# of Pages: 320 pages paperback
Publisher: February 9th 2010 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published March 10th 2009)
In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?
I am ashamed to say that I didn't even have this one on my radar until my pal Travis (InkedBooks) told me about meeting her and that she is from our area! So I set off in search of it and bought it thinking that I would get to it eventually because it didn't seem like one I would enjoy. How wrong I was! I could not put it down.
Carrie's writing was simply stunning. Her characters are so believable and amazingly written and the plot is astonishing. Mary is one of those girls that stands out because she thinks differently and isn't afraid to let others know that she does think differently. I love all the dynamics between the characters... some I love (Mary, Travis, even Gabirelle) and some I just wanted to smack (Sister Tabitha, Jed, and Harry). Mary thinks that her life is planned out, yet in the back of her mind she seems to know that there is more to the life that she has been told is "just so" for her entire life. She believes in love and believes that there is life outside of the small place that she is being contained. Her mother has told her stories and she has faith that those places are real when no one else does. Along with being trapped in this horrendous environment, she is in love with Travis whom she believes wants nothing to do with her. Travis, however, wants everything to do with her but doesn't know how to let Mary know that. When chaos ensues into their protected area of the forest, Mary and some of the others set off to find what is beyond the woods and find that there is more to life than they ever imagined possible.
I loved this book from start to finish and I am so excited for next Tuesday when Carrie's companion novel, The Dead Tossed Waves, comes out! Visit Carrie's site here for more info on her books and other fun stuff!
And... this is crazy to me, but as I was reading this book I kept staring at the cover thinking, "this looks like someone I know." Well, I finally figured it out and this is Perri, one of my students! Check out the resemblance!!
Happy reading everyone!