Forest of Hands and Teeth

Those of you who enjoy delicious zombies might want to check out this debut by Carrie Ryan, called The Forest of Hands and Teeth.


I would tell you more about it, but I already wrote a signature review for Amazon, which starts like this:

Teenagers love a good apocalypse. Who doesn’t? All those annoying rules suspended. Society’s pretenses made irrelevant. Malls to be looted. School out forever.

But in The Forest and Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan’s marvelous debut novel, the post-apocalypse is defined more by constraints than freedoms. The book begins seven generations after the Return, an undead plague that has ended civilization as we know it. Of course, a zombie outbreak usually means shotguns and mall looting–the very essence of freedom. But more than a century on from the Return, the malls have already been looted, and shotguns are a distant memory. The novel’s heroine, Mary, lives in a village surrounded by one last vestige of industrial technology: a chain-link fence, beyond which is a vast forest full of shambling, eternally ravenous undead–the forest of hands and teeth. No villager ever goes outside this fence, unless they want to die. (And given this bleak scenario, some do.)

Mary’s world is bounded not only by the fence but by the archaic traditions of her people, which are enforced by a religious order called the Sisterhood. Marriages, childbirth, death, every stage of life must be controlled to sustain the village’s precarious existence. Even the houses are circumscribed–literally–with passages of scripture carved into every entrance to remind the inhabitants of the rules that sustain human life amid the horrors of the forest.

After so long an isolation, the village is beginning to forget . . .

Click here to read the rest of my review.

That’s it, except . . . it’s only 13 more days until Extras comes out in paperback. W00t!

147 thoughts on “Forest of Hands and Teeth

  1. I think it seems really fawesome! I’m gonna read it after Extras me and my friend went to our book store and we couldn’t get them in hard cover they told us the wouldn’t get more till the paper bcks got in 13 days!!!

  2. Uggghhhhhhhh. My uncle is visiting from out of state, and he had an asthma attack a few days ago(he got here Saturday) and he couldn’t find his inhaler so he had to go to the hospital and it turns out he’s also got bronchitis and pneumonia now. And he’s staying at our house. So as soon as they said that, I knew I was gonna get sick, cuz if anyone’s sick within like 50 feet of me, I get sick. Horrible immune system, it’s tied in with the insomnia. So I woke up this morning with an awful cough and it hurts my chest hecka bad to cough. And I’m sore alllll ovvveerrrr. But I have to fake NOT sick so I can still go to my soccer game tomorrow, cuz it’s the first one! Eesh, I can’t miss it and my Mom will make me. Grrr. So I am NOT sick. Not at least till Sunday…hehe.

  3. hi! i don’t feel like reading what everybody is talking about sooo yeah….. i read Pretty Little Liars by: Sara Shepard on Wednesday and thursday. it was AWESOMEEE! =D

  4. Hi. I haven’t read any of the previous posts (yet) so sorry if this is totally random.

    Usually I would read anything that Scott-la says is good, but this one I probaly won’t pick up. I just can’t stand apacolipse/post-apocolypse movies/books. Uglies aside (yeah I know that sounds biased). My friend reads all that stuff though, maybe I’ll recomend that book to her.

  5. I agree with Kristina-la about zombies and vampires being in the same category.

    Speaking of vampires, I think, as a writer, I’m a little stuck on them. I’ve written one book about them, and the book I’m writing right now is about vampires too. I’ve thought of other books that aren’t about vampires, but I always start the vampire books, like, a week after coming up with the story. Maybe my purpose in life is to write about vampires… among other things. πŸ˜€

    That was really random. Oh well. πŸ™‚

  6. It has to seem realistic (well you know what I mean lol) otherwise I can’t read things about mythical creatures or stuff like that

  7. zombies are cool…very weird and dead. zombies are like dead people right….im not quite sure. Its a thinker i guess.

  8. I just bought it!!!(this book that is)
    after I finish Narnia I will read it.
    I can’t wait!
    ZOMBIES! πŸ™‚

  9. I do love getting 400 pagers but its hard to find good ones
    so I always end up with 300 pagers……

  10. Hi that sounds super duper good!! To tell you the truth at the end of reading this I totally cracked up your the first person (outside of my friends) that I have ever heard use the word W00t!

  11. I love long books! The longer the better.

    Yeah, person who wrote the 60th entry who’s name is too long for me to type, I always write about vampires too. I started the story a couple of weeks ago and know whenever I think of a good plot it always involves vampires. Not that that’s a bad thing of course. ((TEAM LESTAT))

    And for any of you who know House of Night: OMG! I just finished Hunted and it was awesome! I can’t wait for the next one!

    _click on my name_

  12. I have this book signed (the author lives in the same city as me) and I hated this book. I was so horrible I couldn’t finish it. (Sorry Scott.)

    The writing was too fast paced and too much happened in the first three chapters.
    Even talking about the first chapter would be revealing so many spoilers your head would spin.

  13. Alex-wa, Free Book Friday Teens is giving away signed copies of Hunted this week. You should check it out, they also have an interview with the authors. Here’s a link:

    Click my name. πŸ˜€

    Has anyone else seen Coraline??? (stupid question, of course some of you have seen it) I just saw it today. I love that movie! I’m going to have to read the book now. πŸ™‚

  14. GAH i want to see Coraline so bad!!
    I need a to-do list…
    1. go to borders for various reasons
    2. see coraline
    I read the book and it was awesome…can’t wait to see how it is translated into a movie.

  15. The house behind me just caught fire. I’m, like, so stressed right now my hands are shaking. It’s kind of hard to type. I feel really bad for whoever lived there. πŸ™

  16. The biggest thing I hate about high school is not having time to read anything that isn’t for school.
    Like, I still haven’t read that new (or *was* new back in, uh, October?) book by Neil Gaiman.
    I have to read everything in the summer now. D: So this is goin’ on the list! πŸ™‚
    The last time I read for fun was back in December when I read “Let It Snow” and “Black Rabbit Summer” and stuff. >.>
    All the money I used to buy books with goes to music… because music can be played while doing homework. Ah well. Such is the life of someone trying to get As and be tragically hip all at once. πŸ˜›

  17. ONCE SOMETHING HAPPEND TO MY NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR, AND IT WAS SCARRY BECAUSE ALL OF MY NEIGHBORS ARE REALLY CLOSE FRIENDS,and ambulences, firefighters, policemen,ect came. we watched out r window and saw the mom being carried out on a bed thing. apperently they got something in her medicatino wrong so she fanted and colapsed.

  18. Do you know if she’s alright?

    God, that would be so scaryy. The kid next door to us got hit by a car last year and I thought I was going to throw up. He’s alright, but ithad majorly freaked me out

  19. Oh wows. Sorry Dahlia-wa, Emi-la, Lizzy-wa, & Bella-wa. Lots of scary stuff happens. My house caught on fire like almost 6 years ago I think. Faulty fire place. The vent thingy in there where the smoke goes out didn’t open up right apparently. But firefighters put it out before it got past just that little part of the living room. And I’ve set a few fires in the kitchen(on accident of course) But just tiny ones that my Mom stomped out cuz there’s tile in the kitchen, so it’s fine. HeHe, I was making cookies and I couldn’t find an oven mit so I just grabbed a dish towel to use. Except the one I got had tassels on it and it touched the red part inside the oven(the heating coil? or something like that) and caught on fire. It was freaky but I couldn’t stop laughing after cuz I was so stupid.

  20. what is it with all the scary stuff happening lately?!?
    hope you’re all alright.
    my friend’s mom once set her jacket on fire…while she was wearing it…I don’t know exactly how she managed this. but her family was laughing at her instead of helping her. But she’s fine, no damage.

  21. Wow, the last couple comments were really depressing.

    So, the fire is out now. Half of the house burned down, but I think the family is okay. That’s good. I just can’t believe how fast the fire spread. It was scary.

  22. I haven’t read any of the Narnia books. I tried to start the Magician’s Nephew (that’s the first one, right?), but it was kind of boring. But I love the movies!!! I own them both.
    I’m going to try to read the books as soon as I have time (my reading list is kind of long).

  23. I just re-read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (again) there just so good. I am still trying to convince my friendÒ€ℒs to read the Chronicles of Narnia.

    Question, can I join the kingdom as a ninja?

  24. hi everyone!
    randomly, dahlia-wa i entered your contest. I think thats way cool your doing that, so i blogged about it. (i just started blogging, i didnt even know you could do that). And haley-sensai i think your flash tattoos are awesome! ( i want to get a real one but we will see). And whoever asked about narnia, i didnt even know there were other ones til prince caspian came out? I thought the LWandW was the first? Hm… I’ll have to look at those… And i hope everyones ok and no body got hurt… Stuff like thats pretty scary…

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