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? - Summary from Goodreads
I have very mixed feelings about this book. The plot had real potential, as I love dystopian novels and I was very excited to start this one. However, I don’t think that the plot lived up to said potential, as a lot of it was dragged out - such as Mary’s involvement in the Sisterhood. Whereas other parts of the plot were rushed over and there was no real development - *spoiler* for example, in the XIV village, when Mary and Travis were living together, and also when Mary lost Jed in the Forest.
I loved the idea of the village and the Forest, and the Infected. I loved how Carrie Ryan told the reader about different parts of the history involving how the village(s) came to be, and how the civilisations were developed.
Carrie Ryan’s writing style was acceptable. I was really drawn in by the story but I found that some of the similes used were quite strange and the description was lacking at times.
As for the main character, I found Mary to be very selfish and this frustrated me. She was raised in a community in which everyone cared for each other and looked out for one another. And yet, she only wanted to look out for herself. She chases after a wild dream, and doesn’t care who she loses along the way, even if she apparently loves them. To love a book, I have to love the main character and Mary was just not likable. That said, I did like Travis and Harry, even Jed, and I felt a little sorry for them for reasons I’m not going to go into, because they’ll spoil the book!
For the most part, the book was really good and I plan to read the second book ‘The Dead Tossed Waves’ even if it is only for the plot and I can't wait to read more about the history aspect and how the Infection started!