Monday, February 23, 2009
The Forest of Hands and Teeth-- Carrie Ryan
Imagine that your whole life was confined to a medieval-like village surrounded by a series of gates and fences that confine the Unconsecrated to the massive forest beyond. What would it feel like to know that the survival of your village rests on your ability to reproduce, as fire and disease has lowered the birthrate dangerously? What would life be like if the entire existence of the remaining human race was sheltered within those fences... would you try to escape? Would you risk becoming one of them, one of the Unconsecrated, just to see what else is out there?
Mary has lived her entire life within these confinements. When her mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated and no man speaks for her, Mary is required to live with the Sisterhood (a group of holy women who protect the village from the Unconsecrated who live in the Forest of Hands and Teeth just beyond the fences). Mary wants more than confinement and religion in her life. She wants love, she wants freedom, and more than anything, she wants to see the ocean. Mary grew up listening to the tales her mother wove about the world beyond the fences, and it's thoughts of the ocean that help Mary manage her burdens.
But one day, the Unconsecrated break through their barriers and Mary is forced to make a choice: should she stay and fight or flee to discover freedom for the first time in her life?
Oh, and what are the Unconsecrated? They're ZOMBIES of course!
While I won't say this is the finest piece of literature I have read, there is something about this book that really stuck with me. I find that although I finished it three days ago, certain aspects of the plot keep jumping to mind. I think teens will like it, and it's a little bit fantasy, a little bit horror and a great, classic tale of zombie. I would recommend this to teens who like futuristic dystopias, zombie books, or tales of unrequited love.
To be published April 2009.