Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy

Title: The 5th Wave
Author: Rick Yancy
Publisher: Penguin (2013)

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 (Goodreads).
If you have any sort of presence on the YA bookish interwebs, you will have heard of this book. Comparisons have been made to Ender's Game and The Passage. The big question is... does The 5th Wave live up this hype?

Yes and no. I have never felt more conflicted about a book.

The Positives
  • The writing. Oh my word, the writing! There were moments of such perfection that I actually reread the same live several times over.
  • The focus on interpersonal relationships and character development. There are several storylines in this novel that converge (see the negatives regarding this). I loved reading about Zombie and Nugget, for example. And how they helped each other in different ways. I loved the backstories. I loved Ringer.
  • The worldbuilding. I really bought into this apocalyptic vision that Yancy has created. The idea of the different waves and their seperate effects was brilliant to say the least.
  • The anticipation. I really did, after a point, want to know what happened next. I wanted to know the TRUTH. This need meant the last half of the book basically disappeared in one sitting.
The Negatives
  • The romance. More instalove, people. It was cheesy and unwarranted. If this had been handled delicately and perhaps developed over time, I would have lapped it up. But, no. There must be lurve before the end of book one!
  • Multiple viewpoints. Maybe I am just dumb, but this intitally confused the living daylights out of me. I had no idea which character I was dealing with initially. It makes more sense later on, but I would have really appreciated a chapter heading that let me know if it was a Cassie/Evan/Zombie/Nugget chapter. Would have saved me confusion and slight irritation as well.
  • Action... what action? I loved Zombie's chapters. if the book was told mainly from his viewpoint, I would have been one happy camper. I figure the Cassie chapters were there for the fangirls to swoon over the romance and to create some sort of relatability. Zombie totally sold this story for me. I alternated between being ansty (Cassie) and totally engrossed (Zombie)
All that said, this is a step above most YA and I do reccomend it highly. Just don't expect it to be on par with The Hunger Games.

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