In Mary's world, there are simple truths. 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, when the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness.
''The Forest of Hands and Teeth'' is a 2009 YA, post-apocalypse novel by Carrie Ryan. It has two sequels ''The Dead-Tossed Waves'' (2010) and ''The Dark and Hollow Places'' (2011).
* AfterTheEnd: Set generations after a zombie apocalypse.
* ArcWords: Mary's mother's story about the ocean. [[spoiler: She sees the ocean at the very end of the book.]]
* BettyAndVeronica: The one Mary is betrothed to and his brother.
* CapitalLettersAreMagic: Well not magic, but people are Infected by the Unconsecrated and the Guardians protect them.
* CityInABottle / TheWallAroundTheWorld: The fence protects them from the Unconsecrated. [[spoiler: It breaks. And later on, they find another similar village.]]
* CorruptChurch: The Sisterhood.
* DaysOfFuturePast: Sort of, the society is more like that of medieval Europe.
* EliteZombie: The bright red vest. That is all.
* FutureImperfect: Mary finds a book of Shakespeare's sonnets and has no idea what they are, and sees Roman numerals on the path and can't understand them.
* LockedAwayInAMonastery: Mary is sent to live with the Sisterhood after her mother is Infected. [[spoiler: When Mary says that she didn't have a choice (after her mother's un-death, her brother kicked her out and she wasn't getting married) of whether or not to stay with them]], the head nun, Sister Tabitha [[spoiler: threatens to [[FateWorseThanDeath turn Mary out into the Forest]] to show her that "There is always a choice." ]]
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: Jed, towards Beth.]] what's worse, [[spoiler: she was pregnant. Again. Also, Mary towards Travis.]]
* NotUsingTheZWord: In Mary's village, zombies are called Unconsecrated. In Vista, they're called Mudo.
* OurZombiesAreDifferent: They are basically the classic BMovie zombies, only they spread via virus.
* RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain: Implied. It's said repeatedly that the zombies will keep shambling until they're torn apart, but when decapitated or given a hard enough blow to the head, they "redie".
* TheseHandsHaveKilled / ItsAllMyFault: Mary continually blames herself throughout the story for her mother's death, [[spoiler: Gabrielle being infected at the hands of the Sisterhood]] and [[spoiler: Jed's implied [[DisneyVillainDeath death.]] ]] Also, Jacob begging forgiveness for [[spoiler: starting the fire that forced our protagonists to leave the treetop village months early]] which he thought was the reason for [[spoiler: Travis' death. [[ZombieInfectee It wasn't.]] ]]
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: [[spoiler:It's never explained why Gabrielle, the girl in the red vest, is so much stronger and faster than other zombies. The author hints that something special was done to make her that way, but it's just kind of forgotten about after that.]]
* ZombieApocalypse: ''le duh''.
* ZombieGait: A major plot point is that the Sisterhood created an Unconsecrated that ''didn't'' walk slowly. [[spoiler: this is pretty much the entire reason the fences were breached and the village was lost.]]
* ZombieInfectee: Mary's mother in the beginning. [[spoiler: Later, Beth and Travis.]]