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Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave is full of sweet torture with its cruel twists and unpredictable surprises. It’s a must read!

Book Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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the 5th wave rick yancey

Title & Author: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Genre: YA Science Fiction – Aliens

Release Date: May 7, 2013

Series: The 5th Wave #1

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

The 5th Wave Tolls

On the RBR Facebook page, I recently asked what books were getting a ton of hype lately and someone replied with The 5th Wave.

Waitttttt a second! I have never heard of that book! I swear, in life I’m the last to know things, so it just makes sense for that to translate to book matters too. Ugh! So now, that a lovely book lover told me about this weird alien invasion book, I HAD to check it out and see if it was worth the hype.

The answer is YES, YES IT IS! This book is about how aliens would invade the Earth in real life – not like in the movies where humans band together to fight their oppressors. In real life, aliens are waaaaay smarter than us and have figured out how to defeat humans like millennia ago.

So, why is The 5th Wave so hype-worthy? Because this book is riddled with delicious anticipation and tension. Four “waves” have hit the Earth after mammoth space ships are seen hovering over the planet.

An electromagnetic charge (1st wave) hits the planet and shuts down all electricity (phones, internet, cars) and battery operated things temporarily. Then natural distasters (2nd wave), then a terrible red death disease (3rd wave) kill what’s left of the human population.

Cassie Sullivan and her family are what’s left of her city, and they’re trying to regroup before the anticipated 4th wave hits. As Cassie says, it’s an “either/or” world now. You either die or fight your way to survival.

And that’s the magic of this book. You’re expecting the 4th and 5th waves to hit. You have NO idea what new fresh hell will be unleashed on poor Cassie and other characters. Rick Yancey is a master at surprises, and I was left shocked many a time. And that is definitely saying something because I can typically see things coming a mile away.

What’s also great about The 5th Wave is that just when you think and trust one thing, the action and plot changes into something else – sort of mimicking the oft said “trust no one” mantra in the book. Which by the way, no one follows.

Another important thing about this book are the relationships. They’re so complicated and broken, yet even during the potential end of the world, people are still loving and risking their hearts. Why? Because even the most hardened humans still carry hope deep down in their scarred and torn hearts.


It should come as no surprise when I say that this book was amazing and is an absolute must read of 2013. I hope you love the rawness, bleakness and heartfull-ness of The 5th Wave – it’s gonna jack you UP!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.