Megan's Reviews > The Dead-Tossed Waves

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
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's review
Jan 23, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: zombies, young-adult, dystopian

How could Carrie Ryan have gotten this one so wrong? Admittedly, I am one of the few people who loved The Forest of Hands and Teeth and actually enjoyed the aspects of the book that other people disliked. The writing style, the questions left unanswered ~ for me, this just added to the surreal tone of the story. As if Mary was not quite thinking clearly & in a perpetual state of shock. But that was another book, and The Dead-Tossed Waves is an entirely different tale.

In fact, DTW doesn't even read like the ultra-depressing dystopian zombie apocalypse that I was so looking forward to. It reads like a very badly written YA romance. To begin with, in DTW, Mary is a much older woman, and we follow the story of her daughter, Gabrielle (uh, yeah...) I am tempted to say that Gabry (what an awkward nickname!) is unlikeable, but I don't know if this is true ~ or if it is just the way she is written. I mean, Ryan feels it necessary to record every single thought Gabry has. Every hope, conflict, guilt, fear, and insecurity... need I go on? And this isn't just written once ~ we are subjected to the endless prattle of a teenager’s inner monologue over and over and over. There was so much repetition in Gabry's thoughts. We read multiple times that when someone is in trouble or feeling down, Gabry desperately wants to give the person, "something to hold onto." Very early into DTW we learn that Gabry's world is changing too fast, she wishes she could change the moment she broke the barrier, she is confused as to who she is, where she comes from & who she is expected to be. We don't read these fears once ~ we read them every other chapter or so. In those exact words.

In addition to endless repetition, DTW felt very gimmicky to me. Whenever Gabry is experiencing a joyful moment something will happen to disrupt the peace. When Gabry is in a conflict with any of the other characters, one of them will halt the moment by simply walking away. Gabry, her best friend, her mother, her love interest, her guy who likes her more than she likes him ~ when tension is created, it is instantly broken by someone physically leaving the scene.

Along those same lines, Gabry experiences quite a few almost kisses. We all know how awesome that moment is... when you are with a new person and you come soooo close to kissing, but for whatever reason you don't. Love it :) But poor freaking Gabry experiences this almost moment SO MANY times that I just want to beat Ryan over the head with her own book! Give the girl a break and give her some action, for crying out loud. My final complaint regarding Gabry's love interest is that she is victim to my biggest pet peeve in romance novels ~ she falls for a guy simply because he makes her feel special. Are these female writers’ really so self-absorbed and neurotic? Gabry is a teenager, never had a boyfriend before ~ what happened to liking someone because he is funny, or smart, or looks hot in torn jeans, or whatever. But to write that Gabry is interested in someone because he makes her feel amazing or because he tells her he loves her...really? That is the best you can come up with? And of course both of these guys are so bland, so helpful, will do anything for Gabry & even get along with each other. Bor-ring!

Finally ~ as I mentioned, I loved the depressing, dystopian feel of FHT. I loved that no matter what Mary or her friends did, they couldn't withstand the onslaught of Unconsecrated. But the incidents in DTW aren't really out of Gabry's control. I mean to say, the big frightening moments are usually something that could have been avoided had she made a different decision. Humans are just as much of a threat as the Unconsecrated (or Mudo, as they are called in DTW.) In fact, for much of the book it doesn't even read like a zombie apocalypse. It is simply the tale of a very immature girl how happens to live in a land filled with zombies. Sometimes.

It may be unfair to continually compare DTW to FHT... but I loved FHT soooo much! Granted, Ryan may not have been able to carry the same feel or story on through the DTW. And I do realize that many people disliked FHT for the reasons I loved it. But nonetheless, she made such a horrible mess out of DTW. Really. She is a better writer than this. Or at least, I thought she was :(
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Alethea (new) - added it

Alethea A Oh no. I was hoping this one was going to be good. I gave Hands 1 star too.

Megan I gave FHT 5 stars ~ and as I read the reviews, many people who disliked FHT gave this one 4 or 5 stars. So give it a try, you may like it. I just loved FHT sooooo much! And this is nothing like it.

message 3: by Alethea (new) - added it

Alethea A Good point! I really really hated FHT, if not for the great cover art I was going to let this new one slide. (Yes, I buy books by their cover.)

message 4: by Megan (last edited Apr 05, 2010 12:07PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Megan Hee hee ~ me, too :) I bought Fallen for the cover ~ hated the story but still love the cover. Sometimes it works out, though.

Fallen (Fallen, #1) by Lauren Kate

message 5: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana Good review. I am one of those who disliked FOHAT, so reading your review erased any doubts I had about possibly giving the companion a chance:)

Megan Yeah, unfortunately DTW was bad. But ~ as with Forest, I am in the minority. If you read through the other reviews, most people love it. Go figure ;)

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