The Dead-Tossed Waves (Carrie Ryan)

The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and Teeth #2
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Number of pages: 404
My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle Store

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.

* * *

The Unconsecrated make a comeback, but this time they are known as Mudo, and the story is told in the eyes of Gabry, Mary’s daughter. Gabry has lived a safe and sheltered life, behind the barriers of Vista, and she’d like to keep it that way. She lived with her mother at the light house, helping her mom decapitate Mudo whenever some of wash ashore from the incoming tide. She knew her mother was not a local, and she was stranger than what the other people in the village, but she was used to it, being that her mother was from The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Gabry wasn’t one to question anything in her life — as long as she’s safe and her family and friends are, too, she’s okay.

But one night, she tagged along with some of her friends and the boy she likes to go outside of the barrier — and it was the mistake that changed Gabry’s life forever. In an instant, she saw her friends turn into zombies, and the guy she loves, Catcher, runs away into the forest after having been bitten. Gabry manages to run back to the safety of her own home, but not without repercussions of her actions.

The Dead Tossed Waves is a different kind of zombie novel, at least, very different from its prequel. Gabry was very different from Mary — while Mary was headstrong and dreamed big, Gabry was contented with where she was. She was afraid almost half the time. Mary acted with a purpose, while Gabry acted more out of impulse, out of need. Gabry was reactive, doing things because she had to, not because she wanted to, at least up until the last part.

We also see a few characters from the previous novel and even visit Mary’s old village again. There are a lot of new additions in the world of the Unconsecrated/Mudo: a cult, Breakers, and Recruiters, and the Dark City, which I think we’ll see more of in the next book. We get a lot more answers in this book, too, although they weren’t that clear, it’s enough to give an idea why there were fenced villages and why Mary’s village was shut off on its own with the Sisterhood.

This book kept me reading and guessing almost all the time. Just when I thought things were over, it’s not. I hated the part when Gabry comes to realize her feelings but then the guy (I’m not revealing who :P) is suddenly pulled from her grasp. My jaw was hanging open at that time! There was an overall depressing tone in this book’s prequel and this one is a lot better in terms of delivering hope in such a dire situation. It made me root for the protagonists more, and hope that they will come out of this alive and they will all see each other again.

Overall, I liked this book. It has a lot more romance in it as compared to its predecessor, but it wasn’t cheesy or annoying unlike other novels. Gabry wasn’t the best protagonist ever, but she has a lot of room to grow, and I look forward to reading about it in the next book (if there is a next one). :D

Rating:

Belated Birthdays

So the truth was, I didn’t get any book for my birthday. It always happens — I only get books when I specifically request them from people, otherwise…I don’t. I did get lots of shoes this year, and a surprise party, but I didn’t get a single book.

No, don’t worry, it’s okay. Books can wait. :P Clothes and shoes can’t. (I can’t believe I just wrote that)

But I guess posting my book wish list on my blogs paid off — because someone came along and saw it and gave me a belated birthday present. :)

This package came arrived for me today at work:

Look where it's from!

YAY! :)

YAY! :)

It came with a note, too:

Thanks, Ro!

Thanks, Ro!

Thanks again, Ro! I can’t wait to read them this Holy Week. :)

BTT: Breaks

I owe you guys review. Soon, soon.

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks about breaks:

Do you take breaks while reading a book? Or read it straight through? (And, by breaks, I don’t mean sleeping, eating and going to work; I mean putting it aside for a time while you read something else.)

I used to be a one-book person, and I refused to pick up other books while I was reading others. But ever since I got into ebooks, I found myself reading more than one book at a time.

Of course, I choose which books I take a break from. If I’m reading something light, it’s easy to take a break from it since it won’t take much effort to jump back into the story. But if I’m reading something a bit heavy, like a classic book for instance, I can’t take a break from it because if I do, I’d have to read from the start again when I pick it up because I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to get back into the story as easy as other books do.

Slow Reading

Hello world, missed me?

It’s pretty quiet here because for the first time since January, I haven’t finished reading anything this week. Of course, it was my birthday week too, which made me twice as busy as I normally am with all the parties and celebrations and such. I’m currently reading two books — an actual book and an ebook, but I’m still quite slow with it.

Normally, I’m a fast reader. I finish books like I eat them — a book that a friend normally reads a week, I can read it in two to three days. Sometimes I read books faster than I actually understand term life insurance rates. I do get to finish the story quickly, but sometimes I tend to miss out on some details and words in the book (no wonder my vocabulary sucks sometimes).

But there were and are certain books that I read slowly, for different reasons. I could be busy, it could be a classic book, or I could be trying to savor reading the book. I read Fire slowly, because I wanted to savor it. I read Persuasion slowly because it was kind of hard getting into the language. Right now I’m reading Shades of Grey slowly, because I feel like if I don’t, I’ll miss a lot of the little details in the book that makes it unique.

So…forgive me for the lack of entries here. I don’t have book stash posts too, for a whole different reason, which I think I should have blogged about here earlier. Maybe tomorrow.

I should get back to reading now.

Oh, and do you have a question? Ask me anything here!

Angels Among Us

Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne SelforsCoffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors

When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down.  Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be . . .

Katrina lived most of her life in her grandmother’s coffee shop, helping her maintain the place with another friend Irmgaard, who has been helping them out without a word because of her vow of silence. Business for their coffee shop was dying because of the next door coffee shop Java Heaven, which is more modern than theirs, and naturally attracts more customers. Katrina generally keeps to herself, happy with her two best friends Vincent and Elizabeth, but deep inside, she’s sad because she doesn’t know what she’s good at, unlike them.

One day, Katrina chances upon a homeless guy sleeping in the alley, and despite her fears about him, she leaves him some food to tide his hunger over. Little did she know that this little act will change her life.

In this time of teen girls falling in love with boys who have supernatural roots, it’s easy to get jaded over the entire concept already. That’s because everything pretty much has the same storyline: girl meets mysterious guy, tries to stay away but is very attracted, ends up spending time with him, learning his dangerous secret, but still falling in love regardless of the possible consequences. It gets tiring, really, and one can only use so many creatures to fall in love with.

Coffeehouse Angel was a fresh twist on that storyline. In a way, it may not even be the same storyline because the romance part wasn’t the sole focus of this novel, but mainly Katrina, and finding out what she is passionate about. Malcolm, the angel, was more of a catalyst than a main character or a love interest, for that matter. I had fun reading this because all the characters were well developed, from the old men who hang out at Katrina’s coffee shop to Ratcatcher the cat. The conflict felt real, and I felt especially sympathetic to Katrina when she started to lose Vincent when he started dating someone.

The story wasn’t shallow either — a lot of things were revealed as the story progressed, and I would never have guessed why Irmgaard was quiet all the time, or why Heidi, Katrina’s “rival” was doing what she was doing. Important lessons were imparted in the book as well, such as being the better person by not blackmailing your enemy, living life, finding your passion and forgiveness.

The only thing that didn’t really sit well on me was, surprisingly, the love angle. I didn’t really feel that much chemistry between Katrina and Malcolm, except that she was annoyed at him first, but as they got to know each other, he just had this “warm” aura that everybody loves. It was clear that they liked each other, but it was kind of hard for me to really believe it. I probably would have believed it more if Katrina fell for Vincent or something like that. Nevertheless, the ending was quite good, too, and it didn’t mean losing one’s mortality, or going totally crazy over each other that they lose their identity.

It’s a good story, one of substance, and one that I would definitely recommend over the other YA supernatural romance novels out there. :)

I end this review with this quote from the book.:

Was I really going to the Solstice Festival with an angel? How do you wrap your head  around something like that? There are so many stories about girls dating vampires and fairy kings but those are dark stories, dangerous where the simple act of falling puts the girl’s life at risk. Malcolm didn’t seem one bit dangerous. Angels are supposed to be pure and sinless, so it would be a pure and sinless date. I didn’t have a problem with that. It was kind of a relief that I wouldn’t have to fend off blood-sucking or an enchantment on our first date.

Hm. Could this be pointing to what I think it’s pointing? ;)

Rating:

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 17 out of 100 for 2010

→ Get Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors from Amazon.com
→ Suzanne Selfors’ website