You Read What? Book Review: The 5th Wave

Author: Rick Yancey

Publisher: Penguin Group

  • Imprint: Putnam Juvenile

Date Published:  May 7th 2013

Format: ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy). Paperback.

Source: From the publisher for review


The 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.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 15 (I had exams!)


The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1)

It’s a great cover and, most importantly, it’s a caressable cover. No idea how the paperback or hardcover would feel like but I hope they keep the caressable feel of it. Love the yellow and black pairing. The sun really does feel blinding.

The Writing Score: 4 out of 5

Recommendation: Must read.

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating:  4 out of 5


I debated the rating a lot (aloud and in my head) because the very few aspects of the book that I didn’t like were pulling me in one direction and demanding that they weigh more in my experience of the book. In the end, I’ve settled on the above rating. First off, I think it’s important to mention that this book is getting SO much hype that it’s ridiculous if you haven’t heard of it. Is it the blockbuster of the YA world this 2013? Well, let’s find out.

One of the things that I really loved about this book was the writing. There were many places where I’d mark it to remind myself to return to it later because the timing of a phrase was right on or the description was particularly stunning. You won’t have everything revealed about the invasion right way but it wasn’t dangled in front of you until the very end. The pacing was great in that way and readers were rewarded at the right moments. I loved Cassie. She wasn’t what you’d call a strong female character but a strong character. Period. She was written in a way that was realistic in terms that we, the readers, would probably behave in that way or be as bad ass as she was if placed in a similar circumstance. This book was about an alien invasion but it was also about what it is that makes us human. Whether that definition remains the same or takes a new form in this world is answered but also allows for debate between readers in the way it is in other mediums/stories such as The Walking Dead comic/television show. The characters were great, fully developed and necessary to the story.

I had a few issues with the book however. I didn’t like the structure or approach to the relationship between Evan and Cassie. Evan serves a great purpose in the story but I felt like the way the relationship was handled somehow dampened both characters. They’re great separately but not so much together if that makes sense. I also didn’t enjoy the multiple POV (Point of View) or more specifically, I liked some more than others. The middle became really slow due to the less interesting POVs that I felt weren’t necessarily important to the story or could have had the important facts in them be told by someone else. This is the risk authors take with multiple, first person POVs but it wasn’t a huge deal in the book.

Overall, it was a good book that you’d want to take your time reading but then speed through the last 200 pages or so due to excitement.

Is this the new “better than sliced bread” of YA in 2013? I don’t know but I do know that it’s a book that you should really check out.

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

4 thoughts on “You Read What? Book Review: The 5th Wave

  1. At ALA they couldn’t seem to talk this book up enough. Every time I walked by they were talking about it. So yes, I agree the hype is definitely making it a bit scary for me.
    I am glad you pointed out a few things that weren’t perfect about it because now that I know my expectations will not be so high. Maybe that will make me enjoy it more.
    BTW, I got the finished copy and it’s just as soft and pettable as the ARC (which I also have). I don’t love the cover, but it’s definitely pettable!

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