I thought we would begin the October zombie-fest with something a little new. I happened to run across The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan when I was in a Montreal bookstore. Obviously, it was the French version so I had by now-husband-then-boyfriend translate the blurb since the cover looked intriguing.
Basically, it follows the story of a young girl named Mary. She lives in a small, enclosed village that is surrounded by a vast forest. While it seems this rather rustic setting is more about isolation and surviving without modern conveniences, it actually is a forced isolation as the forest is filled with “Unconsecrated,” which is their word for zombies. The terms utilized in the book are actually quite interesting unto themselves, such as Unconsecrated, the Resurrection, and the Sisterhood. The religious references are not by accident either since Mary’s village is super religion-orientated with the Sisterhood (basically a ruling class of nuns) using religion to keep the villagers in line and indicating theirs is the last human habitation on earth. This village is thrown into disarray when a young girl from Village XIV randomly shows up though.
A complicated romance is integrated into The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but throughout most of the story it kind of takes a back seat to survival. Therefore, the book is still suitable for those who do not care for reading about romance and young love.
Overall though, it is super amazing. Carrie Ryan followed up with another book called The Dead Tossed Waves, which is another zombie story within the same universe as The Forest of Hands and Teeth but not a direct sequel.
Bring It to Life (BITL)!
Compose a zombie survival kit!
The idea of survival in problematic situations is a strong theme in the book. Therefore, the best way to bring the concept of survival to life is to make your own survival kit. This is actually a fun party game too. Rather than composing a physical kit, a simple list can be made and then compared with friends.
The following is a really awesome survival sheet from LostZombie.com: