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The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Experience a minute in the Forest of Hands and Teeth:

 Heart pounding yet? The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a novel by Carrie Ryan, is about a young woman named Mary and her life in her village. Sounds bucolic, doesn't it? Until you learn that the village is guarded by a high fence, which is surrounded by hordes of mindless, flesh-eating zombies called the Unconsecrated. Mary can hear their moaning all day and night, and she doesn't dare get too close to the fence, for the infection that turns you into an Unconsecrated is passed by a single bite.

Mary has always been told that it is only by the efforts of the Sisterhood and the Guardians that she and the other villagers are kept safe. But she begins to learn of secrets that the Sisterhood is keeping from the villagers. She longs to leave the village and find the ocean, a semi-mythical place that her mother told her about as a child. In this she is alone - no other villager is foolish enough to even think about leaving the confines of the village.

There is some romance in this book, although accompanied by much violence. The scenario here is dark and full of loss, which makes Mary's resolution for a different life even more notable.