Book Review: The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave
Rick Yancey
Genre: Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Fantasy
Age to read this book: 14+ (because of the massive amounts of swearing and some inappropriate sections)
Star Rating: 3 out of 5


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.


Would I recommend this book? No. No, I would not. Here's why.

Reading that synopsis, I got all tingly and excited. Now this is going to be an interesting book. I eagerly flipped open to the first page and started reading. As I read, the tingly feeling wore off quickly. This was going to be an interesting book, alright, just not the interesting I was hoping for.

The first couple chapters really were the worst part of the book. The main character, Cassie, bored me. She was narrating the first part of the book going between flashbacks and the present. Sure, her past was kind of interesting, because it talked about the first few waves, but it was a major info-dump. I was tired of hearing about her former life, and I was tired of Cassie herself.

As new characters were introduced into the story, I started liking the book more. These people were far more interesting than Cassie, and they added to the plot nicely. But I noticed that there was something in common with all of the characters. They all had a very small range of emotions. They hated, sometimes loved, were confused, angered, frustrated, and stubborn. I met no one in this book that really threw me for a loop with how different they were.

It felt to me like the author was learning how to write throughout the book. The beginning was shaky, the middle was a bit more cleaned up, and the ending was far better than the beginning. The ending is really what saved this book from a horrible rating, but even so, it was awfully coincidental that one of the heroes of the story magically shut down the machine that would have killed someone at the exact time when he needed to. A lot of things were pure coincidence.

As my last point, this book had excessive swearing in it. Cassie and others were dropping swear words left and right. *bleep* this and *bleep* that. She dropped the F-bomb several times during the middle of the book, being content to say other profanity for the other parts of this book. Normally I'm okay with a few bits of foul language here and there in a book, but this was too much. Honestly, you don't need to swear ten times in a paragraph!

Also, at the beginning of the book there's a few inappropriate parts that talk about sex and other things along those lines. Later in the book it doesn't say anything more about that, but often times the character thinks about it or implies about it. This I feel is also unnecessary for the plot.

Assuming there is a sequel, I will not read it.


  1. Yikes!, Burn it burn it!!! :P

    1. Burn the book? I would never burn a book, ever. Even if I hated it. Because a certain author poured their life and soul into that book--their time, their ideas, the characters and events and places that they invented. They spent long hours, days, weeks, months, maybe years, revising until the book is good enough for publication and for readers to enjoy. They suffer, they cry and sweat through all the writer's blocks and edit away all the awkward transitions and poorly worded snetences. All for the reader. Even if you don't like the book, I don't think you should just burn it away.

      And besides, she rated it a 3 out of 5...why would you burn that?


    2. @Hilda I don't think I'd ever be able to burn a book! It would be emotionally traumatizing.

    3. @Makayla That was deep. That perfectly explains just how rough us writers have it sometimes. (:

  2. Thank you for the review, it was well-structured and informative without spoiling the plot. I myself haven't read the book, though I have heard about it. I agree with you about the swearing--several foul words here and there are no reason not to read a great book, but there is no need to add some swearing to each paragraph.

    I don't think I'll read this. When protagonists get lucky, it irritates me. I absolutely despise most Disney movies/adapted fairy tales simply because of the sheer luck that they incorporate, which seems to only occur for the "good guys." With the exception of the extremely lucky Harry Potter, who I could never hate. (though I do like Hermione better, because a larger portion of her achievements are due to her hard work/skill as opposed to luck)


    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my long review and leaving a comment! (:

      Precisely! I don't mind a few swear words if it doesn't take away from the plot, but this book's foul language definitely was unnecessary and really took away from it.

      I wouldn't recommend you read this unless you just want to see what all the hubub is about. If you want a good series to read, try the Jack Blank trilogy by Matt Myklusch! Those are awesome.


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