Review in Questions: Forest of Hands And Teeth

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.



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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

Now 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 by so much death?


Favorite thing about the book?

The writing is beautiful, which you might not expect with a horror/zombie book. But, it really is lovely. The imagery is delightful and I appreciate the voice of Mary, which is not a typical teen, YA-type voice, yet still sounds age-appropriate. 

I would tell readers that the title (which I think is brilliant), is representative of the writing in the rest of the book. 

Obligatory least favorite thing about the book?

The ending. That’s all I will say without spoilers. 

What was most surprising about the book?

The importance of romance. The romantic relationships in this book amounted to much more than subplot. Although, upon further reflection, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised by the infusion of romance because love, of course, really ups the stakes. 

Also, surprising was how unsympathetic the main character, Mary, could be. At times, I found her incredibly selfish. I think this is surprising in a good way, though. Mary is a multi-faceted character, fully formed on the page. We feel her restlessness, her disappointment with herself, and her inner-wrestling. Still, you might want to slap her upside the head a few times. 

Favorite Character?

Hmmm…tough one. I think, by the end, Travis. 

Underlying themes?

Besides the death and destruction of the zombie apocalypse? Just kidding. Honestly, one might not think zombie books would be heavy on the literary messages, but Forest of Hands and Teeth surprised me with nice insight into the collective memory of human beings. How stories are passed down. The importance of remembering. 

I know there was supposed to be an undercurrent of Hope in the book, but I didn’t feel a whole heckuvalot of hope throughout the book. Maybe that’s just me. 

After this book you felt…?

Pensive, sad, tired

Who would you recommend this book to?

Lovers of zombie movies. I think this book definitely has its place in the ranks of pop-culture phenomenons like Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, and I Am Legend. 

Folks tired of books with horror-creatures like vampires that aren’t actually scary will appreciate Forest of Hands and Teeth’s turn toward more traditional horror. 

Of course, I recommend this to almost any teen fantasy lover–boys, too. However, adults, I wouldn’t write this off even if you do not typically read YA. 

Finally, how long did it take you to read?

I bought this book yesterday around 2pm. Sat down, read until dinner. Had a date with Nate. Finished around 2am. So, 12ish hours, minus however long I was out.


**I’d love to discuss this book with folks that have read it already. Spoilers and all. So, if there are enough people who have read it–I know it just came out a week ago–then, I’ll set up a post and ask questions and we can discuss away**


I interviewed Carrie awhile back. You can check out the interview here.


7 thoughts on “Review in Questions: Forest of Hands And Teeth

  1. cmcraig says:

    When the fence is breached, Mary, along with several others from the village, venture down a path. No one can remember where it leads. And they must decide whether to go back and try to help their village or keep going in hopes of finding some survivors.

  2. Mary says:

    I read it a few days ago and would love to chat about it. I’m really curious why the ending is your least favorite part, because I’d have to say it’s mine as well and would love to hear your reason. Totally agree about Mary’s character, but that’s what made her much more interesting. Us Marys are a selfish, bratty bunch sometimes, haha.

  3. Jen says:

    Finished it last night. Absolutely loved it, but felt very sad at the end. And wow does Carrie know how to write. The way she strings words together is beautiful.

  4. San Diego Dental says:

    Great discussion and I like your input. Fast question. Our office are getting ready to install wordpress ourselves. Can you share a good resource for templates and the best plug ins to make it easy for staff to update content in a nice user friendly way? Thx in advance.

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