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What a Week [32]: Book Review – The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey


I absolutely LOVED this gripping, addictive, well-written, action-packed page-turner!

5 starts all the way!

It gets all my check marks: ✓ Writing, Characterization, ✓ Premise, ✓Plot and ✓World-building.

I can’t wait to watch the movie, which will be release next Friday the 22nd! 🙂

the5thwavemovieAbout the Book


The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1), by 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.

My Review

There was only one tiny thing that wasn’t perfect for me: the main female character, Cassie, in the first chapters. I was like… huh???

A sixteen years old, surviving all by herself, in a post-apocalyptic earth, plagued with aliens that want to kill her, with a M-16 hanging on her shoulder, killing people at “hello”?

No, no, no…

Rick’s strong voice [I LOVE Rick’s voice!] filtered into Cassie’s a little too much. Female characters written by male authors often have an edge that makes them seem off.

For example…

[Spoiler alert]

There is a scene where Cassie, a typical sixteen year old suburban girl [that was texting about parties just four months ago] is standing behind a soldier and watches him kill someone with a rifle. Then, the soldier spins toward her, rifle still up, pointed at her.

So what happens in that fraction of a second?

What does this sixteen year old have time to do? blink? Try to understand what she just saw? Wondered why the soldier did it?


In that infinitesimal fraction of time, Cassie decides that she is next, reaches for the gun in his back pocket and kills the soldier, point-blank, right in the head!

Ok.. again… a teenager girl, who had never fired a gun in her life, beats a trained soldier, who is already pointing a gun at her, in a shooting contest!

I’m like… Huh?? NO! NOOOO! Whyyyy??? The book was going so well until now! UGH!!!!

I hope this gets edited in the movie!!!! Make the soldier trip, or ran out of ammo, or make the rifle malfunction, or make someone else kill the soldier before he shoots Cassie. Anything. Anything is more believable than Cassie being faster than a trained soldier pointing a gun at her.

[end of spoiler]

Since I read a lot of dystopian I’ve seen my quote of not-so-believable heroines but at least they had been trained or had been allowed to learn some skills.

This… nope. Not in a million years. If I had not been so set in reading the book before watching the movie I may have put the book down.

Sorry, I tried but I couldn’t let that one go! Cassie surviving that scene is the only reason we have a protagonist for this story!

But that’s the only thing. After that, this book is flawless! I wanted you to know that you should not give up on the book!

The reader in me, the one that has read tons of books, is always a little over-critical. But the writer in me, the one that still gives birth to every sentence with pain and had found no voice, bows to Rick!

Let’s start with the voice. Oh, the voice! like a M-16 riffle that a soldier devotedly rubbed with an oily rag for who knows how long: metal stark and blunt with just the right glimmer of metaphor and poetry.

Second, the scene development! Outstanding! No wonder this book became a movie! It was better than watching a movie! Rick is like a movie director, carefully crafting every scene, every angle and picture of the camera. Topping the sunday with the cherry of great dialogues. He takes you in! You are IN the scene, in the setting with the characters, all senses engaged, experiencing the action with them. All done in a way that description masterfully blended with action without slowing you down.  I tend to just skim through descriptions and I didn’t skip one word of this book!

Then is the writing style, elegant and engaging.  The character development, the awesome world-building… what a class act! this book is fantastic!

The Silencer [an alien] is my favorite character! so well-developed!  It makes you wonder “where does humanity lies? What makes us human?” One of my favorite alien’s quote:

A moment comes in war when the last line must be crossed, the line that separates what you hold dear from what total war demands. He couldn’t cross that line. The battle was over, and he was lost. His heart, the war, her face, the battlefield. With a cry only he could hear the hunter turned and ran

Then this scene, I that made The 5th Wave one of favorite books ever!

In the stillness of the world were the life we knew before the arrival died he tastes my tears before I can feel them. Where they would be tears, his kiss. ‘I didn’t save you,’ he whispers, lips tickling my eyes lashes. ‘You saved me’ He repeats it over and over until we fall asleep pressed against each other his voice in my ears, my tears in his mouth “you saved me

Awww… sniff!

I thoroughly enjoy this book. Definitely, my kind of book. Action-driven, well-written, great world-building… and, the world is ending! If the world is ending, I’m in! [what is wrong with me? LOL]

I’m already reading book 2!

the infinte sea

The Infinite Sea

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.


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  1. This is a book I’ve been semi-interested in for a while because I like dystopian/post-apoc and it’s super popular… but I’m also always leery of the super popular books as I don’t often like them. But your review is making me reconsider! Especially with your description of the writing having a glimmer of metaphors and poetry and the way the scenes pull you in. Plus I want to try a book about aliens and I didn’t realize the aliens were, like, legitimate characters in this (I thought they were just kind of the big bad guys off in the distance). But if one of them is your favorite character, I guess they are actually characters?

    I totally get your whole warning-people-about-the-beginning-just-to-make-sure-they-don’t-give-up thing though lol because I did that for one review.

    Anyway, I’m going to see if I can get this from the library!
    Kristen Burns recently posted…Book Review: Soul Breaker (City of Crows Book 1) by Clara CoulsonMy Profile

  2. Way to go on making me feel like I have to read The 5th Wave, Daniela! It sounds absolutely fantastic 🙂
    Have a terrific Sunday 🙂
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews recently posted…Blogtour Review: Tackling the Tight End – Tara LainMy Profile

  3. Great review!
    I totally see where you’re coming from on the issues with Cassie’s unrealistic level of skill. It’s such a common trait in YA protagonists that I guess these things don’t stand out to me as much as they should. It really could’ve brought the book down if so many other aspects hadn’t been as strong as they were.
    I’ll be looking forward to your thoughts on The Infinite Sea! 🙂 I can’t wait to see what happens next, myself.
    Moriah recently posted…2016 Dystopia Reading Challenge | January DiscussionMy Profile

  4. I wasn’t going to read this one but your review is making me reconsider. And I do want to see the movie cause frankly it looks awesome. Maybe I’ll do both LOL. Great reviews, and I didn’t know the movie was out next week. Yikes!

  5. Thanks for your nice comment Moriah and for visiting my blog. Now we are GR friends too 🙂
    Daniela Ark recently posted…What a Week [28] – An {unconventional} Christmas StoryMy Profile

  6. I can’t wait to see what you think about the movie!! Now, you know it won’t be as good as the book but hopefully it will be entertaining in the same way because the story itself sounds fantastic. I think it has great female AND male appeal but we’ll have to see… 😉 Great review!

  7. I must be the one person the face of planet earth who did NOT like this book. I read it shortly after it came out and didn’t understand the hype.
    Terri M., the Director recently posted…Scenic Sundays | Saying Goodbye TogetherMy Profile

  8. I’ve had the 5th Wave on my bookshelf for ages and have been meaning to read it, having read your review and with the film coming out I may just have the push needed to pick it up! Have a good week!

  9. I loved The 5th Wave and can’t wait to see the movie now! The Infinite Sea is on my radar too.
    Laura Thomas recently posted…What’s New On My Bookshelf #143 and The Sunday PostMy Profile

  10. It was probably a movie I wouldn’t have considered seeing, though I’ve heard the hype etc but I might consider it now. Thanks for sharing Daniela!
    Deborah recently posted…Weekly check-inMy Profile

  11. I loved this book. I have to say though, I’m really glad I read it long before there was a movie trailer. Sometimes they spoil some of the plot.

  12. Quite honestly I didn’t love the book (I’m not overly into sci-fi, especially alien sci-fi) but I did like it. I do love how passionate you felt about it and your intro made me laugh, I didn’t even think to question that at the time but you are so right! I am looking forward to the movie though 🙂
    Trish @ Between My Lines recently posted…Book Review: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye WaltonMy Profile

  13. This is an awesome book, I read it when it came out and I really need to read it again along with book 2.

    Great review!!
    Heather @ Random Redheaded Ramblings recently posted…REVIEW – Extinction Point Series Books 1 – 4 by Paul Antony JonesMy Profile

  14. This is such a great review! I also can’t wait for the movie!

  15. I’m glad to see this book made such an impression, Daniela. I picked it up last week as my kids and I want to read it before going to see the movie. 🙂

  16. A coworker stole the book from my library right in front of me to read it first, she’s lucky she’s a friend of mine ^^ I can see what bothered you with the heroin’s reaction, it’s something I see a lot in YA : youngsters being faster and more accurate than professionals, unbelievable. I put the book on hold, so I’m gonna get it !!! Great review, Daniela 🙂
    Red Iza recently posted…Review / Karin Tabke : Breaking badMy Profile

  17. Hey there 🙂

    I must disagree with you on Cassie’s reaction to the soldier. I believe that the end of the world has changed all of the survivors and Cassie as well. Which means that she knows in what danger she is in, she knows what it means when a gun is pointed at you and she knows that she has to do anything to survive and therefore can’t hessitate one second.

    But I agree with the rest of your review and really liked it. 🙂

    If you want to have a look at my review of the 5th wave here’s the link: http://swissbookworm.blogspot.ch/2016/01/book-review-5th-wave.html

    I really like how much detail you put in your review.

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