In Secrets of Truth & Beauty, Dara is a former child pageant star. So, in order to introduce you to the wonderful authors and characters of the 2009 Debutantes, I am hosting a Debs Pageant on my blog.

Today we have Mary from Carrie Ryan’s highly-anticipated, now-in-stores The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Character name: Mary
Age: around 15
Biography: Mary grew up in a village surrounded by a forest full of zombies. She’s been taught her whole life that they are the only ones left in the world, but she believes there’s more to the world past the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

What is your talent? Making up stories.

What will you wear for the evening dress competition? We don’t have any fancy fabrics and my mother would never let me use anything we do have to make something as impractical as an evening dress, so I’ll end up wearing my usual clothes: long cotton skirt and a shirt.

Who is your escort? I wish it would be Travis, but of course it ends up being my brother Jed (who isn’t particularly pleased about it).

And now the interview portion . . . What’s the biggest challenge facing today’s youth? Our greatest challenge is that we don’t think for ourselves — we don’t question what we’re taught. We have to learn how to push boundaries and live and hope and dream


The Forest of Hand and Teeth is available now. Pick up your copy at your local library, Amazon, or your local independent book store. Carrie recommends Park Road Books in Charlotte, NC and The Open Book in Greenville, SC.

For more information about Carrie, visit her website.

Blog Tour: Carrie Ryan
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