The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan (Audiobook): Review

Gabry lives in Vista, a town on the outskirts of the area governed by the Protectorate, with her mother the lighthouse keeper Mary, the character formerly known as protagonist of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Gabry is a girl who just wants to have fun in a post-apocalyptic zombie world and heads out past the boundaries of the town to the ruins of an amusement park with her friends. One of those friends is a boy named Catcher who she desperately wants to make out with.

It's all fun and games until someone gets bit by a zombie, or mudo as they call them, which happens when teens even think about sex. (Warning to teens: Making Out* = Death by Zombie) A bunch of her friends are now dead or infected or in jail while she is smart enough to run away. But as punishment for running away, all these friends hate her which considering they're all dead, infected or in jail shouldn't be such a big deal. It's a big deal to Gabry who is in agony over the situation. To add a cherry on top of things, Mary drops a bomb. KA-BOOM!

Gabry does the sensible thing and runs off into zombie territory in search of her bitten boyfriend. If zombies only wanted brains, she'd be perfectly safe.

About 5 minutes after entering zombieland, she's nearly eaten but saved by a mysterious stranger. Who is this boy? A possible love interest? You bet your booty! After a series of events, Gabry is on the run searching for the village in the middle of the Forest of Hands and Teeth.

Okay, I really enjoyed The Forest of Hands and Teeth. It was a compelling and suspenseful story so I looked forward to more of the same from Carrie Ryan. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. The biggest problem I had with The Dead-Tossed Waves was Gabry. Dear Lord, make the whining stop! There is line after line of her internal dialogue, "I wish I could go back to last night..." "I wish I could go back to last week..." Well, you can't so suck it up. Half way through I wanted someone to push her in front of a zombie and run.

I did enjoy seeing Mary again. She is a much more interesting character than Gabry but since she is a few decades older she can't be a big part in a teen series. The boys seem like stock YA boys; there for romantic tension and occasionally do something heroic for the girl. Nice boys, really, but not ones I end up caring about.

I wanted very much to like The Dead-Tossed Waves more than I did. There were parts that were entertaining, glimpses into the world created by the author, and I kept reading for that reason even while rolling my eyes at Gabry's melodrama. I imagine that there will be a third book and since I want to know what happens to the remaining characters and this zombie filled land I will read it. Hopefully it can recapture that certain something The Forest of Hands and Teeth had.

About the Audiobook: Read by Tara Sands.

*Do they still call it "making out"?

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  1. I enjoy this series for the larger issues it presents, but the teenage whining always gets to me - it's part of the reason I've cut back a lot on the YA I've been reading.

  2. I am in the middle of this right now, and your review made me laugh out loud!

  3. Swapna- Yes, it enjoyed the ideas behind it but Gabry isn't the narrator for me.

    Lenore- I'll be waiting to see what you think of it!

  4. I'm sorry to see that this didn't live up to The Forest of Hands and Teeth.

  5. My review will go up this week, so look for it :)

  6. I didn't like the first book so I wasn't going to read this one, but none of your complaints surprise me in the least. Whiney protagonists - can't stand 'em!

    Plus, I find it very worrisome that the author has used such an old-fashioned and demeaning connection as sex=zombie attack - I had hoped we had moved past this kind of thing!

  7. Shannon- I don't know if it was on purpose but having grown up with those kinds of movies where the teens in the van are the first to get murdered, it gave me pause.

  8. This reminds me of the graphic novel BLACK HOLE by Charles Burns, where teens become horribly disfigured and outcasts after they have sex. What a cliche. I think I'll skip this book.

  9. I refer to "making out" as "mugging down" just to make the teenagers in my house look at me funny. :DDD

    I haven't read this one because I suspected this problem might occur. I'm going to want to dropkick Gabry, I can already tell.

  10. Great review! LOL. I couldn't stop laughing while reading your review. I don't think I could take an entire book of a character like that either. :)

    From the Shadows


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