I know I missed Top Ten Tuesday. I'm home for a little while and have been busy. I know, I know.
I'm not sure anyone involved in the book community in any way could have made it through the last few months without hearing about Rick Yancy's The 5th Wave in some way or another. It's been all over the internet.
Initially I wasn't sure I would pick it up. I wasn't sure how I felt about the premise and the back copy made me feel like it was going to dissolve into a love story. So, I just didn't know if it was something that I would enjoy. Then we got the ARC in at work and one of my coworkers read it and was raving about it. I thought maybe eventually. She passed the ARC off to me and I brought it home with me to read while I am on vacation.
I loved it. Way more than I thought that I would. I wasn't sure what to expect going into it, I mean, aside from that it was supposed to be amazing. I was struck at the beginning by how much it reminded me of World War Z. Just how thought out and real it felt. It was disconcerting to read because it all felt so unbelievably possible. It was so well planned and well organized. I spent a large part of the first 100 pages in something that bordered on dread.
The beginning of Cassie's story was so well done and so raw that it was almost painful to read. Cassie is such a brilliant character. She's so dry and it's so easy to see how she became the person that we see her as even if we don't get to see much of the person that she was before. There's something so natural in her character the way she copes and the way that she bounces back and forth between seeming as okay as she can considering the circumstances and starting to seem less and less stable. There is something about her that is so easy to relate to. She's fierce without being automatically good at everything. She struggles and it's, in part, her struggle that makes her so wonderful of a character.
She's so desperate, even more than she realizes. All it took was some kindness for her to start breaking her own rules. I think that says a lot about humanity. Yancy uses this book to look at people's need for other people and what it means to be fierce.
Evan. Okay, I mean, I knew what Evan was. I mean, at least as far as Yancy let us know what they were. But still, I adored Evan. I loved how conflicted he was and how conflicted he made Cassie feel. Even when I wasn't sure I could understand the struggle that Evan was going through I appreciated that he was struggling. He was so easy to love and I fell easily in love with him.
I was really worried about their relationship. Worried that it was going to overtake the plot. But it didn't. And I really liked how unsure Cassie felt about the whole thing. The back and forth between suspicion and love. How she grew to realize what he was and how she couldn't abandon him and then how it didn't matter. It just came off in this really fantastic way.
Ben was an interesting character. I didn't love him like I did Cassie. He was interesting and it was an awesome way to show what was going on from the inside, rather than Cassie's outside, fringe perspective. He has that gung-ho militaristic personality that I've never been able to identify with but is so common. He reacts in just so perfect a way, so believable a way. I may not be able to identify with him but I can identify him and how often we see people react in just that way.
Yancy kept us just well enough informed that we always thought we knew what was going on. Then something would happen that would show us that we only knew what the Others wanted us to know. The story and the information that we had was constantly evolving. I think the best novels do this but this one does it particularly well.
I love the story that Yancy set up for us. I love that it wasn't easy and that we went 457 glorious pages and there was no grand win over the Others. They were great triumphs for our characters but not over all. I thought the beginning was a rough read and really thought I was going to have to stop halfway through to read something lighter but I didn't. More that that, I couldn't. It was brilliantly done. I didn't want to stop reading. I wanted to keep going. I was so angry when I reached the end. I wanted so much more of it.
Overall, I give The 5th Wave a rating of Beyond Epic.
If you liked World War Z I recommend this book. If you like a well written, evolving story I recommend this book. If you like an awesome 'last humans on Earth' story I recommend this book. If you just like good books, I recommend this book.
What did you ducks think? Like it? Hate it? Mixed feelings?
Next I'm checking out Katja Millay's Sea of Tranquility. This is another that's been causing a buzz so I'm interested to see what all of the hooplah is about.