Mary's heard the stories her mother's told her about the ocean....but she's never seen it. The only thing she knows is the forest, which is deadly and dangerous, and her village - ruled by the Sisters and the Guardians. But her life changes dramatically when her mother becomes one of the Unconsecrated...
The life Mary lives is a post-apocalyptic world after the Return, when a deadly infection created hordes of the Unconsecrated who feast off of those who live. And when Mary's mother is gone, she turns to her brother Jed, who shrugs her off for not protecting their family.
The only recourse Mary has is to live with the Sisters, and while there, she learns that they harbor secrets, ones that she wants to know. But she never has the chance when her village is overrun by the Unconsecrated and she narrowly escaped her village with her best friend Cass, her betrothed, Harry and his brother Travis, and her own brother Jed and his wife Beth. But loss, redemption, love, hate, pain, contentment, life and death follow their every step.
All Mary wants is to see the ocean...to see if her mother was telling the truth or making up stories. There is nothing more pressing than her drive to find the truth, and to know if there are others out there who still live, trapped in to keep out the Unconsecrated, or if her village was the only one...if they are now the only ones alive in the only world she's ever known.
It has been awhile since I picked up a book that was a riveting as I found this one to be. Carrie Ryan has created a novel that begs to be read until finished...it's that intriguing and exciting. The setting in this book takes on a characterization all on its own and owes its complexities to the Unconsecrated. The main characters are in-depth and their stories and lives weave themselves around each other. You end up hoping for the best for every one of them....This book does remind me of a combination of M. Night Shyamalan and Richard Matheson's I am Legend (movie stars Will Smith). I'm embedding the video, which won the Teen Book Award Finalist 2008. I may be behind on blogging this novel, but it still begs to be blogged about!! Full screen video can be found at: http://www.teen.com/movies/the-forest-of-hands-and-teeth/. Apparently they are going to make a movie on this one