The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan (Gollancz, 2009, ISBN 9780575090866)
Now I have to admit that I don't do zombies, they terrify me! This despite having well-advanced plans in place should there ever be a zombie apocalypse at my college... But this novel gripped me from start to finish. It's set in a small community surrounded by fences that keep the "Unconsecrated" from murdering the inhabitants. Mary's only ever known the village with its strict rules, but starts to question the motivations of her elders when her mother is killed and she is sent to live with the Sisterhood. Brought up by her mother with stories of the ocean, she determines to go beyond the fence and find a different life; a quest made more urgent by her love for her best friend's fiance. But when the fence is breached and the village overrun, Mary and her friends are forced to flee in a terrifying race against the inevitable. A gruesome story but with real human heart, this goes beyond its genre to tell a poignant love story, and the sequel The Dead-Tossed Waves will certainly get first place in my "must read" pile.