The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a zombie book, yes, but it is so much more! I am not one to seek out books about zombies, so I was a little wary of this book at first. I ended up purchasing it for my classroom shelf with money raised by the Chick Lit Book Club. What ultimately broke down my inhibitions? Some awesome online reviews, the provocative cover, and the fact that this title is now out in paperback. (Though I now own two copies; one paperback and one hardcover!)
The main character, Mary, loses both of her parents to the Unconsecrated (the zombies) that surround her village. There are fences that separate the Unconsecrated from the villagers, but these zombies have ways of braking these fences down. Basically, the Unconsecrated moan and groan and push at the fence surrounding the village most of the day, hungry for human flesh. The villagers are used to seeing the Unconsecrated, which is hard for them to bear. All of these zombies were once their friends and relatives. Now, they're reduced to rotting flesh and vacant eyes, constantly roaming and searching out their next human victim.
Once Mary has no parents, she's forced to rely on the Sisterhood, a religious group who controls the village, for shelter and protection. Quickly, Mary understands that the Sisters have been keeping secrets from the townspeople. This revelation is spurred on by the appearance of a unknown girl from outside. Mary only speaks to this girl through the wall of the room in which the girl is held captive. The girl says her name is Gabrielle and she leaves a cryptic message for Mary to decipher. This code leaves Mary to more questions than answers. Is there a way out of the village? Are there other villages beyond Mary's? What are the Sisters hiding from the villagers?
This is an action-packed read that will interest zombie lovers and those who love dystopian series books. I've already started on the next book in the series, The Dead-Tossed Waves. I'll let you know what I think about it soon!