The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (March 10, 2009), is an unbelievable, fantastic ride of excitement. I found that I just couldn't put this book down. Even though it is of the Young Adult genre, most adults that I know that have read this book have been thrilled with it.
Mary lives in a village surrounded by a fence. The fence is symbolic of many things and becomes almost a character in the book. The fence is what protects the inhabitants from the Unconsecrated, who lurk outside the fence in the forest. The unconsecrated are individuals who have died from THE virus and then have come back to life almost immediately, lusting for human blood and flesh. Can we say ZOMBIES?
This book is so dark and haunting, and it's hard to shake it after you read it. Once Mary's mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated, Mary finds her life starting to fall apart. She's haunted by the stories told to her by her mother of the Ocean. Mary is full of unrest as she dreams of one day seeing the Ocean. Unfortunately the only way to get there is through the forest.
One day the horror they have all lived in fear of happens, the Unconsecrated breach the fence and attack the village. As they flee for their lives, Mary and her friends discover that the truths they had believed in are in fact lies, and they will have to find new truths as they make their way in a new world.
I had looked forward to reading this book for quite some time, and I have to say that it exceeded my expectations. The themes and symbolism in this book abound. You'll find yourself haunted by this world of the future.