Release Date/Version: April 2009/Hardcover
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Age Group: Young Adult
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, 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?
There's been a lot of hype about this book, so I felt like I needed to read it. I was initially interested in the plot's mysterious qualities and the apocalyptic side of the story. I was in the mood for a book about a girl's struggle to survive in a harsh world. There were elements of this, but not exactly what I was hoping for.
The Forest of Hands and Teeth was about Mary's struggle to unearth the secrets of the Sisterhood and the Unconsecrated, which took up about half of the book. The next half was Mary's struggle to find a safe place after the breach by the Unconsecrated. Both parts left me wondering and full of unanswered questions. The lack of answers would be one of the downfalls for me. At the end of the book, there were still many major questions that were unanswered and I was upset that we didn't get to find out more about the Sisterhood and the Guardians.
Another thing that upset me were the characters. I connected with very few of them, especially Mary. I found Mary to be rather annoying. She was never happy with what she had and she couldn't appreciate her situation. She was always longing for more, and it caused a lot of stress to those around her. I also found myself unsympathetic to the other characters, although I would have liked to hear more about what happened to them in the end. I don't know what it is, but I've been unhappy with the endings of the last few books I've read.
The positive qualities to me were the sense of mystery and Mary's exploration to find out more about the Sisterhood. I wish there had been more of this, instead of Mary's romantic life and her constant struggle for more. I found the Sisterhood to be extremely interesting and I wanted to know as much as possible about them.
This book had many things about it that I didn't like, but it had some redeeming qualities. I suspect that it is just my personal tastes that caused me to dislike this book, because I know many who really enjoyed it. The Forest of Hands and Teeth could have offered a lot, but it just didn't do it for me.
Overall: It was a fairly good book, but nothing extraordinary.
My Advice: Borrow this from a friend or the library. This book isn't for everyone, and you don't want to be wasting $18 if you don't end up liking it.