Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted January 27, 2016 by Lillian in Reviews / 1 Comment

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Series: The 5th Wave, #1
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on 2013-05-07
Length: 457 pages
Reviewing eBook from TN R.E.A.D.S.

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it's the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth's last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie's only hope for rescuing her brother--or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Initial Reaction:

I really have no words for how disappointed I was in The 5th Wave by Rick YanceySeriously!! I’ve heard such AMAZING things about this book and then I was like….WHY?! It was predictable (like ridiculously predictable) and I still am not sure I read the same book as everyone else. The book begins by dropping you into the middle of the story which is okay because it caught my attention immediately! BUT THEN it lags and goes back and forth between present and past as Cassie (the MC) tells her story, why she’s alone, and what the heck happened to everyone else. I’m really torn on how I feel about this book so let’s break it down….

The Awesome Snark

Cassie is one of those characters that you are either going to love or hate. She has the perfect amount of snark while maintaining her disillusioned teenage dreams. Really she does!! While writing in her journal about what is happening she also pines over her high school crush. Rick Yancey does an amazing job of conveying just how lost Cassie is. She clings to her high school crush, her cell phone, her baby brother’s teddy bear while trying to avoid dealing with what is currently happening….the 5th Wave….a full blown alien invasion….the loss of everything she has ever known to be true. Cassie is bitter when she is first introduced but honestly can you blame her?

Then there’s Zombie one of the other main characters. His POV doesn’t come into the book until about third of the way through, but like Cassie his snark and self-deprecating sense of humor along with his hopelessness will either drive readers to him or away. Zombie is a survivor of the plague (the 4th wave) and is a part of the human resistance. He is training to be a soldier and he will do it well. He blames himself for his family’s death at the hand of a local gang and honestly doesn’t want to live. Hence the nickname Zombie….it really fits him. He was once the star football player in high school, now he’s nothing and that my friends is his attitude. He has nothing to live for until he is given his own combat unit and a little boy the same age as his sister to take care of.

And Evan Walker. Let’s all take a moment to swoon over this character shall we?!

I do not want to say too much about Evan Walker because SPOILERS but I will say that he is my favorite character next to Cassie. He’s kind, a bit awkward, and has been alone a long time until he rescues Cassie from certain death. And that is all I will say….he’s a hunk ?

The Expected, Foreseen Plot

Here’s where the story lost me….it was SO PREDICTABLE!!!! I mean I get it. Young adult dystopians involving aliens is a small genre and there’s only SO many ways it can be done, but really it was TOO predictable. I knew everything that was happening before it happened which let’s be honest….that’s disappointing. I want to read a book to be surprised. However I stuck with the book because the premise of the plot was interesting and I liked the characters!

The 5th Wave centers around the alien invasion and the means they’ve used to wipe humans off the planet. Cassie’s character serves as a way to explain the previous 4 waves and whether there will be a 5th one or if they are in the 5th one. It’s a story of survival and what lengths you are willing to go to. But it is also a story about the aliens….why are they here? who are they? those types of questions. The plot is told from multiple POVs and there is some head hopping which I found hard to follow, but the majority of the story comes from Cassie (thankfully). Romance plays a small, VERY small, part of the plot but as I said it’s a story of survival and who will win.

Sad Conclusion

Overall I just wasn’t all that impressed. I’ve heard such amazing things about the book that I knew I wanted to read it and when I saw it was going to be a movie I thought I HAD to read it before the movie came out. Well I’ve read it, it was ok and now I don’t know if I’ll keep reading or see the movie. If you enjoy science fiction, dystopias, and a tiny touch of romance than I recommend you read it. You may find it better than I did!

About Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey ( is the author of the New York Times bestseller The 5th Wave, The Infinite Sea, several adult novels, and the memoir Confessions of a Tax Collector. His first young-adult novel, The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp, was a finalist for the Carnegie Medal. In 2010, his novel, The Monstrumologist, received a Michael L. Printz Honor, and the sequel, The Curse of the Wendigo, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. When he isn't writing or thinking about writing or traveling the country talking about writing, Rick is hanging out with his family.

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One response to “Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. Ah, I can totally see where you’re coming from. But that’s the thing with predictable twists–sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. For me, it worked in The 5th Wave because there were plenty of other interesting things happening in character and tone. And, when something I predicted finally happened, I was really excited because it was the outcome I genuinely had hoped for. But I understand what you mean. That kind of thing can seem totally cliche if you’re not in the right mood for it or you don’t feel like it lived up to your greater expectations. It is what it is.

    Great review, by the way. ๐Ÿ™‚
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