Author: Carrie Ryan
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: February 9, 2010
Genre: YA Paranormal
Format: Paperback 308 pages | Kindle 2111 KB
Buy this book on Amazon: Paperback | Kindle Edition
Author's Website: http://www.carrieryan.com/
Author's Goodreads Profile: Carrie Ryan
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Shelly's Thoughts...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?
First of all, I LOVED this book! It's probably one of the best YA Paranormal books I have read this year and I have NO idea how I didn't come across it earlier. It just happened to be in a stack of books that Heather picked up one day. She posted a picture of the books on Instagram and you know how we all want to be one of the cool kids like Heather, so I had to pick it up once she give it a BIG thumbs up!!
The whole beginning of this reminded me a lot of The Village. I think it's mostly the setting and the feeling of complete isolation where the inhabitants have no concept of a world beyond the borders of the village in which they live. The time frame is also really vague, we know it's in the future but there isn't a clear definition of what year it is. This story is told from Mary's point of view. She's a teenager who lives in this village that is fenced in to be protected from the Unconsecrated who roam in what they call the forest of hands and teeth. She lives with her mother, she also has a brother who is married and expecting his first child. Mary's father roams the forest as one of the Unconsecrated and since he's been there her mother hasn't been quite the same. She wanders the edge of the village along the fence hoping to catch a glimpse of him. So, like the synopsis states, the fence is breached and Mary's world is thrown into chaos. I don't want to say anything more about the plot because I don't want to ruin anything!
There is something different about Ms. Ryan's writing style and I just can't quite put my finger on what it is. I really like it though, and while I was questioning some of the twists in the story I can't fault her execution because when all is said and done it flows quite beautifully. There isn't much character description, but this is one of those books where you just don't really need it. Your mind is too occupied with other things to spend too much time wondering what the characters look like!
Mary is a really solid character and I love that she questions everything. She definitely isn't one to just sit around and accept that this is how her life has to be. She wants to change things, she wants to know what's outside of the village even when everyone else is telling her that there is nothing but the Forest.
So overall, I thought this was a great book. It's full of action, there is a little bit of a love story and a lot of running from Unconsecrated. It's one of those stories that makes you wonder "what if this really happened?", and those are the best ones to read because they make you think about how you would handle yourself in this situation. This is the first in a trilogy, I have already read the 2nd one so be on the lookout for that review. If you like YA Paranormal and you like zombies even just a little then you will probably like this book!