The Forest of Hands and Teeth
Carrie Ryan

It will come as no surprise that this is a zombie book. And it put me in mind, a bit, of M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Village.”

Small enclosed town, threat of the Unconsecrated in the forest, and a girl who dreams of freedom. A girl has three options upon coming of age: get married, stay with your family, or join the mysterious “Sisterhood” who are the governing force. Mary, orphaned and rejected by her older brother, is caught between marrying a best friend she doesn’t love, suffering from unrequited love of her best friend’s little brother, and not wanting to believe in God or the Sisterhood.


When the zombies, sorry, Unconsecrated attack, Mary, her betrothed, her brother and his wife, and her love interest and HIS betrothed and a child retreat into a path that takes them out of the village. Only, they seem to have never learned of Roman numerals and the paths lead them mostly to death and dead ends.

I couldn’t empathize with Mary as she waffled between the boy she was betrothed to (who was in love with her but also her best friend) and the boy she “loved” (though he was also waffling between the two girls). The history of the Sisterhood and the development of the village was never explained, and by the end I just didn’t care.

The ending sets up, of course, for a sequel, but I think I’ll pass.