Published: May 2013
The 5th Wave is a fast-paced sci-fi thriller where a lot of people die and only the bravest survive. Seriously, a LOT of people die in this book, and it's pretty grim. I would say it's Hunger Games level violence, so keep that in mind if you are looking for a lighthearted read.
The alien apocalypse has arrived. At first no one really knew what to do, and 17-year-old Cassie's father was optimistic the visitors might have peaceful intentions. But the aliens strike, causing catastrophic events that wipe the segments of the population out with each wave. Soon, Cassie, her father, and young brother Sammy are living in a refugee camp with other survivors, and within time, the government comes to bring them to shelter. Only, they only want Sammy. Something is definitely up, and when more survivors are killed, Cassie questions who she can trust.
The story is told from several other POVs, a shadowy hunter, and Ben, a boy Cassie went to school with before the invasion whom she had a massive crush on (wrote about him in her diary and everything). I don't want to say too much further since all these characters' lives intertwine based on how the plot progresses.
I liked that this book focused more on survival and family rather than a love story, though there is a little bit of that thrown in too. Cassie is a cool, relatable character. The voice in this book is extremely engaging, which really adds to the page-turning here. This reminded me of a mix of War of the Worlds and survival aspects of The Walking Dead from a YA angle.