The Dead-Tossed Waves: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 2

Book review by
Debra Bogart, Common Sense Media
The Dead-Tossed Waves: The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Intense zombie horror-romance more violent than the first.

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value
Positive Messages

In this dystopian and nightmarish world, at least one teen finds reasons to struggle for survival. Survival is such a struggle that normal rules and ethics tend to fall away; readers will have to judge whether some secrets are worth keeping.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Gabry stands up to a lot of peer pressure; her mother Mary is perhaps the strongest character in the book in terms of sacrifice, conviction, and idealism. Catcher also shows exemplary qualities of love and devotion as he tries to protect his sister and then Gabry.


Children in the town of Vista are taught to carry weapons and kill zombies at an early age. Gruesome, graphic depictions of zombies attacking and being killed take place on almost every page. A cult that ritualistically sacrifices their children to the zombies and then leads the zombies around on chains are protected by the government. The main character kills as necessary with little to no emotion.


Gabry falls in love for the first time and has her first kiss, then falls for the second time and has her next kiss with another all in less than a week.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know this fast paced zombie horror story has lots of graphic blood and gore, teen romance (lots of first kisses), and the emotional
extremes common in survival situations. Right from the beginning the blood and gore is ramped up, and it doesn't stop, making this a book for older, mature teens. The intensity of the horror is higher in this sequel than in The Forest of Hands and Teeth as children are sacrificed to  the Mudo in a bizarre cult ritual, teens are locked up and banished for endangerment, and Gabry kills both zombies and humans without qualms in her race for survival.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written byJTDB May 25, 2013

Great Book; Lots Of Violence

Don't disregard this review because of my age but just think about what I'm saying....
This book is amazing and if, like me, you were left with a hug... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old May 10, 2013

LOVE IT!!!!!

This is a bit more violent than the first book, but you will fall in love with it!

What's the story?

Many years after Mary escaped from the Forest of Hands and Teeth, she is still living in the seaside town of Vista, raising a teen daughter named Gabry. She is training Gabry to take over her lighthouse keeper duties, including sweeping the shore at every high tide and decapitating all
Mudo zombies that have washed ashore before they rise. When Gabry and her friends sneak out and cross the forbidden Barrier, they are attacked by the Mudo and life changes overnight. Gabry's crush, Catcher, is Infected and her friends are banished. Gabry must leave Vista to search for Catcher, and along the way she encounters an attractive stranger with a dangerous cult. After bloody battles, gory deaths, long kisses, and more zombies than anyone ever imagined, Gabry is forced to choose: will she stay or will she go?

Is it any good?

Horror fans, especially those enjoying the current zombie phase, will love the torrential danger and fear. And there is even more teen romance than the
first volume for recovering Twilighters. The family history that Gabry's mother slowly reveals explains some of the mystery set up in The Forest of Hands and Teeth, but this story also reveals a bigger world: both bigger dangers and bigger opportunies. Gabry embodies the determination of a teen who is not about to give up on life or love, even as she sometimes wonders about the futility of fighting to survive in such a bleak existence.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about life in a dystopia: the government of Vista has made rules to keep people safe, but are they necessarily the best rules? Are there perhaps some motives beyond safety for some of the laws?

  • Why does the government give protected status to the cult of the Soulers?

  • Catcher is afraid of heights. Is it hard to imagine someone being afraid of heights when there are so many zombies around? Can people control some fears and not others?

  • Why do readers enjoy being scared?

Book details

  • Author: Carrie Ryan
  • Genre: Horror
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press
  • Publication date: March 9, 2010
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
  • Number of pages: 407
  • Last updated: September 16, 2020

For kids who love fantasy, romance, and the undead

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