delicate eternity logo
A haven for lovers of the written word
separate post

the 5th waveWho #1: Rick Yancey

Who #2: Penguin

What: The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave #1)

When: May 7th 2013 (read in 2014)

Where: GoodreadsKoboAmazonBook Depository

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

 The 1st Wave took out half a million people.

The 2nd Wave put that number to shame.

The 3rd Wave lasted a little longer, twelve weeks… four billion dead.

In the 4th Wave, you can’t trust that people are still people.

And the 5th Wave? No one knows. But it’s coming.

On a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs. Runs from the beings that only look human, who have scattered Earth’s last survivors.

To stay alone is to stay alive, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan may be her only hope.

Now Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death.


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?

separate post
Posted on: April 4, 2014 • By: Chiara

19 Responses to Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. I’ve heard a lot about this book, but until your review I didn’t actually know what it was about. So now I know! Isn’t it disappointing when you don’t love a book like other people seem to? It’s a sad feeling. But it sounds like an interesting book, if not for the judgementalness (is that a word? It is now).

    • Chiara says:

      Glad to have informed you, Emily :D
      Yeah, it is pretty disappointing. But it also makes it interesting!
      Judgementalness is totally a word now, haha.

  2. Sounds like this one really did make you think about a whole heap of things, like aliens invading. I like the sound of the twist though, even though you guessed it, I always find them interesting. Sounds like Cassie just wasn’t the character for you! I haven’t read this yet, but it’s been on my shelf and I haven’t reached for it yet. Lovely review Chiara!

    • Chiara says:

      Haha, yes, it did. I like make-me-think books. :D
      I do like twists, too. Because even though I may have guessed it, I’m still waiting for it to be revealed to the characters, you know?
      Well I look forward to hearing what you think when you get around to it, Jeann! And thank you ^.^

  3. I do love novels that explore outside the box…they really fascinate me. This one is sooo on my wish-list, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. I’m a big dystopian/apocalyptic fan (this is more apocalyptic then dystopian, though, isn’t it??).

    • Chiara says:

      It is always refreshing to read a novel that’s a bit different from the rest of the books out there.
      Oooooo – that’s the word I was forgetting, haha. But I think sci-fi dystopian was a kind of good description, haha. :P

  4. Brea Johnson says:

    I’m one of those people that loved the 5th Wave! But I totally understand what you mean. The writing was a bit cliché, not very relatable or believable.
    Cassie isn’t entirely loveable, but if I saw these Others killing and destroying everything I knew and loved? I would probably hate the first one I meet, too. It’s entirely hypocritical, especially when you look at our race as a whole, but I also think it’s a very natural reaction considering her whole life and future has been ruined.
    I guess what I loved most about it was what you liked; how it made us question everything from alien life form to the value of humanity.

    • Chiara says:

      This is like the perfect comment, Brea. I don’t even know what to add to it! But I’m glad you liked it ^.^ I am still uber interested in reading the rest of the series!

  5. I’m pretty sure I’m the last person on this planet who hasn’t read this. Or the last blogger, at least. I’ve had a copy of it forever, but just can’t seem to get to it. Most of the reviews I’ve seen of this have been extremely positive which always makes me kind of nervous. I hate being the black sheep, but feel like I often am. I do like the underlying theme that we need to be better to our planet, but the judgmental nature of the main character and the too similar thoughts of two different characters is a little off-putting. I seriously need to read this. Great review!

    • Chiara says:

      Haha, I feel that way about the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. Everyone has read it! D:
      Yeah, I have read some rave reviews, but then also some more mediocre ones. But I think I kind of fall in between the two categories.
      I don’t think you should be worried! I mean, your reviews are balanced, and if you explain why you didn’t like it, i think people should be able to accept it. :)
      There were definitely ups and downs to this novel.
      Thanks, Natalie!

  6. Kelly says:

    Incredible review. This is one of my favourite books, but it’s one either you loved passionately, or could take it or leave it. It wasn’t necessarily the actual storyline, but the world building and pacing were brilliant and sucked me into the storyline, I just couldn’t let go. The instant love / attraction really did spoil it though, it was verging on tough and gritty before then.

    It really does make you think, especially the story really beginning with Cassie facing the aftermath of what’s happened. The only disappointing point for me was not seeing the event described in depth. I like my post apocalyptic to have a before, during and after.

    Have you read The Last Girl by Aussie author Michael Adams, reminds me a lot of this one.

    • Chiara says:

      Thank you, Kelly! :3
      Yeah, I think I fall in the middle of the passionate lovers and the take it or leave it. I don’t adore it as much as the people who are giving it shining five stars, but I don’t really dislike it like some others. There were aspects I really liked, and aspects that irked me, I guess.
      I did love the world building, though. And yeah, the instant love was a bit of a let-down, especially since it’s one of those relationships you could really fall in love with and swwon over!

      I agree! I definitely would have LOVED some more descriptions of exactly how the waves happened. I wasn’t a fan of the quick descriptions given to us.

      No, I haven’t, but I shall definitely check it out :D

  7. Olivia says:

    I’m a sucker for the fictional sanctuary. I guess that’s why I love reading fantasy/paranormal/dystopian books that just can’t be real and historical fiction books that have worlds that were once real. I mean, I love my contemporaries but the world building doesn’t even compare.
    Oh no! I kind of expected a really high rated review which my copy of The Fifth Wave would be glaring at me by the end of, but I’ve kind of ended up glaring at it. But everyone IS entitled to their own opinions. Are you going to bother with the second book? Isn’t it called The Inifinite Sea or something?

    • Chiara says:

      I do so love immersing myself in absolutely fictional worlds, as well. But I’ve have had a few amazing contemporary reads recently, so I think I’m going to be a bit more open to those kinds of books in the future!
      I’d still read it if you were interested! I am going to read the second one, because there are questions that I want answers to and overall I did enjoy this book.

  8. Alise says:

    Had to stop by when I saw you reviewed this! At least you somewhat enjoyed it, I had to DNF around page 100, if I remember correctly. And yep, I too was disappointed in myself for not liking it more, ha!

    I agree about the characters, I couldn’t connect with them at all. YES! I found myself getting bored really easily in this one. Especially those periods of time where there was no dialogue to break up all the longer paragraphs.

    The waves were the most interesting aspect for me, too. I don’t know if you saw the book trailers they did but that’s when my excitement for the book really came up!

    Great review :)

  9. I got this book a long time ago (back in November of 2013, I believe). I’ve been putting it off for a while, mainly because the synopsis didn’t really help me understand what The 5th Wave is about. I’m glad I read your review! Maybe I’ll bump this one up on my TBR list.

  10. I quit reading this book half way in last year. I was so excited about it and it was all I heard about that when I finally started reading it, I was like anticipating something great. And that anticipation just wasn’t showing up. I tried reading the kid on the bus (the brother) chapter three times and finally said, “I think it is time to put this one away.” Hopefully now that the hype has died down, I can go back and finish it and not be so disappointed by the anticipation.

    • Chiara says:

      Aw, no! Maybe when the hype has gone down you can try again? It’s an interesting read, but I can understand why you shied away from it. Trying to read something three times is dedication, haha!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *