“Sometimes in my tent, late at night, I think I can hear the stars scraping against the sky.”
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.
“In case you’re an alien and you’re reading this: bite me.”
Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave left me speechless . . . and then not speechless. Not only was the plot gritty and fresh for the Young Adult scene, but the story also had alluring characters (main and side) as well as a number of well-placed comical moments to break the tension. Seriously, too many dystopian novels in the YA genre lack comic relief—I blame the main characters. But Cassie and Ben (yes, there’s actually two main POVs, contrary to the book’s synopsis) are quick with witty remarks that balance out their vulnerabilities.
I’ll be honest, it was very confusing at the beginning of the book due to Yancey’s sudden point of view changes. I admit, I spent several minutes and a couple of pages wondering what the hell was going on, trying to figure out who these new characters were. However, once I was over the initial shock, I was able to pick up on the differences in the voices of our main characters. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m still in awe with the flawless overlapping connections between the characters in the story. Gold star for Yancey’s ironic sense of humor involving Cassie, Ben, and Evan (no godawful love-triangle, I swear), bringing the phrase “It’s a small world,” to a whole other level.
On that note, those of you looking for a steamy romance within these pages will be disappointed. Though there are romantic-like scenes, the plot does not revolve around it. Which is another gold star for Yancey. Cassie and Evan’s almost-but-not-quite relationship is unique in the sense that it doesn’t follow the common phases of other YA novels. There’s something hesitant and undeniably true between the two that makes them that much more lovable. While Ben and Ringer’s flirtation in The 5th Wave was both amusing and endearing, I suspect we’ll be seeing it come full circle in the sequel, The Infinite Sea (Book 2).
I’m not one to buy into the alien invasion, but this novel tricked me into living it with Cassie and Ben for the full four-hundred and fifty-seven pages. Yancey’s writing style alone was addictive and poetic. Action-packed, emotionally jarring, and with strong themes of family and loyalty . . . The 5th Wave is easily one of my top YA favorites.
– Reviewed By Victoria Shayne