Book review

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey book review

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey book review @ Chocolate and Chapters
The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ★★★★★
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: Purchased

When a series of massive catastrophes hits Earth, society is flung back into the Dark Ages. Everyone is terrified. Most people are dying. Only a few months ago, Cassie was a silly teenage girl. Now, she has to find a way to survive on her own while running from “Them.”

At the same time, a young man known as “Zombie” lives through the devastatingly fatal plague. When he recovers, he struggles to find his place in the world while grappling with debilitating guilt.

You know those books that you’re not super excited to read, but they have good reviews so you finally pick it up? You start the book sort of grudgingly, expecting something petty, trivial, and dull. This usually happens to me with YA dystopians: Legend, The Selection, and Matched, just to name a few. I was not impressed with any of them.

I expected the same thing from this book.

And that didn’t happen at all. This book is gritty, fast-paced, and suspenseful. I wish I had read it a long time ago.

The summary of this book on Goodreads is really not good; it captures such a tiny part of the book that it’s hardly helpful. Even MY above summary doesn’t cover what this book is fully about.

This book is from the point of view of three main characters: one is a 16 year old girl named Cassie. Another is a teenage boy nicknamed “Zombie” (whose real identity made me say, “What the hecckk?” out loud). And once or twice, it is narrated by the Silencer. All of them have experienced some cruel and ugly things since the destruction of the earth began.

“The first kill would be the hardest, but the next would be easier, and the one after that easier still . . . Cruelty isn’t a personality trait. Cruelty is a habit” (138).

I loved that the author wasn’t afraid to allow the main characters to be dramatically flawed. Zombie is a coward, almost unforgivably so. Cassie is rude and often annoying, especially to the person who is kindest to her. This honesty of flawed main characters was a breath of fresh air to me, in a world of YA fiction where this doesn’t happen often. (The Silencer is, however, perfect and this did not bother me at all…)

I thought about this book when I wasn’t reading, I cared about what happened to the characters, and I really didn’t know where the story was going.

I’m an emotional reader. When I connect to characters and their story, I’m hooked.

And P.S. For the love of all that’s holy, don’t judge this book by its movie. The movie is a shallow, vapid parody of the book. Even if you’ve seen the movie, read the book. You’ll still be surprised by the story, the characters, and how darn good it is.

And P.S.S. I know that like any popular book, this one is fraught with different opinions. I know people who think it’s over-hyped and filled with annoying issues, while I know other people who love it. I happen to be in the latter group.


20 thoughts on “The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey book review

    1. I haven’t read the whole series through yet, although they’re all sitting on my shelves. I feel like I need to read it all through in one go so I’ve been putting it off, but I’m definitely going to do it soon. Good to hear you liked the whole series! And yeah, the movie is definitely not worth seeing!


  1. I have read (and liked!) this one, but I haven’t gotten to the other books in the series yet. I do hope to get the chance. Also, this movie… omg. My mom and I saw it and laughed so hard so many times hahah- so yeah, good call on the disclaimer 😉 Glad you enjoyed it, great review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it’s so bad, isn’t it?! I was really excited about it because I thought their choice for Zombie was pretty good, but ugh. It fell short in so many ways.

      And thanks! 😀


  2. I definitely know those kinds of books you’re talking about, so I’m glad this was better than that for you! I love when characters are truly flawed, so now you have me more interested in this. I’m also very curious about The Silencer. Like what? What kind of name is that? And in what way is he so perfect? I think your review has me considering reading this one more than any other review I’ve seen yet!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Silencers are the assassins for the group of people who are taking over the Earth, basically. So he’s a lone wolf/sniper-type character. And I just really like him, which is why I said he’s perfect. haha 😀 “The Silencer” is not his name, but I think giving his name might be a spoiler? So I didn’t include it just to be safe. 🙂

      If you do read it, please tell me what you think about it! I am planning on rereading it before reading through the rest of the series, I liked it so much.


  3. This is one book that I will be picking up after I watched the movie. I thought the movie must have oversimplified things because 1) the book is hella long and 2) the movie was just so-so whereas people have been loving this whole series. Thanks much for sharing your thoughts on this!


  4. I’m glad you enjoyed this book. I still have yet to read it. I do like when the main character is flawed too because hey, no one is perfect hehe.. Great review!


  5. Unpopular opinion confession… 😉 I did see the film and liked it. BUT I didn’t get the chance to read the book prior, so who knows! Maybe I’d really liked the book. Glad to know it’s a great read!


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