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Delacorte Press – April 14, 2009

Mary’s world is surrounded by the moans and shuffles of the Unconsecrated.  The Unconsecrated look for ways to breach the fences that protect her village.  They try to find weakness in the metal links.  They reach through trying to grab hold of anyone unfortunate enough to walk too close to the fence.  Mary’s world is based in fear.  Fear that the Unconsecrated will one day break through and devour everyone in the village.

Mary’s mother goes to the fences everyday to look into The Forest of Hands and Teeth.  She is searching for a glimpse of her husband who disappeared in the Forest months ago.  Mary’s mother is the only one that remains hopeful that he’ll come back to her unharmed.  Mary and her brother Jed, a Guardian, makes sure their mother never goes to the fences alone – afraid she’ll get too close if she sees her husband.  When Jed is off on a fence repair mission and Mary gets held up doing laundry, her mother does the unthinkable.  She gets too close to the Forest and is bitten by an Unconsecrated.  

The ramifications of this disastrous event leave Mary with no choice but to live with the Sisters.  The Sisters hold the knowledge of the village and make the rules for the community.  They never marry, but instead devote their lives to the Scriptures.  Mary must decide if she can settle for a life with the Sisters or if she is going to keep faith in the stories of a life outside the village and beyond The Forest of Hands and Teeth that her mother always told her about. However, after a major fence breach, her decision is made for her as she must brave the Forest along with Jed and his wife, Mary’s best friend, the man Mary loves, and the man who loves her.  Emotional complications just add to the stress of staying alive when they are surrounded by the Unconsecrated.

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is an enthralling post-apocalyptic masterpiece.  Carrie Ryan’s description of the unrelenting Unconsecrated comes through loud and clear to the reader.  At times, the suspense will cause you to put the book down for fear of what you might read next only to pick it up again because you can’t wait to find out.  You’ll be able to feel the boney fingers of each and every Unconsecrated reaching for you as you turn page after page of this amazing novel.  The ending definitely leaves the reader begging for the next installment in this amazing series.

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The Forest of Hands and Teeth

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