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Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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 about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.

When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, 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 in so much death?

When I first picked up The Forest of Hands and Teeth I was excitedly anticipating the fantastic read that the reviews promised. Instead I discovered a book that was sorely lacking in plot, characters, and interest.

The main character, Mary, was a makeshift heroine for a story that desperately needed a strong voice to revive it, but instead failed miserably. Like the plot she was flighty and indecisive, jumping from one confusing, uninteresting thought to the next with little to no reason or explanation and, just as quickly as she'd begun, would abruptly stop and change course again.

Even worse there were no connections between any of the characters. It would've been easier to believe that the Unconsecrated had minds than to believe that Mary was truly in love with Travis or best friends with Cass. Like Mary, all of the characters and their connections were weak and transparent.

Despite these faults, I spent most of the book genuinely hoping it would get better, I didn't want to believe that a book I'd had such high expectations for could be so bad. And yet, each time I felt the story may finally pick up Ryan tossed aside another possible plot in favor of a weaker, less interesting storyline that she would just cast aside later on.

In the end, the story sputtered out, long after my interest did. At the end I was left more skeptical than I'd been at the start. My first instinct after closing the book was to go get my money back and never go near it again, however I just found out that there is going to be a second book, The Dead-Tossed Waves. I desperately hope that this book will be able to save this series, as I still don't want to accept that this book can really be that disappointing. But the real question is will I really want to risk another agonizing read? I'm still unsure of the answer.

1 Star

I just wanted to point out that prior to reading the book I read multiple reviews, nearly all of which claimed that this book was one of the best of the year. Maybe I'm missing something, but I personally did not see it. There is obviously something there though if so many people enjoyed the book that much. So if you read and enjoyed the book, all the power to you. And if you're thinking about reading the book then take what I said into consideration. Like I said though, I could be missing something, so don't write the book off entirely, just be warned.


  1. I think I know what you mean. When I read it, I thought seriously? This is one of the best books this year? Yeah right. All of the characters were weak and the plot had too many holes. (some spoilers) Like when I read that Cass said that it's always about you (Mary) and how the little boy was everything to her right now, psh! No it wasn't. If it was, then Henry would be at Mary's side even after she got Travis! The love triangle that Ryan tried to make was horrible. And then her brother hating her and then boom! It's because he doesn't want to lose her. That doesn't make sense.

  2. I haven't read this book yet but I was surprised to see that you didn't like it. Most of the reviews I have read really praised this book but I think I saw one other one that mentioned a couple of the same things you did. I'm glad you weren't afraid to say what you really thought about the book. Great review!

  3. hmm interesting I have not read a review quite like this. I loved that you were honest about it :)
    I still might give it a try though just to see what all the buzz is about, but if anything I'll check out out my library.


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