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The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan : Book Review

Horrifying, Adventurous and a Teacher of Some of Life’s Important Lessons

For mystery/horror story lovers, The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a treat. This New York Times best-selling zombie thriller is written by Carrie Ryan. It is about a girl who must learn to live amidst the dead. This spine-chilling novel has also been adapted on the silver screen.

The storyline of the book is fascinating. This book impresses with its strong characterizations and shocking turn of events. The efforts of Mary, the protagonist, and her companions to escape the dead yet alive beasts of the Forest of Hands and Teeth offers an adventurous and nail-biting read. The story is narrated by Mary and starts with her talking about her simple life in a village surrounded by the dangerous forest.

The only thing that keeps Mary going in such horrendous surroundings is her dream of living by the ocean, in a world which is not infected by undead beings. But her life turns upside down when her brother throws her out of her house and forces her to join a religious group called Sisterhood after her mother’s death.

What follows next is a tale of chilling adventure that will leave readers asking for more. Mary and her companions together have to fight the zombies and create a better world for their people.

But beware! If you flinch even at the thought of violence, this book is not for you. If you can skip the gory parts, you will find this novel to be a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. This novel also lets you take away some valuable lessons about life, like possessing courage in the face of danger and unwavering hopefulness.

The Good

  • The pace of the narrative- it really builds excitement and suspense of what would happen next
  • The message of staying hopeful no matter what and fight for a better world

The Bad

  • Too much violence may not make it suitable for the weak at heart


The Forest of Hands and Teeth deserves 4 stars out of 5. This book is aimed at teenagers, 14 years and up. It is an unputdownable tale that youngsters can enjoy tucked comfortably in bed with a warming cuppa giving them company.