Book Review of "The Forest of Hands and Teeth"

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #1)The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think a 3 star review is generous for this book. If I could, I would do 2.5 stars.

This book is the movie The Village meets zombies. I very much loved that movie and I think that was a big part of the reason I read this book. However, the book’s main character Mary, was so very hard to like. I think when I am reading teen books sometimes I really do need to be reminded of who the target audience is and how I acted as a teenager. I am positive I was just as melodramatic as Mary minus the zombie apocalypse. And I am pretty sure I would have been pissed if I was being forced to marry a boy I did not love. Totally get that. However, despite the interesting plot, I really could not get past Mary and her ridiculous drama. Honestly, as I was reading this story the thought that kept running through my mind over and over was "Well thank goodness there is still teen melodrama even in the face of a zombie apocalypse."

So Mary grows up in this village that is surrounded by forest, where the unconsecrated live. She and her village live in fear of a breech of the fence that protect the village from the unconsecrated. Her father has gone off into the woods and she has never seen him again and her mother walks along the fence line every day, hoping to glimpse him, either alive or well, dead. After yet another family tragedy, Mary is forced to live with the Sisters in the church. No one has spoken for her so she is destined to live the life of a spinster, and in that village, that means living with the Sisters.

First, she was consumed with wanting to be bound to Travis and not Harry along with her dream of seeing the ocean. I completely identified with her dream of wanting to see the ocean. If all you have ever known was a forest full of zombies and a fence that kept them out, well then sure, you totally deserve to go on an adventure and see the ocean. However, even when she gets the chance to leave her village and live in a house all by herself with the love of her life- she gets bored. Really? I’m sorry, but what teenage girl who is stuck in a fully stocked house with her crush and no supervision would get bored? That was when I started getting ridiculously frustrated with Mary. Also, I was a bit frustrated with the whole both brothers were in love with her scenario. That was a bit too Twilight for me.

And I think the final straw for me with this book was when they reached the second village and they go into the house only to find that a baby was turned into a zombie. That was so not necessary. I guess if I was a teen reading this book I might not be as affected by that scene. But as a mom, I was super affected. It just did not in any way move the story along and I felt that it was completely unnecessary.

I liked the orginial idea behind the story, which was what kept me reading, or rather listening. If our system ever gets the sequel in audio form, then I would probably listen. I am more interested in the part of the story of how the US became overrun by zombies than I am with Mary’s plight.

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