Book Review: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1) by Rick Yancey

The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) - Rick Yancey

A copy of this novel was provided Penguin Australia in exchange for an honest review.


I liked The 5th Wave. I am kind of disappointed that I didn’t absolutely adore it like most everyone else seemed to, but hey, you can’t all like the same books, right?


I am not really sure of why I didn’t love this book. The 5th Wave had all the makings of an amazing book, and people certainly seem to think it is an amazing book. But, for me, it wasn’t.


I didn’t fall in love with the characters. Whilst I liked Cassie’s internal monologue and her ponderings, I was kind of bored with them at times. I felt like she was too poetic, too philosophical and too absorbed in the whole predicament. I couldn’t connect with her as a character, and maybe that’s why I simply liked this book. When your main character isn’t the most lovable person, I guess it’s hard to love the book as a whole.


I remember there was this one scene where Cassie meets an ‘Other’. Immediately upon meeting them, she doesn’t trust them and doesn’t like them blah blah blah. And I remember sitting there reading it thinking: wow, that’s judgemental. I mean, she was basing her opinion off what the race as a whole had done. It’s highly unlikely that every single Other was evil and wanted the death of humanity. That’s just ludicrous. I mean, if we were to base our opinion of the human race off what certain groups do, then our opinion would be pretty darn low. We’re not perfect; we can be cruel and horrible and disgusting and I felt like Cassie thought we were angels descended from the heavens. Oh, the poor human race. Well, sure. There are lovely and innocent people. But there are horrible and guilty people, as well. Just like there would be with the Others. This annoyed me. Her quick judgement of an entire species based on the actions of what could just be a select few. If we were all that quick to judge, the earth wouldn’t be that great a place.


I liked Evan and Zombie as characters. I felt like they both had more depth to them than Cassie, and their reasoning for the things they did, and the emotion behind them was interesting. I would have probably preferred to read the book with more Evan/Zombie chapters than Cassie chapters, to be honest.


The twist – was it really a twist? I’m not sure, but I guessed it. I thought it was an interesting turn of events, and I am intrigued into reading more about it. I guess I cannot say much without potentially ruining the entire novel for you, but it’s kind of cunning.


I didn’t like the parallels. It was unbelievable that two different people would think and say the same things, and use the same metaphors. It could have been believable if it had happened once. It also would have made it more poignant. But there were so many cross-overs between Cassie and Zombie I just sat there reading them in disbelief. I mean, the likelihood of two people comparing themselves to clay, and the battlefield of humanity, and chess, and all these other things – I couldn’t believe it.


The prose used at times was very beautiful, and I found myself rereading certain passages to let the full beauty and emotion of them settle over me.


I thought Yancey did a very good job of writing a believable female character. For me, I am always hyper judgemental of how males portray their female characters in novels, and I found myself forgetting at times that Cassie’s chapters were written by a man. Although, sometimes the Zombie and Cassie chapters were written very similarly.


I think the aspect I liked most about The 5th Wave was the things it made you think about. Whether there is life out there somewhere, what humans would do if the earth was attacked by another species, what humanity itself means, how we treat the planet. I like reading books that make me think, and The 5th Wave definitely made me think about a lot of things. Being an environmentalist, I definitely agreed with the statements that we were/are not treating the planet in the right way. We most definitely are not, and that really needs to change. Who knows, maybe if we were attacked by an alien species we would finally realise how important our natural resources really are. Here’s to hoping. I kid. I kid. Kind of.


Anyway. Back to The 5th Wave. I liked this book, and again, I was disappointed I didn’t love it like everyone else. I am still very interested in reading the second book in the series, because I would like to see where life leads the characters we have learned about.


© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.


Your Turn: Do you like novels that allow you to think outside of the world of fiction? Or do you prefer to live in a fictional sanctuary when reading?