The 5th Wave
Putnam Juvenile, 2013
Summary: “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.” (via Goodreads)
I’d been seeing this book a lot on Tumblr, and I’ve seen on Goodreads that a few of my friends had read it recently and really liked it, so I figured I was really going to enjoy this one for my YA class. At first (as I’ve found I often do with most books that get a lot of hype), I was reluctant to immediately like it. I almost wanted to dislike it just because it was getting a good amount of praise. At first, this seemed to be the way things were going to go as it felt like another typical sci-fi YA book. But, just having finished it about twenty minutes ago because I haven’t put it down all day, I can confidently say this book deserves the praise it has received.
At first, the overall plot didn’t really blow me away. Since I’ve been reading a ton of dystopian YA lately, I figured it would be another trying-to-survive-in-a-destroyed-world story, but it developed into so much more than that. As Cassie and Ben’s storylines began to evolve and intertwine, the story became so much more complex and meaningful. While both Cassie and Ben are trying to survive, each approaches the alien threat with different motives, Cassie to find her brother and Ben to keep his regiment alive and sane. I enjoyed Ben’s character development so much, and I honestly did not expect the end to turn out like it did. I also really enjoyed Evan’s character; I’m still not entirely sure I understand who he truly is, but I think it’s that aura of mystery that really drew me into liking him more than anyone else.
The themes and underlying questions are what made me reach the point of seriously not putting this book down. The question of what it means to be human is huge, especially with Evan and Cassie’s story arc. Even Ben questions humanity as he realizes what the commanders are asking the child soldiers to do. I think this plays into the bigger idea of sacrifice, more specifically sacrifice for love. I really saw this play out with Cassie and her journey to reunite with Sammy, and Evan constantly questioned what would someone do for love. The more I think about the intricacies of this book, the more I think it’s rising up on my list of favorites I’ve read lately. I have so many more thoughts about it, but I can’t get them down right now! I would recommend this to fans of YA, and especially fans of sci-fi, because it is definitely a worthwhile read.
My Rating: 5/5