May 2011 Wrap Up

This month, I read:

The Adoration of Jenna Fox [Fox #1]-Mary E. Pearson
The Alchemyst [Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel #1]-Michael Scott
The Dead Tossed Waves-Carrie Ryan
Across the Universe-Beth Revis
Snow-Terry Lynn
What Happened to Goodbye-Sarah Dessen
The Iron Queen [Iron Fey #3]-Julie Kagawa

Books I purchased: 0
Won in Contest:  0
Borrowed from friend: 3
Checked out from library: 4
Review books: 0
Pages read: 2492

Challenge Status:

Show Me the Free: 0/12
2011 Debut Author Challenge: 1/12
Edgar Awards Reading Challenge: 1/5
2011 Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge: 6/15
Retold Fairy Tales: 5/6
Nicholas Sparks Reading Challenge: 1/4

This month was very hectic, but fun. I loved a lot of the books I read, and some were in a series I was dying to read. Hopefully next month will be filled with awesome books that I’ll want to read again and again.

4 stars · dystopia · fiction · romance · science fiction · young adult

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan

The Dead-Tossed Waves

Author: Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Book 2
Book 1: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Pages [hardcover]: 407

Favorite Characters: Elias & Cira

Opening Lines: The story goes that even after the Return they tried to keep the roller coasters going. They said it reminded them of the before time. When they didn’t have to worry about people rising from the dead, when they didn’t have to build fences and walls and barriers to protect themselves from the masses of Mudo constantly seeking human flesh.

Memorable Quote: We’re both just human. Nothing more. But also nothing less.


Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves.


Nearly a year after I first read the companion book, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, I decided to pick up The Dead-Tossed Waves. I’m so grateful to commenters that said the second book was much better than the first, and my friends that literally forced me to sit down and read this. I ended up enjoying it much more than I’d expected. It even kept me reading late into the night at some moments!

Carrie Ryan definitely has a gift with plot twists. She can take a simple situation in the book, make it look like the characters will move along with no problem, and all of a sudden drop an unexpected literary bomb that shatters what you thought was going to happen and adds a whole new set of complications to the mix. I loved that, and it definitely kept me hooked. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that there wasn’t a chance to breath, or a spot to stop for the night! Continuous action can be both awesome and exhausting.

The characters still fell a little flat. I’m not sure if Gabry is supposed to really, really annoy me throughout most of the book, but she did. I ended up looking forward to reading about Elias or Catcher, any of the minor characters, really, just to get out of her head for a bit. Her emotions seemed exaggerated, her reactions odd. One thing I did like characterization-wise was how the adults were portrayed. Usually, a main character’s parents aren’t thought of as having their own fears, wants, worries, and dreams. Gabry’s mother is seen in both vulnerable and strong times, much different from most YA books.

I loved how I found out things that were left up in the air in the first book. It was hard to remember details, after so long, but piecing it together was half of the fun. Seeing how the stories ran together was cool. And now I’ll definitely have to pick up the third book, especially with an ending like this. Must I always be left hanging? The final scene annoyed me to no end.

All in all, I give  The Dead-Tossed Waves 4/5 stars. It was twice as good as the first, really kept me interested, and made me want to read more. Very good read, especially for zombie-lovers. (:

dystopia · Fantasy · fiction · horror · science fiction · young adult

“The Forest of Hands and Teeth” by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan

Pages [hardcover]: 310

Available in stores everywhere

The first in a series

First Lines: My mother used to tell me about the ocean. She said there was a place where there was nothing but water as far as you could see and that it was always moving, rushing toward you and then away.

Memorable Quote: It’s not about surviving. It should be about love. When you know love…that’s what makes this life worth it.

Favorite Character: Harry

In Mary’s world, there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And 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. Now she must choose between her village and her future, between the one she loves and the one who loves her.
[Taken from the front flap of the book]

I really don’t know what to make of this book. I was not expecting the zombie [aka Unconsecrated] filled novel full of questions about whether God exists and setting off on a huge quest in order to find the ocean.
So. The concept was great-a dystopia where an infection has spread, turning people into zombies if they are bitten by the carriers-the Unconsecrated. I’ve never actually read a book about zombies, only ever seen scary movies with them included, so this book was a refreshing break from the pack.
Let me warn you that the author resists every urge to turn this into a gushy love story. The zombies and their attacks are described in full detail-blood included, free of charge.
Mary annoyed me most of the time. I liked how she was independent and adventerous, but her indecisiveness and her ability to forgive and forget so easily made me dislike her greatly.
Mary is in love with Travis from before the novel starts, and I just don’t see what makes him more appealing than any other guy.
And this book happened to jump around a lot-sometimes I would turn back a few pages to see if I missed something, figure out that I didn’t, and then continue to be puzzled.
The last few pages of the book were great, I think. The best ones of the book. And I mean that truthfully, no sarcasm included.
Because there is a sequel, and a third book, I’m trying to figure out if they’re worth reading. I’d really like to see what happens, but I don’t want to struggle through it. Then again, the characters and plot might be more defined…
Oh, well. “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” gets 2/5 stars. Not the worst I’ve seen.
Have you read/want to read this book? Think that I should give the second one a shot? Comment below!