Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey - CookieBreak Skip to content

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey


The 5th Wave

by Rick Yancey

“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.”


What I thought:

I’d seen a lot of mixed reviews for The 5th Wave so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I needn’t have worried. I was in love from page two.

You know when you really enjoyed a book, and when it’s time to write the review you don’t know what to say? This is how I’m feeling right now. It doesn’t help that my only notes seem to consist of the things I didn’t like.

Which isn’t fair, because there were so many things I did enjoy! The 5th Wave features multiple view points – Cassie (short for Cassiopeia, not Cassandra), Ben, and Evan. While I didn’t like Cassie that much – and I can’t put my finger on why not – I did like Ben’s and Evan’s chapters. Evan especially was an amazing character, and made Cassie’s chapters more interesting, too. However, at times I wasn’t sure whose POV I was reading. Many chapters don’t give a name until you’re further down the page, and I ended up skimming the paragraphs to figure out who was talking before continuing.

The writing is beautiful, and has some poetic moments. This is where I’m torn – I really enjoyed the words Yancey chose, but sometimes they felt too poetic for the setting. They just didn’t quite seem to fit. The writing was lovely, but at times the sentences felt too carefully put together to sound natural in their situation.

The last quarter was tense, and easily the best part of the book. I’ve come to expect all hell to break loose somewhere around the midpoint, and The 5th Wave certainly delivered!

While I enjoyed it I’m in no rush to read the sequel. I’m looking forward to reading it eventually, but there are too many books on my shelf already for me to make an exception this time. I do want to know how it ends, but since the aliens have come to take Earth for themselves I can’t see how it can end without all MCs dying. The aliens in this are pretty thorough, and I’m in no rush to see them all die despite their efforts. I think this is one where the MCs dying makes more sense than them surviving, but since I have no idea how it’ll end I’ll wait and see.


Have you read The 5th Wave? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

For all other book reviews, please take a look here.

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  1. I struggled writing my review for this too. One of my biggest complaints was how choppy the transitions felt which was probably due to trying to figure out whose POV it was as you pointed out. Great review!

    • I agree, the transitions could have been handled better. I started so many chapters thinking it was Cassie talking only to realise paragraphs later that it was Ben or Evan! Which doesn’t make a great case for the characters’ individuality, either.

  2. Another great review, Sarina! I’ve never been in any rush to read this book, and hearing your thoughts, it’s probably best left alone. My TBR is big enough as it is 🙂

    • It’s not terrible, but it certainly has its moments. I wouldn’t recommend it as an urgent book you need to read, but the prose is lovely if you ever find yourself without a book to read 🙂

  3. I have been meaning to get around reading this for awhile. I think soon I will, and this review has certainly made me want to.

    • I think you’ll really enjoy it 🙂 Word of warning, though? I wouldn’t watch the film. I did, and it ruined it slightly for me because it didn’t do the book justice. If you’ve already seen it and my warning comes too late, well- The book is better 😛

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