The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Book 1 in The 5th Wave trilogy
Genre: YA sci-fi (science fiction)
I really enjoyed The 5th Wave. It only took me 9 days to read *shudders* because school got in the way.
Ugh, school is a pest sometimes. It was a fun sci-fi read, and I loved the section pages; the sky illustrations are so pretty! 😀 Is it bad I’m calling this book fun? What happened in it wasn’t fun. That’s not what I mean. I mean it was fun to read about. That makes me sound creepy and weird. I give up. You know what I mean. Hopefully.
There’s really no need for an explanation here. Everyone knows what this book is about because they’ve either read the book, seen the trailers, or both. I thought it was really unique and well-executed. Other people may not agree (and I respect that 😉 ) but I haven’t heard of anything like this before. I mean, I’ve heard of alien invasion books, but none like this one. Not only was it different, it was freaky (in a good way). I can’t imagine experiencing any of the waves. Losing power would be the worst for me. I could get over losing my phone and the Internet, but I wouldn’t like having no lights or ways to cook food or take a hot shower or anything. I mean, who would? The plague would be terrifying too. They all would be, who am I kidding? Anyway, I’ll stop rambling. XD The point is that I really enjoyed the story in this book. 😀
The story followed five main characters: Cassie, Ben, Sammy, Evan, and Ringer. I loved all of them. Cassie was a normal teenage girl shoved into the apocalypse (well, everyone was) and I think she handled it really well. She was strong and brave, but she was unsure and scared too. I admired her ability to adapt and think on her feet, and it was refreshing to see that sometimes her actions made her think after everything was said and done. Her love for Sammy was really sweet and it was awesome to see her as a big sister. She loved Sammy and was willing to do anything to rescue him. I thought that was a nice twist because, in my opinion, it’s too common in YA for younger siblings to be cast off as annoying and/or in the way. And on that note, I loved Sammy. He was adorable, and he handled everything really well for a five year old. His section broke my heart a little, because even though it was in third person (all the others were in first), I could still tell that Sammy was terrified and wanted to be with Cassie and his dad, but also determined to be brave. I wanted to give him a hug. ❤
Then there was Evan. I had really mixed feelings about him and couldn’t really decide whether I liked and trusted him until the end. In the beginning he was sweet and mysterious, but then I found him suspicious. It stayed that way for a while, but then I was sort of in the middle for a while. Now that I’ve finished the book, I can say I really like him and completely trust him. 🙂
Finally, there’s Ben and Ringer. I liked both of them, but at the moment I’m hoping their relationship stays platonic. I think I’d like them more as friends than as a couple. Ben was a good, strong character with a lot of personality, but he was really unsure in his leadership and on occasion he came off as a bit arrogant. It was
mainly entirely because he’d sometimes mention his life prior to the apocalypse/invasion, and what bugged me about that was whenever he mentioned his smile. He would say it lit up a room, that it blinded people, and that he couldn’t smile while driving because it might cause an accident. I swear, all of those were in the book at least once. Cassie mentioned the first one maybe twice, but I was okay with that because he was her crush. When he said it, it annoyed me because, like I said, it made him seem arrogant. At least to me, anyway. Otherwise, though, I didn’t have a problem with him. However, I didn’t have any issues with Ringer. She was absolutely epic and refused to take anything from anyone. I loved her, and I’m intrigued to know what her real name is.
This book took place in the United States, in a modern time period and everything, but it was entirely apocalyptic and in ruins. Rick described everything really well, and I could picture everything easily. That was a big factor in how freaky it seemed sometimes; it was so modern and realistic, so similar to the country I know. I could imagine what Cassie was seeing as easily as if I was looking out the car window on a vacation. Obviously there’s no apocalypse (and I hope there never is), but you get the idea.
I loved the familial relationships in this book. Cassie and Sammy’s parents died early on; their mom died of the plague before the story started and their dad was shot less than 100 pages in. But Cassie and Sammy maintained a solid relationship through all of it, even through their separation. I loved the determination Cassie had to rescue Sammy and the faith she kept that he was still alive. And I loved that Sammy was always sure that Cassie would save him, even though it took her a while. Like I mentioned previously, I think YA needs more sibling relationships like the one Cassie and Sammy have.
At first there were no love interests, it was just Cassie trying to stay alive. It was mentioned semi-frequently that she had a crush on Ben, but it was only her thoughts when she was alone. I didn’t make anything of it. Then something else happens and she meets Evan. I originally thought their romance was a bit too instantaneous, but after more suspicion was cast in Evan’s direction, it bumped everything down a few notches and I could accept it. After that, Cassie was much more wary of him and it wasn’t until the very end that their romance seemed to be repaired. I’m curious to see if this lasts in the next book. 🙂
This book was full of surprises, especially with the multiple perspectives it was told from. I thought I would know what to expect, but I didn’t. I never did. A lot was thrown at me, but it never felt like too much to process. I can’t say much, but I can say I wasn’t ever bored. If I could’ve managed it, I would’ve read this in much less than 9 days.
The only other problem I had was the multiple perspectives. Each section was narrated by someone different, and although it only switched between four characters, it was confusing sometimes. I wish there had been some sort of way to tell before I started reading, like maybe the narrator’s name. There is one section where I could understand why the name wouldn’t be mentioned because it would spoil something, but otherwise I don’t think it would’ve been a problem.
On the bright side, there was a nice dash of humor throughout the book. I really liked that. Some of my favorite quotes/lines were:
Aliens are stupid.
What were they thinking? It’s an alien apocalypse! Quick, grab the beer!
In case you’re an alien and you’re reading this: BITE ME.
Well, that’s good, we thought. This silence is deafening. Why did they come billions of miles just to stare at us? It’s rude.
“Maybe they’re spacefaring micemen from Planet Cheese and they’ve come for our provolone.”
Over the past ten minutes, it’s become such a dear friend, I consider naming it: Howard, my pet log.
I loved The 5th Wave. It was an awesome, unique sci-fi read and I’m excited for the movie. I’ll definitely be looking for The Infinite Sea next time I go to the library! It would’ve gotten a full 5 stars if not for a few small issues. 😉
my rating: 4¾ out of 5 stars
Have you read this? Is it on your TBR? If you have, what did you think? Are you looking forward to the movie? Feel free to tell me in the comments! 🙂
I’ll be buddy-reading Ruin and Rising with Ashleigh next! Then tomorrow I’ll be starting Redwall, which I’m going to buddy-read with my sister. 😀