An Open Letter to Carrie Ryan; or, A Review of The Dead Tossed Waves

Dear Carrie Ryan,

You know, you are totally a genius. You write so beautifully, it’s almost unfair. Really, I hate zombie stories, but your gorgeous, gorgeous storytelling FORCES me to read them. Take The Dead-Tossed Waves:

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.

SO not my thing. I don’t like scary. I don’t like zombies. And yet? Oh yes, I had to read it.

And that’s not the worst of it. You know I am always harping on this blog about how I don’t read depressing books. You make a liar out of me–your books, so full of sorrow, yet I can’t resist them. I wouldn’t mind being a liar if I weren’t also SO SAD. And I am always sad all day after I read one of your novels.

Perhaps the worst part, though, is that NOW I am waiting, breathlessly, for the third book in this set . . . waiting to be tormented and have my heart crushed, with no guarantee that there will be any happiness for the characters at the end of this reading journey, because it seems you will show no mercy.

Can you please write faster?


P.S. I must give a share of the blame to Writing Buddy Laura, who tempted me with the beauty of The Forest of Hands and Teeth. I think the two of you are engaged in a conspiracy to make me a weeping, zombie-nightmare-having liar. Cruel.


5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Carrie Ryan; or, A Review of The Dead Tossed Waves

  1. Curious isn’t it how a book can affect us so much. I too have books that I know will make me sad – yet can’t resist them because so they are so beautifully written – and yes, because they make me cry (!) It’s the same with films. ‘Three Colours Blue’ with Juliette Binoche always makes me sob at the end – yet I adore the film and have watched it several times. I guess these books and films speak a certain truth – and it resonates. I must say I am in awe of the rate at which you devour books! (puts me to shame….)

    1. I am very affected by books but generally resent being made to weep. I have a melancholy streak that is easily triggered, and not always pleasant to endure! Fortunately I also have a silly family and a good sense of humor, so these days I can pull myself out of the weepies if I need to. Because, sometimes you just need to be weepy, but other times you want to go out in the sunshine and dig in the soil.

      And I do tear through books pretty quickly most of the time. I’m a fast reader–I’ve been reading voraciously since I was four. Sometimes I actually wish I DIDN’T read so fast, because the books I enjoy are over way too quickly! But I’m not reading much that demands intellectual focus, either, so my reading speed might not actually be that impressive . . .

  2. Michelle,

    I cannot keep up with your wonderful book reviews. You are responsible for many of the books I shelve in my house. Now, thanks to my Kindle, I can pick up your must-reads the minute you tell me about them. Easy on my reading life, very difficult on the check book!

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