Carrie Ryan’s Dead-Tossed Waves picks up years after Mary escaped The Forest Of Hands And Teeth. Mary is now older and has a daughter, Gabriella. The Unconsecrated, or Mudo, as they are called in this ocean side community are still very present. Mary’s job is to decapitate the ones that wash ashore. Gabriella has a crush on Catcher. So when he and their friends dare each other to climb the barrier and explore the old amusement park, she reluctently agrees. Once inside the zombies attack, leaving Catcher infected and the group in huge trouble. Gabriella breaches the barriers a few more times to try and help him before he turns. But Catcher isn’t like the rest and his secret could mean even bigger trouble for himself and the ones who love him. Elias, who is part of a cult that worships the Unconsecrated, helps her, creating a love triangle. Who will Gabriella choose? At the same time her mother, Mary decides to go back into The Forest Of Hands and Teeth to search for those she left behind in the first book. All the events force Gabriella into the forest following the same fences, searching for answers about her past and her future.
There are more zombie attack scenes in this one and less whiney pining. One of the more frightening scenes involved a school bus full of child zombies when she and Catcher follow the gates into an abadonned city. I was frustrated with Mary for wanting to go back to the forest. That annoyed me quit a bit. I found the plot line about the cult and what they do to the Mudo fascinating.
Some ideas for discussing with teens:
Gabriella says “I like to think there is a girl like me who stands in the night and wonders what else exists in the in the world but who is terrified to find out.” Can you relate to that?
The fear of the Mudo keep people out of the forest. Is there something that you are afraid of that keeps you from venturing beyond your comfort zone?
How are Gabriella and Mary different? How are they the same?
Gabriella is in love with Catcher. Talk about how he changed. Is it worth the risk to be with someone you love?
Talk about how her relationship is different with Elias.
Was Mary right to keep the secret of Gabriella’s origins?
Would you have gone back into the Forest Of Hands And Teeth?
Talk about the cult that worships the Mudo. They believe that they will have immortality.