alive. Mary dreams of visiting the mythical place called ‘the Ocean’ from her mother’s stories, but she’s never left the safety of village. It’s been decades since The Return, yet the Unconsecrated never stop in trying to breach the metal fence that protects the town from the unknown within the Forest.

As a childhood crush turns to love, the rules of marriage complicate Mary’s entire future. When an Outsider enters the town from the path that must never be entered, Mary sets her focus on reaching the ocean. Defying everything she knows, Mary refuses to give up on love and wondering what’s beyond the Forest. A breach in safety forces her to flee her home and explore what’s forbidden, but the Unconsecrated are relentless on the other side of the fence.

A YA book with zombies?? Let me just say that I’m absolutely terrified of zombies. When the Seattle Public Library wrote about this title in one of their newsletters, I knew regardless of my fear that I had to give this book a shot. I LOVED it. I finished it in four days. What I liked most is how the zombies are integrated as normal life in the book. Mary has never known a world without them, which brings a dangerous sense of desensitising about this evil that can’t be defeated. I loved that the book is set way after the zombie apocalypse, here’s an attempt of continuing after such a disaster, an attempt where no one remembers what the world was like before it ended.

My first five stars for 2012, and I am so happy to find such an amazing first in a series. For the first time as I was reading, I wanted to shout out loud, it was like reading a horror movie. I didn’t want to read the book because it scared but I had to know what happened. Just as heartbreaking as The Hunger Games, this is my newest obsession. Like Collins series, the reader is aware that many of the characters are not going to survive, but that doesn’t stop you from wishing there was some other way. Carrie Ryan is absolutely brilliant. Mary still feels like a modern girl despite growing up in surroundings that have regressed to the dark ages.

I had to break down and buy the second book. My library borough doesn’t have any of the series (grrrrr). This alone should tell you how much I love these books. (For those that don’t know, I work part-time, making buying books difficult) I can’t wait for the second to arrive and thankfully the third was published in 2011. Ladies and gentlemen, these are your spooky books for October!


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