The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

eBook - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Through twists and turns of fate, orphaned Mary seeks knowledge of life, love, and especially what lies beyond her walled village and the surrounding forest, where dwell the Unconsecrated, aggressive flesh-eating people who were once dead.
Publisher: New York : Delacorte Press, [2009], ©2009
ISBN: 9780375891977
Branch Call Number: FICTION Rya
Audience: 14 & up
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From Library Staff

Mary is walled in her mysterious village, surrounded by a dense forest where the Unconsecrated live--aggressive, flesh-eating zombies.

Mary knows everyone in the Sisterhood must always mind the fence that surrounds the village because it protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, Mary is learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, as well as the powerful Guardians. Suddenly, ... Read More »

The Sisterhood protects the fence which separates The Village from the relentless attention of zombies. Then the fences are breached.... First of a multi-volume series.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Nov 10, 2017

I absolutely loved this book! But, there was unnecessary death of a few characters that could have been avoided. Overall though, this has been one of my favorite reads. Once I picked it up I literally could not put it down and read the whole thing in a couple of hours. Great book for anyone interested in fantasy horror-ish books.

GCPL_Teen Jun 27, 2017

Great for those who love horror and zombies!

Mar 03, 2017

Being the typical me, I read this book last, after reading the second and third book. I mean, it was good in the sense where I knew some stuff that would happen, and I also didn't put the pieces together fast enough to clue in. The whole zombie and end of the world thing was recommended to me in grade eight, which I think I would have enjoyed it more a year older. It is violent at parts, with deaths and gore, but I guess those can't be avoided in your average book about an apocalypse. Online, I feel like the three categories of people who comment are the "absolute love it," "the absolute hates," and the "meh, its okay" people. I would probably fit somewhere in the third group, as the book was good but not the best.
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

Nov 13, 2016

i really had high hopes for this, wanted to like it but the pace and the our lead character is just so frazzled half the time i found myself getting more and more frustrated with her.

Feb 09, 2016

I had no plans to read the sequel but that last third of the book is so COOL! For one, we finally get some answers and the characters (finally) talk. Yay for communication!

I think most of the book is a little heavy on the emotional side of things. But I think it's meant to be that way. However, so many intense, contradicting and rebellious emotions end up distracting the reader off the mystery and horror rather than enhancing it, imo.

cmlibrary_aghilton Feb 01, 2016

An AMAZING start to a series about a dystopian society surrounded by the unconsecrated, which is a fancy word for zombies!!

I picked this book up because I couldn't resist the title and ended up really loving the main character. Mary doesn't know what she wants in life, but she does know that it isn't any of the options available to her in her village- how can you picture something you've never seen? Though I am usually drawn to details, I liked that Ryan left a lot of room for the imagination in the plot of this title. A great rainy day read with a cup of tea!

PrimaGigi Jul 19, 2015

I love the book, hate the character Mary narrating the book. The Forest of Hands and Teeth starts off in a village surrounded by fencing and zombies. The people of this town live their lives within, or apart from the rest of what is out there. The town is run by the Sisterhood and protected by The Guardians. Until one day they are breached from the Fast One. I find myself wanting to slap Mary multiple times for various slights that could be avoided, but then you realize the author was correct in making Mary as humanly flawed as possible. She's no Buffy and her and her town have been kept from actually having to survive by a fence. Naturally all her responses are ones that would be expected of us. She goes into shock when her world actually gets thrown into chaos. Leaving the village, her and the rest of the survivors go in search to see what is at the end of the forest. Wondering why the Guardians nor the Sisterhood made any mention to the village as to why they have rations of food stored out on the forbidden path.

The sisterhood controls the village, controls the lives of their people. The sisterhood is painted as the religious dictatorship. Single-minded hiding all knowledge about The Return or life outside the village from the town to keep it under their thumb. Sadly Mary has lost God in losing her mother. Which means sometime during this book, she is going to find it, Mary just lost faith emotional. Which is easy to rectify with some common circumstance dressed up as a sign from "God"

Mary is in love with Travis, but ends up with Harry. Travis gives off mixed signals and Harry is just extremely competing with his brother. I am getting tired of these love triangles. You didn't take vows and have left the village behind. The conventional rules of what you know are now gone. You can officially take what you want without the threat of being chastised. So why are both Travis and Mary waffling around the idea?

Ugghhh... The ending was disappointing.

Jun 15, 2015

Extremely glad I chose this book series. Mary sees beyond what they want her to see. Thrilled to see how this one ends

Oct 27, 2014

One of my favourite books in the entire universe... It's thrilling, riveting... utterly flawless.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Nov 10, 2017

alycree thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

michelle_larson_160 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Sep 19, 2012

Mr_Water thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

May 29, 2012

kuuihe thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Mar 29, 2012

BandGeek24 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Nov 23, 2011

Gabbry thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 03, 2011

GWilliams11 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 14 and 20

Sep 28, 2011

jomel_f6 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jul 29, 2010

E_Kazan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Death occured

Violence: Lots of Violence


Add a Quote


Jul 29, 2010

When I return my hands are red and raw from gathering the snow. I slowly approach the bed. The patient is calm now, and when he hears my shoes against the wooden floor he turns and I see who it is.
"Travis," I gasp. My voice feels raw in my throat and I look around quickly to make sure that Sister Tabitha has not heard me speak. I have no doubt that she would send me into the Forest if she felt the need.
"Mary," he wishers. "Oh, Mary." He reaches out and grabs my hand and brings it toward his cheek such that I am pulled forward and I end up stumbling and falling onto my knees next to the bed.


Add a Summary

Mar 29, 2012

Mary lives in a a village surrounded by the unconsecrated and they supposedly are the last people in the whole world. The village is run by the sisterhood who have secrets that marry discovers. Mary's long time love bails on her and she is forced to marry his brother until.....

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings

LibraryThing Series Information


Find it at CRRL

To Top