book review: the 5th wave by rick yancey


This book's quite popular these days, i think it's because the movie is coming out soon. When i saw it for 8 bucks at Big Bad Wolf, well you know what happened. I wanted to read some other books i got but my friend insisted that i read this. So yeah, i did.

Here's another dystopian book that's worth reading. In the book, the world has basically been taken over by aliens. It's been described that the aliens aren't like the ones we've always imagined and translated into movies and stuff. It's a bit similar to The Host, i guess. The aliens are "downloaded" into a few hundreds of thousands of humans while they're still in their mother's womb and they stay asleep in their host for years until the invasion starts. The main character, Cassie, calls them the Others.

When the 1st Wave came, electricity and batteries no longer worked. No more transportation, no more mobile phones, no more Internet. It's like they all went back to the Stone Ages. Half a million people were killed. I can't remember what happened in the 2nd Wave, but the 3rd Wave killed 4 billion people through a deadly plague. In the 4th Wave, nobody can be trusted anymore.

The story starts off with Cassie Sullivan, a sixteen-year-old(if i'm not mistaken) girl who is on the run in the woods. Her parents are dead. Her mother died from the plague, and her father was killed by people they thought were going to save them. Cassie has a little brother, Sammy, who was among the children who got taken away by those people to a supposed "safe" place. She promised her brother that she would come back for him. The only problem was that she only had a backpack, a teddy bear, an M16 and a Silencer out to kill her.

I honestly don't wanna add more about what the story is about because i don't wanna give away what happens. I'm sure you would enjoy it more the lesser you know about it. But anyway, the book was written through a few characters' perspectives; Cassie, the Silencer, Ben Parish and Cassie's brother, Sammy. I found it really interesting that you could easily distinguish the characters through the style of writing in each point of view. Cassie was more of the sassy-bitchy type in her thoughts, which i admit were quite hilarious at times. Sammy's thoughts were more childish since he is only five-years-old, but sometimes i think he sounded a little too mature for a kid. Or maybe kids actually understand more than what we give them credit for.

There are a few inappropriate words being used in the book; such as the S word and the F word. It's not really a big deal i guess, i thought it was okay enough because most of the characters were teenagers. It was also great that the thoughts of these characters were somewhat realistic; like how they act like normal teenagers before the 1st Wave started but were then forced to grow up to stay alive.

Admittedly, some of the descriptions of the events that occurred were a little disturbing and gory. I guess this(and the swear words) were what made this book in the Young Adults genre, where it's more suitable for older teenagers. It's quite creepy that the setting is in the current world, because it feels very futuristic and you can somehow imagine it in our future(although it doesn't seem likely). To be honest i think i would die in the 3rd Wave hahahah.

[SPOILER SECTION]

Maybe it was because i was having a busy week, but it took me a while to finish this book. The start wasn't very fast-paced so even though i thought it was interesting, i didn't feel liked i HAD to get into the book. The book really grasped my attention when Ben started the basic training, i think. I really love those kind of scenes; where there's tough military training for kids. It reminds me of the Cherub series, and it's exhilarating that children can do those kind of things. It was shocking that kids as young as five were forced to go through it and work with guns and stuff, but that's what made the story interesting.

I love how Rick Yancey surprises his readers with unexpected things. I was quite taken off-guard when i realised Cassie's all-time crush was going to be one of the main characters. Even more shocking was when Sammy was the newbie who had to join his squad. I guess i saw it coming that Cassie was going to meet up with Ben in the end. Ahhh another surprise was finding out Evan was the Silencer who initially wanted to kill Cassie. Finding out what the 5th Wave was was also somewhat mind-blowing. However, it didn't seem as bad as the previous waves, but maybe because it was more silent and indirect.

The love story between Cassie and Evan was a little fast and forced though. Cassie, who's been in love with Ben Parish for years straightaway fell for Evan Walker when she first met him. Then in the end, after she recently found out he wasn't only human but was part alien, says "I love you" when she sees him again at Camp Haven. Uhhhh, okay. A bit too fast there. The guy is part alien, he lied to you a lot of times and claims he's in love with you after expressing how much he loved his ex-girlfriend, and you suddenly think you love him?Okay, Cassie.
 I also totally did not expect Evan to kiss Cassie when he first did. He seemed so in love with his ex who died, and the only reason(other than Cassie "saving" him) he claimed to love her was because she's "really pretty". I don't know about Cassie, but no, that sure ain't a good enough reason to let a guy kiss you.

I have mixed opinions about Cassie's character. I think she's hilarious with her thoughts, for example when she realised Evan had probably stripped off her clothes and bathed her and her thoughts were "Well, it could be worse.You could have been rescued by a fifty-year-old perve sporting a spare tire the size of a monster truck's who keeps his dead mother in the attic." Okay, that was funny. Also when she and her best friend had a conversation about not being able to experience sexual intercourse before the end of the world happened. Okay, that was just random and probably unnecessary but i thought it was a great addition to the teen character that she is.
At the same time, i found Cassie a little annoying. This is especially when she's with Evan, and the fact that she fell for him right away. I don't know why, but i don't like Evan. I still can't trust him.

Ben Parish aka Zombie is my favourite character. His flirtatious relationship with Ringer is just adorable. I didn't get why in the end he kinda-kissed Cassie though, it didn't make sense to me since he hardly noticed her in high school. I wish it had been Ringer instead.

There was one scene that made me wanna cry a bit. It was the part where Ben promised Sammy he would come back for him, and Sammy got upset and told him to never, ever make promises. I guess it was because he was still waiting for Cassie and was probably losing faith in her, so it broke my heart that a kid so young could feel and understand so much.

I felt sick for the descriptions of the plague, the incinerated bodies and the blowing-of-heads. The details were quite specific and forced me to imagine what it was like. Ugh, i feel sick just talking about it. Genius of the author though, i admit.

[END OF SPOILER PART]

In conclusion, i quite liked this book. I'd rate it 4.7 out of 5. I appreciated the writing and the way the story was told. Dystopian lovers definitely should read it, especially because the movie is coming out in 2016 starring Chloe Grace Moretz as Cassie. Perfect choice, in my opinion. I can't wait to read the second book!


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if a house is made from a thousand bricks, then let me be one of those bricks, to help keep the house together, to make a significant difference.

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Kamalia has read 15 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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