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The Forest of Hands and Teeth    by Carrie Ryan order for
Forest of Hands and Teeth
by Carrie Ryan
Order:  USA  Can
Delacorte, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Mary lives in a village governed by the Sisterhood who claim that their village is the only safe place left in the world after the Return. The Unconsecrated live in the surrounding forest, keeping the village isolated. No one can go outside the fences put up by the Guardians who protect the village and are on constant vigilance against a breach in the fence.

The story begins when Harry invites Mary to the Harvest Celebration. This is the time of year when couples commit to one another and their courtship begins. Every couple is needed to keep the village growing, but Mary is in love with Harry's brother Travis, who is committed to her best friend.

When Mary's mother gets too close to the fence while looking for her missing husband, she is contaminated by the virus carried by the Unconsecrated. Mary's brother, a Guardian, blames her for her mother's choice to go live in the woods with the Unconsecrated rather than die. He sends Mary to live with the Sisterhood, who find her too inquisitive to join their order. Mary remembers too many stories her mother told her about the world before the Return and she can't help but believe that their village cannot be the lone survivor.

Mary's story is frightening and suspenseful, but most of all, it is a romance that grips the reader from the start.

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