Two Peas in a Pod (3): The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Posted June 18, 2016 by BAMF in Features, Reviews, Two Peas in a Pod Review // 1 Comment

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One of the features here at Books Are My Fandom is our Two Peas in a Pod Review. We will read and review a book as a team. We are choosing books we each haven’t read that sound good to us. Feel free to email us at hello@booksaremyfandom.com with your suggestions for books that Dani and Jamie should read!

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Today’s Two Peas Review is a little different as we are reviewing THE ENTIRE SERIES! We will review each book individually so you can scroll up and down to see our reviews of each of the books!

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Two Peas in a Pod (3): The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 7th 2013
ISBN: 0399162410
Pages: 457
AmazonChaptersTBD

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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.


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Dani’s Review

I had mixed feelings about this book, and I actually gave it 3.5 stars. I found it really exciting to read, and I’m planning to read the next book soon. It was very hard-hitting and realistic in a lot of ways, with families dying and children being exploited. I felt uncomfortable reading parts, but that was because the truth of war is uncomfortable to think about. There were a lot of twists, some that I could guess straight away and some that actually took me completely by surprise.

I actually thought Cassie was relatable and believable as a 16-year-old girl. Other reviewers have said she was too insta-lovey, but I didn’t see that. She didn’t have any other choice but to stay with this attractive stranger because she was injured and had a better chance of survival with him. She never 100% trusted him, though, which is what a lot of reviews seem to say. (??????)

I had a hard time with Evan for a lot of the book. I was internally conflicted, as part of me wanted to swoon and the other part was screaming don’t trust him!!! In fact, this is exactly how Cassie felt! So yeah, again, Cassie and I were on the same page about this. It was only towards the end that I was suddenly overcome with desire and longing for Evan. For very weird reasons.

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Jamie’s Review

I really enjoyed this one. I love alien encounter books and this one was up there as one of the best ones I’ve read. There were some cheesy elements (i.e. the whole healing montage for Cassie) and it was Very Predictable™, but I found that it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. Actually, if anything, it added to it.

I liked the characters, especially Cassie. I thought she had the right kind of inner turmoil about what to do and where to be as I would have in this situation. I think she was very relatable and felt really real. She wanted to save her brother (typically YA thing) but she really just wanted some semblance of normal in her life. It’s why she carried around the teddy bear. Everything Cassie did was about survival. AND!! She talked about brushing her teeth and tampons! I was actually really excited by this tbh.

And I get the whole eye roll over her staying with Evan and calling him sexy every ten seconds, but any time I read about that in reviews, it was never prefaced by the fact that SHE HAD BEEN SHOT IN THE KNEE. Like what did you want her to do? She couldn’t walk, she couldn’t kill him, nothing. The best she could do was lay there and do her best to survive with him. And yeah, she overlooked some of the signs, but fudge, I would have too. Don’t try and tell me that you wouldn’t cast away your suspicious for someone based on a nice smile and a hot face. Because then you’re a liar. Cassie was determined, badass, and took matters into her own hands in order to do what she needed to survive.

As I said, the plot was very predictable, but it was still leaving me on the edge of my seat. I was furiously reading this one so I could find out what happened next. I thought there was some interesting alien technology in this one that really suited the purpose of the book. I thought the idea of them coming in waves was really interesting and I thought the whole “5th wave” thing was really well thought out.

Two things bothered me in this one and account for the four star rather than five star rating: the passage of time was a little strange. It wasn’t quite clear enough to me how much time had passed from one event to the next — even in terms of waves. It seemed like everything overlapped (and maybe it did) but it wasn’t as clear as I thought it should be because it left me just a tad confused. And the other thing was the way povs switched and how many there were. I thought that some of the povs made it really obvious what the plot would be and what certain reveals would be rather than letting the reader figure it out for themselves. I also thought there were just too many at one point. We didn’t need to see the world from everyone’s eyes because we already knew it was a crappy place to be.

Overall I do recommend this one. I thought it was a really good read and had a lot of interesting aspects to it.

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Two Peas in a Pod (3): The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on September 16th 2014
ISBN: 0399162429
Pages: 300
AmazonChaptersTBD

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How do you rid the Earth of seven billion humans? Rid the humans of their humanity.

Surviving the first four waves was nearly impossible. Now Cassie Sullivan finds herself in a new world, a world in which the fundamental trust that binds us together is gone. As the 5th Wave rolls across the landscape, Cassie, Ben, and Ringer are forced to confront the Others’ ultimate goal: the extermination of the human race.

Cassie and her friends haven’t seen the depths to which the Others will sink, nor have the Others seen the heights to which humanity will rise, in the ultimate battle between life and death, hope and despair, love and hate.


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Dani’s Review

THE INFINITE SEA continued much like THE 5TH WAVE was. It kicked off bleak and carried on bleak, with a side of “wait, what?” for good measure.

A lot of the focus this time was on Ringer, fleshing her out and giving her more of a backstory and role to play. She was an interesting character, though I still think there’s more to be revealed about her. She acted like she didn’t care, but she actually cared a lot, I think. I also had a personal win moment with her when I guessed her heritage based on her real name (and then proceeded to picture the girl I went to school with who had that same name for the rest of the book). She had a really long part that was all mind games, and while it added to her character and the story’s long game, it was a bit of a slow read.

The weird thing about this book for me was that Ringer and Cassie were very different, but I was able to relate to both of them. Part of me is as pessimistic (we prefer to refer to ourselves as “realists”) as Ringer (basically me in real life), while the other part (the hopeless romantic reader part) wants to trust in love. I like that Yancey was able to create these complex and relatable characters that could represent different parts of ourselves.

The world-building was, as with the first book, very good. The book is pretty depressing, and Yancey crafted the setting and the mood so well to really put you in the same frame of mind, questioning what the point of it all is. I felt like I was right there in the scenes, witnessing and feeling the same combinations of anger, despair, apathy and fleeting moments of hope. I mean, I’m not even joking when I say I can completely understand the logic for the Others behind exterminating humans. When we move into a home, don’t we get rid of pests? Just saying…

The plot was fairly low-key for most of the book. To be fair, this was appropriate given that it played on human fears, anxieties and weaknesses more than cheap action scenes and gore. The point of this book was less about getting your heart pounding and more about completely messing with your head. The last 20% particularly screwed me up. So much was revealed that had me going to Jamie with unintelligible, all-capped exclamations.

Overall, I thought the book was slow in parts but ultimately a great read if you don’t necessarily want something happy and easy. Though I liked Cassie in the first book, I know a lot of people didn’t, in which case they might appreciate her relative sparsity in this book. The big reveals in THE INFINITE SEA left me grasping for THE LAST STAR.

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Jamie’s Review

Oh my word. I really really REALLY like this series. I am simultaneously in love and kicking myself because I thought the next book came out way sooner than it did but I still have a whole month to wait for it’s release. I like that each book ends in a way that finishes the current story arc but keeps the overall story arc open for the next book. I am really excited to see how this one concludes.

There are so many twists and turns in this one that aren’t as easy to spot as in THE 5TH WAVE which gave you a lot of everything right off the bat through switching perspectives. This one slowly leads you to the conclusions but gives you enough along the way that you can come to a couple conclusions but also not be completely on the mark. It is an exciting and inventive way to continue along with the story.

I thought there were a couple too many povs in this one though. I feel like we saw a lot of the same scenes happen through other people’s eyes and I thought it was obvious that View Spoiler ». As well, the length of the povs was a bit blah for me too. I found myself dreading Ringer’s last pov chapter because it was a third of the entire book! We learned a LOT in it but it was still daunting going into it because of the length.

It also felt like the story was semi told out of order? I was okay with Ringer’s initial perspective because it put us back in the “edge of your seat” feeling but then we got a similar description of Ringer’s departure from Cassie and it was as if Ringer and her story line didn’t matter anymore. We then cut back to Ringer after a huge event in the Cassie timeline and her pov is … confusing, to say the least. I feel like we learned a ton more about the whole situation but it also felt like it was just a way to allow the other characters time to do something else without us having to learn about it.

But as much as I enjoyed this one, I feel like not a whole lot really happened. It felt like a bit of a lull in the story until we got to Ringer’s last pov. Because everything else was just filler, especially once we learned the “truth” behind things. I was actually a little disappointed with how the Cassie storyline ended because I feel like we needed more of a “plan” from them, especially if she took what View Spoiler ». But I just felt underwhelmed by their storyline. Lots of things blew up. Cool. But how are we going to blow up the rest?

I do really like that this one has so many layers to it. There is a lot happening and a lot more TO happen. I am really excited to see if Ringer meets up with the core group again and how her knowledge will affect their current quest.

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Two Peas in a Pod (3): The 5th Wave by Rick YanceyThe Last Star by Rick Yancey
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th 2016
ISBN: 0399162437
Pages: 352
AmazonChaptersTBD

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The Last Star is the heart-stopping finale to the bestselling 5th Wave series by award-winning author, Rick Yancey. Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games, Divergent and The Maze Runner.

'Wildly entertaining . . . I couldn't turn the pages fast enough' The New York Times

We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.


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Dani’s Review

That was all very depressing and boo.

Ok, but seriously, I can’t say anything new about this book. I’ve said it all about the first two: it’s bleak, unpredictable and has great world-building. I honestly didn’t know where it would go, and I was pulled along through the whole thing by a desperate need to know how it was going to be resolved.

I give it a 3.5 star rating mostly because of three things:

  1. While I thought the characters were very well-developed and relatable, I couldn’t connect with them. I was too numbed to how dire the situation was that I couldn’t really feel anything when Bad Things Happened.
  2. The whole Answer at the end was, well, stupid.
  3. The religious undertones were Too Much for me.

That being said, I am Here for Ben. I mean, I liked Evan, but BEN. (Jamie does not understand.)

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Jamie’s Review

FUCK ME I WAS NOT READY. I loved THE 5TH WAVE, was okay with THE INFINITE SEA, but THE LAST STAR was a really satisfying conclusion to this series. There were a couple things I didn’t like but overall I was really happy with how it ended. I definitely recommend this series to literally everyone because omg. Also, as a disclaimer, I am Evan Walker trash so I am probably a little biased about his role in this one.

I really enjoy Yancey’s writing: I love the parallels between what each character’s point of view says and how they tie in from section to section. I did think there were too many point of views in this one and that it stretched my patience a little thin. I feel like I didn’t need to know everyone’s opinion on a situation and scenario; by taking me (and other readers) out of one point of view and swapping to another in the middle of a scene was a tad bit jarring. But I did like that everyone’s point of view was really distinct. I had a bit of trouble during the beginning — the other books break the point of views by the black pages. This one does it by labeling the point of view at the beginning of a chapter if it is switching, which was a bit confusing. The writing, however, was really engaging and unlike THE INFINITE SEA there was a lot more action and doing things rather than just sitting around.

I liked that this one was broken down into four days but I didn’t like the time skip at the beginning of the book. Time is a weird thing in this series and hasn’t always been portrayed in a really good way but I think that was helped here by the use of just four days rather than allowing ore than that to continue. I also thought that there was a good mix of believable and storytelling in this one. I liked that the characters had issues but were also able View Spoiler ».

People are going to either LOVE the ending or HATE the ending. There will be no in between. And I definitely was a fan, but I didn’t necessarily love some aspects of it. But I think that was because of the weird presence of religion in this book? I mean, there was religion in the other books but it wasn’t so glaring and obvious as it was in this one. It made me feel … weird tbh. It almost felt like we were being FORCED to have faith. But I really agreed with the guy at the beginning that the faith we should have is that life goes on and I wanted THAT message to be present throughout the books rather than the one of God. Otherwise I don’t really have any qualms about how it ended. Was it convenient? Yes but meh. It was pretty obvious to me what would have to happen even if I didn’t know for sure which character it would be. Also the idea that Evan Walker was so ~special~ because he View Spoiler » was stupid af. That is my LEAST FAVOURITE TROPE OF ALL TIME. So I was disappointed with that. I wanted him to View Spoiler » but alas I still love Evan Walker.

Things That Broke Me (In A Good Way): View Spoiler »

Other Thing I Didn’t Enjoy: View Spoiler »

I REALLY LIKE THIS SERIES THOUGH OKAY. I know people don’t really like the first book and the second book was kinda blah (too much Ringer imo), but I am still so happy with this series. I am actually really pleased that I picked this one up when I did. I feel like a better person for having read Cassie’s story. So if you’re looking for a good alien invasion story, this one is for you!

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Overall

This was a solid 4-star series for both of us. Dani and Jamie both agree that if we could have other people’s memories downloaded into our brains, we would seek out Chris Hemsworth’s wife’s memories for sexual reasons. We also liked different dudes (Dani = Ben; Jamie = Evan) so there won’t be any fights over book boyfriends. It’s a pretty depressing series and there was a lot of WTF moments (that we quite enjoyed) but the ending with a revelation of a bad trope and the heavy inclusion of God made us both meh about that aspect of the ending. We still really liked this one and secretly hope they make the rest of the books into movies so we can swoon over the boys and pretend we are Cassie/Ringer.

One response to “Two Peas in a Pod (3): The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

  1. I only read the review for the first book as I have not read it and I didn’t want any spoilers. However, I really want to see the movie and both the book and movie look really good (especially after these reviews), so I really need to read it soon!
    -Amy

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