The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
This is truly one of my favorite books from this fall! It’s the story of Mary who lives in a land and time very different than our own. In Mary’s world, a chain link fence surrounds the village, protecting the townspeople from the Unconsecrated who live just beyond the fence. These eternally hungry undead being inhabit what has become know as the forest of hands and teeth. One bite from an Unconsecrated dooms you to become on also; a choice Mary’s mother made in order to join her husband when he became one of the undead.
In this post-apocalyptic world, a religious order called the Sisterhood rules the community. Their rules don’t always make sense, but disobeying is not an option–Mary discovers that the punishment for this is banishment into the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Unfortunately for her, Mary dreams about the ocean, ” a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see an that it was always moving, rushing toward you and away,” that her mother used to tell her stories about. She dreams about leaving the confines of the village and harsh rules of the Sisters. One day she gets her chance to escape, but that journey is one she may not survive.