Carrie Ryan’s Character Debut Party

Carrie Ryan - The Forest of Hands and TeethI was so excited to read an ARC of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH several months ago, as my husband is an avid zombie-lover and I’d never read it in the YA genre. Though I myself was formerly anti-zombie, having been traumatized in middle school when I convinced the babysitter to let me watch the original Night of the Living Dead, I’d read Carrie’s first chapter online and wanted to give the undead a chance.

Well… I wasn’t disappointed, and unlike the aftermath of my Night of the Living Dead experience, I didn’t throw up this time!

*Takes bow*


The Forest of Hands and Teeth is about a young girl named Mary growing up generations after an apocalypse in a village surrounded by fences protecting them from the Unconsecrated, zombie-like creatures inhabiting the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Cut off from the rest of the world and told they are the last survivors of the Return, every part of her life is controlled by the religious order called the Sisterhood. As Mary starts to fall in love with someone she shouldn’t, she learns the extent of the Sisterhood’s power and starts to discover more of their darkest secrets. When the security of the fences is threatened and her world is thrown into chaos, Mary must decide what she’s willing to risk to find out if there’s life beyond the Forest.

Mary’s 2009 Debut Party

The Guest List

Unfortunately, Mary’s never had the chance to read any other novels so she wouldn’t know anyone to invite other than her friends! But she’d definitely invite her friends Cass, Travis and Harry!

The Party

Mary and her friends have probably snuck away from chores and are having a picnic on a hill overlooking the Forest. Cass never really liked being too near the Forest and the fences, but it’s Mary’s favorite spot! There’s probably not a theme but everyone is super glad that it’s finally Spring and that it’s a gorgeous day! Cass and Mary have woven dandelions into necklaces and tiaras for everyone. The boys grumble at wearing flowers but love that it makes the girls happy!

That sounds lovely. Though it’s hard to imagine relaxing in the sun while the unconsecrated moan from the other side of the fence!


Maybe if the unconsecrated wore the dandelion adornments, they could reinvent themselves as a kinder, gentler zombie breed.

*Shivers again*

The Guest of Honor: Mary

Mary is wearing her usual skirt and shirt — the only clothes she has are the ones they make and fabric is hard to come by. Her theme song? Mary makes Cass and Harry sing a duet of old nursery rhymes passed down from before the Return.

Hmmm… like, Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow… but then the zombies *eated* him! Nomnomnomnom…

Carrie Ryan’s Advice for Mary on Her Big Debut

Enjoy every moment of it!

Yes, good advice! When you’re surrounded by the undead, you never know which moment will be your last! Best of luck to Carrie and Mary on their chilling debut!

THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH is available in book stores now, and also online through Indiebound.

Born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, Carrie Ryan is a graduate of Williams College and Duke University School of Law. A former litigator, she now writes full time. She lives with her writer/lawyer fiancé, two fat cats and one large puppy in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are not at all prepared for the zombie apocalypse. Visit her online.