Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted May 15, 2013 by Kara in Uncategorized / 16 Comments

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Pages: 480
Genre: Young Adult–Post-Apocalyptic
Series: The Fifth Wave #1
Source: ARC sent by a friend

Description from GoodreadsThe Passage meets Ender’s Game in an epic new series from award-winning author Rick Yancey.

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.

I wasn’t sure how to feel about The 5th Wave at first. I wasn’t a fan of the way the book was written at the beginning, and the first third seems to have a bit of a different writing style than the rest. There is a lot of flashing back and differing POVs and it is hard to tell who is who at first. And then there is the exposition and info-dumping. It just keeps going and going, and though I was starting to feel something for these characters, I wanted THEM to tell me their story, not the author. And that’s how I felt. Like it was this happened and then THIS happened, and finally this happened. Even though it is written much better than that, it felt all over the place and disconnected. Where was the plot, and when was it going to get going?

But. Even though there was a lot of jumping around, once I got involved in a chapter–whether it was in the past or present–I was won over. The problem was though that some of them were too short. It felt like the second I got engaged, it would end and then we would be with another character. 

It’s also at this time that I must mention a really weird quote that I found in the book:

“Forgive us our trespasses,as we forgive those who trespass against us.” At which point her arch nemesis, the sole atheist in Camp Ashpit’s foxhole, a college professor named Dawkins, shouted out, “Particularly those of extraterrestrial origin!”

Was it necessary to name him Dawkins? And what was the point in doing that? I hardly think the author meant the actual Richard Dawkins, so what gives? And only having one atheist in this refugee camp? That’s another thing I don’t believe because in a time of trauma, most people would choose one side or another. They would turn to their faith or lack thereof. So it actually kind of offended me a little as an atheist to think there would only be one of us. I just don’t find that realistic in the least. There are more of us than you think. Maybe not as vocal as I am, but there are a lot of atheists out there. So this made me have a sad face and it kind of hung over my head there for a while as I was reading.

Okay, now I’m angry. Pause for a second.

Moving on. At around page 290, the book really began moving and it got really intense. So if you are a reader like me waiting for something major to happen to yank you into the narrative, that’s about when it happens. It’s not that I disliked the book before, because I didn’t, but that is the moment when I felt truly engaged. Creeped out, uncomfortable, and overwhelmed. 

The major problem with The 5th Wave that I could see is that it never stops being predictable. It is all laid out there for you if you just think for a second. And in some cases it doesn’t even take that much thinking. It is just so obvious. All the way until the end, I knew what was going to happen. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it’s not like it isn’t a great story, and hey, Cinder was predictable as all get out and I loved that book, but somehow here I expected more. 

But what matters the most in this book is the relationships between the characters. What they do when they are knocked off their feet and all hope is lost. How they fight, what they do, who they trust. What plans they make. Those are the important things. How the relationship between Cassie and Evan develops. I’d like to mention other character but I can’t without revealing spoilers. But I did enjoy this part of the book. But it wasn’t what I was expecting from the novel, and after watching the book trailer, I expected a story with more action. I got some of that toward the second half and it was definitely worth waiting for, but this definitely wasn’t a perfect book for me. A little overhyped, maybe? And I have to be cognizant of that in the future when so many of my friends are loving something and I go to read it myself. 

I definitely want to continue on with the story though and read more of this author’s work. His writing style flowed well and engaged me for the most part. I loved how he wasn’t afraid to write the way teens really speak, and yes, that includes profanity. It’s realistic. And it was the right decision to include it, especially in a book like this. As much as I want to give it a perfect rating, I just can’t. This is not a 5 star book in my opinion. It is very close to being that for me, but there were just too many little things that bogged it down. 

Favorite Quote:

“When the moment comes to stop running from your past, to turn around and face the thing you thought you could not face–the moment when your life teeters between giving up and getting up–when that moment comes, and it always comes, if you can’t get up and you can’t give up either, here’s what you do: Crawl.”

4/5 Dragons

16 responses to “Book Review of The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. Kara, that anger and frustration in the first half? THAT IS ME! I started this and really don’t like it, but your review has convinced me to continue it in the hopes it will get better. I hope I enjoy it more soon! Great review!(:

    • I hope it does. It really grew on me. It didn’t with everyone and there were some people that just loved it, so there seems to be a lot of mixed reactions to this book.

  2. The hype for this book has been incredible. So much so that I hunted it down at a nearby Wal-Mart and am determined to get it read in between the obligatory blog tour reviews, come hell or high water >.< I imagine since our reading tastes are fairly similar, I’ll feel about the same as you did, but here’s hoping it’s not quite as cumbersome for me!

    Great review, friend, as always 🙂

  3. You know what? I didn’t notice this earlier, but that quote is totally borrowed from Firefly!

    “”When you can’t run, you crawl. And when you can’t crawl, when you can’t do that … “
    Zoe: ” … you find someone to carry you.””

    I mean, obvi, it’s not the same, but it’s a really powerful scene in the show and I heard it in my head when I read that.

    • I never watched that show. I am sure I would have caught that too if I had because it really IS a powerful quote and that’s why I loved it so much. They are pretty similar.

  4. I enjoyed this one more than you but I most definitely agree that it was a bit of a mind fuck and contained weird writing in the beginning. I had to re read it before progressing through. I agree with everything else, it was addictive and engaging.

    Lovely review! <33

  5. I had a hard time at first too, the jumping around between the present and each wave in the past. And I also found the pov changes confusing. The first time, it took me like 3-4 pages until I figured out it was definitely someone else, and then I had to go reread it. But once I got to a certain point, I loved it! ‘m glad you were able to enjoy it, even though you had some issues. That quote you chose was perfect and I completely remember reading it. Great review!

    • Same with me. I didn’t have any problems telling who was who, but I did find the lack of tonality in voice kind of distracting. But it grew on me. And I loved that quote.

  6. Great review Kara I’m happy it still made it to 4 stars even with all the quirks you had with it. I was really into it from the start, but I did think it was predictable (though all books are lately so I never saw it as a bad thing in this one especially that it wasn’t really about twists and shocking us with unexpected things). I was told there was a twist (I think it was from one of Wendy’s updates) and I was like where??. Baha. I think I know what she’s referring too but for me it was obvious from the start (who the guy was) so I didn’t even assume the author was trying to hide it >.< I think the relationships and bonds of the characters were my favorite part. Especially when it involved her little brother he’s just so little and innocent and doesn’t deserve this life 🙁

    Great review, Karapoo!!

    • It was a bit predictable, wasn’t it? I guess I expected it not to be. Huh. There was no twist. LOL that was so obvious from the very beginning. And I agree. The characters were the best part.

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