The Forest of Hands and Teeth

The Forest of Hands and Teeth  - Carrie Ryan The "young adult" label finds its way to the zombie craze in this book series. "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" is the story of Mary, a teenager displaced and orphaned in a world over run with Unconsecrated. After a sheltered life in a small, fenced-in village being told there is nothing left of the world but the forest and the undead, Mary is eager to find out if her mother's stories of the ocean are true. When the fences are breached and survival depends on escaping the village, Mary, her best friend Cass, the man she loves, Travis, her betrothed, Harry, her brother Jed and his wife, and Jacob, a young boy whose parents were turned by Unconsecrated sneak out through a fenced path and begin their adventure in the Forest. The secret arrival of a girl into the village has Mary convinced she and Travis can find the ocean and figure out how to live happily ever after, despite the death surrounding them seemingly everywhere they go.
As is a staple feature of young adult novels, there is great emphasis on the relationship between Mary and Travis. As the village rule-makers, the Sisterhood, decree, Mary is betrothed to the first guy of age who asks the Sisterhood to be married to her. Her very close friend Harry asks for her, despite her love for his brother Travis, who is betrothed to Cass. Once outside the village and no longer under the Sisterhood's rule, this makes for and interesting, awkward social dynamic, as Cass is openly in love with Harry.
Besides this being the first young adult novel I have seen taking place in a zombie-infested world, very little is unique in this novel from other of the genre. A brave young girl fighting some force much bigger than herself while struggling for the guy she loves. I have read this same scenario repeatedly, and while it does appeal to teens, it's beyond predictable and does get a little old. I gave this novel three of five stars. I did enjoy it, but felt it was nothing spectacular and will probably pass on the rest of the series.