To simplify things: The 5th Wave is an alien apocalypse story…but it is also very, very good. It’s a hefty book but difficult to put down; I dragged it to and from work for several days and then even to the laundromat last night, where I let my clothes dry a bit too long because I couldn’t stop reading. Properly hooked, I’d say.
Our central character is 16 year old Cassiopeia, named for the beautiful queen on her throne in the sky, called Cassie for short. Before the aliens appeared from nowhere and began their attack, she was an average teenager. Not popular, but not unpopular. In love with Ben Parish, a star athlete who sits behind her in class, yet doesn’t know she exists. She spends the day texting her bff and fantasizing about her romantic future. Once the apocalypse begins, though, Cassie’s dreams of (let’s be real here) bedding Ben are replaced by a much more basic need – survival.
This is a fragmented world. By the time The 5th Wave begins, Earth has survived four waves of attacks by extraterrestrials; humans anxiously, fearfully anticipate the fifth. Families have been broken up, people are lost and killed at an alarming rate, and the future is bleak. Everything becomes about just staying alive for one day longer. A desperate sequence of events leaves Cassie completely and insufferably alone. Until Cassie meets Evan.
The 5th Wave is effortlessly written from various characters’ points of view, but Cassie is at its core. She’s a fierce, likable protagonist and her determination leaves you rooting for hope, for a direction, for a light in the dark.
If you like dystopian YA – not shitty dystopian YA like Divergent or Matched – then this is a no brainer. Read it.
Book: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancey
Type: THIS IS WHY I LOVE DYSTOPIAN YA.
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