Book Review: The Fifth Wave

5thwave

(Cover photograph taken by Lauren Smith)

I am back with a new book review on The 5th Wave, one of the best YA Books I’ve read in a long time!

The book is about a 16-year-old girl named Cassie. When the story begins, Earth has just been invaded by the “Others,” who come in and destroy everything in waves of attacks. The First Wave causes a total blackout- no phones, cars, electricity, or anything else. The Second Wave is a literal wave. The Third Wave, Pestilence, wipes out most of the human population. The Fourth Wave occurs when the aliens physically appear on earth. During this wave, the aliens are called “silencers.” However, during the last and deadliest Fifth Wave, they attempt to turn the human race against itself- wiping out the rest of the population with the human remnant’s own kind.

In the book, Cassie, her father, and her brother are the only ones left of their family, so they are taken to Camp Ashpit where they wait for days. There, Cassie meets a boy who roams the ashes- despite the fact that the ashes are the remains of people with the plague.

A few days later, the leaders of Camp Ashpit see a military convoy heading their way. The convoy comes in and tells the camp that they want to take away anyone below 16, so they take Cassie’s brother and claim that they are coming back for the rest of the camp. The military men appear to be on the survivors’ side, so they tell the camp that everything is going to be okay, but Cassie’s father knows that something is up. He hands Cassie an M16 and tells her to run away. She does, after she promises her brother Sammy she will bring his bear back to him. She runs to the trees- to see Captain Vosch from the convoy destroy Camp Ashpit and kill her father.

Cassie then wanders through the woods for a while until she gets caught by a Silencer. The Silencer (who we see later on in the story) shoots her, so she crawls under a car so she can stay hidden and recover. She stays under the car for a long time because she is suspicious- a Silencer wouldn’t usually just let someone go. Eventually, though, she grabs her M16 and starts walking away.

The narrative then shifts to Sammy’s perspective. When he arrives at Camp Haven, he is upset and hurt and wants to find Cassie and his father. Instead, he is sorted into a group using alien technology and placed into a squad.

The book then changes perspective again. We meet the leader of a squad, Zombie, a.k.a Ben Parish, who was Cassie’s crush when they went to high school together. Zombie leads the liability squad- the squad with the child soldiers who scored lowest on their training. In the squad, all of the members have unique nicknames. Sammy, now Nugget, gets transferred to Zombie’s squad and forms a bond with the leader. He also meets a girl named Ringer who is the best shot in the camp.

Then, the narrative’s perspective switches to Cassie’s point-of-view. Cassie meets Evan Walker, who took her in after she almost froze to death in the snow. They end up falling in love, but she finds out that he is a Silencer who changed because he fell in love with her. Eventually, they regain their trust in one another and set off on a mission to Camp Haven to find Sammy. She decides she wants to go alone, so Evan helps her form a plan. Eventually, she sets off, and finds Sammy, Ben, and their squad. Then, however, something else occurs…

I like to call this book the “alien apocalypse.” It is beautifully written and inspiring, and I encourage you to read it today.

Article written by Lauren Smith.

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