Review- The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was by far the best Y.A. book I have read in a long while. Right off the bat I give it 5 stars! You know it’s a good book when you can’t put it down, and you know it’s a GREAT book when you sacrifice sleep to finish it! I read one whole chunk of it on Monday, and on Tuesday night I went to bed expecting to get a few chapters knocked out, but did not put it down until I was done with it at 5:15am!! Personally in the past as a young adult I was fearful and horrified with the whole idea of zombies. As an adult I have a fascination with the theories and storylines concocted by others who share this fascination. Allow me to share with you a bit of information before we go any further. First here’s a few definitions you should differentiate;
zom·bie  [zom-bee]
1.(in voodoo)
A.the body of a dead person given the semblance of life,but mute and will-less, by a supernatural force, usually for some evil purpose.
B. The supernatural force itself.
A. A person whose behavior or responses are wooden, listless, or seemingly rote; automaton.
B. An eccentric or peculiar person.
3. A snake god worshiped in West Indian and Brazilian religious practices of African origin.
4. A tall drink made typically with several kinds of rum, citrus juice, and often apricot liqueur. (Not particularly important in this case but interesting still huh?)
5. Canadian Slang . an army conscript assigned to home defense during World War II.

My source has no precise definition of “Unconsecrated” however with this definition you can imagine is the complete opposite of this and you’ll be on the right track!

con·se·crate  [kon-si-kreyt]
verb,con·se·crat·ed, con·se·crat·ing, adjective
verb (used with object) make or declare sacred; set apart or dedicate to the service of a deity: to consecrate a new church building. make (something) an object of honor or veneration;hallow: a custom consecrated by time. devote or dedicate to some purpose: a life consecrated to science. admit or ordain to a sacred office, especially to the episcopate.

I point out this terminology because it’s important to the understanding of Mary and the beliefs of her village.

Mary’s highly religious village has been brought up to acknowledge the living dead as the unconsecrated, not sacred, unholy. They are healthily fearful, but make no attempts to exterminate these beings that surround the entire property. I want to acknowledge how I feel about this. In the Zombie movies and short stories I have read I find certain things I like and agree with or just the opposite. I Love the fact that these people have a faith to keep them motivate enough that they sustain life. That faith powers them to also not kill for absolutely no reason, and with that in mind this also also saves the weaponry for when it is absolutely needed. This approach to preservation, of actual living breathing life, is so smart.

They take good preventative measures to avert the living dead from entering their village, including a large chain link fence apparently strong enough to keep the unconsecrated at bay, as well as placing guards around the fence and gates. Also in the event of a weakened fence or an attack they have platforms to climb up where they can not be touched by the infected. Despite their anticipation and preventive measures, the chain link fence is broken and the villagers scramble to survive. At this point I’d love to note that had I been there I have a few things I’d have done differently. Upon finding that there had been a breach in the chain link fence before, I’d say there needs to be perhaps a secondary chain link fence maybe? But in order to reinforce the fence I understand they shorten their living quarters by half because they used all of the chain link to actually expand. I’m just saying perhaps the clever villagers could build a support for the existing fence?

Mary has a curious mind and a dangerously brave spirit. Her decisions have heartbreaking consequences. Even with this in mind it seems, her desire to see and experience the ocean for the very first time, cannot be wavered. I could definitely feel myself wanting to scream at her a few times “Don’t do that!” or “Don’t go in there!!!” I love that even though the part of my brain containing self preservation was constantly nervous for Mary, the curious cat part of my brain urged her to be risky. And the silent risky urging nearly always won, which admittedly is a guilty pleasure of mine!

Again I say I give this book 5 whole complete shining bright big stars! Even if you don’t like Zombies you will be sucked right into this adventure! I have already put in a hold request with the library for the next The Dead-Tossed Waves ! YES this is a series!!! YAY! I’m so excited to see what happens next! Go get it! Read it! Let’s talk about it! Even if you don’t read the other books I think this one satisfies all on its own, but still gives room for another which is so great! I know when I’ve read a great book because it lingers on the tip of my brain, right in front for days on end. I can’t pull my mind out of Mary’s world and I finished days ago!