Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Book Info:
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; (March 10, 2009)
ISBN-13: 9780385736817
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 3.5/5

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?

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is not my usual kind of book. I really enjoy YA books, but tend to gravitate more towards those that deal with social issues. I don't really get into the paranormal or sci/fi books. I'd seen The Forest of Hands and Teeth mentioned on a few blogs, saw the audio come though the library, but passed it up. But then I saw Beth mention how the narrator was amazing, and for that reason alone, I decided to give it a try.

And even though this wasn't my usual type of book I'm glad I listened to it. The narrator, Vane Millon, was wonderful. The story was compelling, but her narration really made the book stand out. She didn't really focus on character voices as much as some narrators do, and that worked fine for me. It was her inflection and emotion that really came through and made this book really stand out.

Mary was an interesting character. She's always led a sheltered life. She's been told this is your path in life and she followed that path right along with everyone else. It is once she starts questioning the status quo that the book gets interesting. I love seeing her struggle with the safety of what she knows against the draw of what might be.I started this audio not too long after I read The Chosen One (review), and even though the setting are very different, the characters went through many of the same struggles.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is the first book in a trilogy. The second, The Dead-Tossed Waves will be coming out in Spring 2010 and the third will be out Spring 2011. I will be on the look out for the audio versions of these for sure. 3.5 stars


Nina said...

Thank you for your review. It really sounds like a good book. And I really love this kind of books. :)

Unknown said...

I saw this on Beth's blog too. I was sad to see that you didn't enjoy it as much as she did.

I don't normally enjoy the fantasy books either, so am probably closer to your taste in books than hers - now I can't decide whether to strike it off the list or not...

Sandy Nawrot said...

I've got this one noted on my list. I'd love to get my hands on the audio, but my library doesn't carry it. I may have to order it through a library loan!

Melissa said...

Jackie: I think my biggest problem with fantasy books is that I start thinking 'wait, but what about...' instead of just taking the story at face value. The audio still was really well done though!

Zibilee said...

I remember reading some other good reviews of this book awhile ago. I like that the book won you over even though it was not in your usual genre, and I think I am going to try and grab a copy. I also think my daughter would really enjoy the book, so perhaps we could share it.

Sheila (bookjourney) said...

Great review - I have been curious about this book as the title... really throws me off as to what it could be about.