In which I rant about The 5th Wave in a spoiler-ish way. (For an unspoilerish one, see my review)
You are only allowed to proceed if you have read the book, don’t plan to read the book, or don’t care at all about spoilers. If none of the above apply to you, kindly visit my review instead.
The best way I can describe my feelings for this book is with a Ten gif:
(I have a feeling I’ll be using a lot of gifs in this post.)
First, I just kind of want to talk about ships.
The Ship I Did Not Ship
AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS NOT OKAY WITH EVAN/CASSIE?!?!?!?!?!
I’m reading every scene with them like:
It was not cute. It was not romantic. It was just creepy and not okay.And not terribly realistic, either.
First of all, seeing someone and finding them attractive? Doesn’t make you automatically grow a conscience. That whole “you saved me” thing? Sorry, Evan Walker. Not buying it.
And Cassie. Oh Cassie. If every instinct is telling you this guy is bad news, you shouldn’t ignore that just because you find him attractive. I could deal with this if it lead to her downfall, but it didn’t. That teaches some bad lessons.
But page 179 was the worst for me. She told him not to kiss her, and he continued to kiss her, and this was just completely okay? I just can’t help thinking about the whole Crisco thing. If Cassie didn’t find Evan attractive, this behaviour would not be okay. But since she finds him attractive, it’s okay for him to kiss her when she repeatedly tells him not to? No. I’m not into that.
Their whole relationship was just so not okay on so many levels. I actually liked Cassie as a character, but every scene with her and Evan made me hate her a little more and a little more.
And I don’t think I liked Evan as a character at all. I liked what he represented, the inner war between alien and human, but as an individual…
A Ship I Did Ship
Zombie and Ringer.
I wasn’t really expecting to, based on the movie (although my brother says he shipped them in the movie). I thought I shipped Ben with Cassie (because I sure as heck wasn’t shipping her with Evan!). But before I knew it, I was like:
On page 249 when Zombie makes it his mission to get a smile out of Ringer, I wrote:
And then on the next page, when she’s teaching him to shoot, I wrote:
Two more pages is all it took for me to progress to:
And eventually I was just like:
I don’t think I can explain to you how strongly I feel about this ship.
I Liked Cassie At First, I Really Did
Okay, with the exception of tragedies where the character starts from the top and goes downhill because of their own flaws/outside events, most characters get stronger over time. But by the end, when it’s life or death, time to stand up and fight, Cassie just… What happened, Cassie?
I’m about to pee myself with relief that we’re all alive, but mostly because [Evan] is.
Okay, well, your brother was almost killed right in front of your eyes. You know, the one you’ve been on a mission to save this entire book? I would think that the fact he didn’t die would be at the top of your relieved feelings list, definitely trumping this guy who you have a rather flimsy relationship with. But what do I know.
[…]like I’m seeing his yummy chocolate eyes for the first time
I’m going to stop you right there. First of all, who thinks “yummy chocolate eyes” EVER?! And okay, fine if you want to think that on a Sunday afternoon when you’re sitting on the couch together in your pyjamas with nothing important to do. But shouldn’t you guys be like, running or something? I don’t know, this is kind of life or death. But again, what do I know.
And the last straw. When Evan might be about to be blown up trying to save them all (you know, Evan, the guy whose “yummy chocolate eyes” you were peeing your pants over, like, two pages ago?) Ben is in serious danger of bleeding out, the entire camp is gone, and they are on their stomachs in the dark, what is Cassie thinking about?
When was the last time I brushed my teeth?
WHAT?!?!?! Ben might actually die, okay? He is not worried about the breath of a girl who is pretty much a stranger to him. I’m sorry, at any other time a thought like that would be relatable and funny, but this is life and death, Cassie. LIFE AND DEATH! So it just makes you seem empty-headed and incredibly vain.
But then, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, Cassie, who I thought was supposed to be happily sailing along in her intensely problematic and icky ship with Evan, gets all jealous about Ringer and Ben.
And then, while she’s sitting there thinking mushy thoughts about Evan and how she’s his mayfly and whatever, Ben comes over and kisses her. (And Sammy is in her lap. What the heck???)
This is what the last page of my copy looks like:
I HATE love triangles, and this is the worst kind. This is the kind in which the girl is wishy-washy and jerkish, thinking about one boy one second and kissing another the next. And to top it all off, getting in the way of a good ship.
I just am so not okay with that on so many levels. I’m not a fan of the Cassie and Evan ship, but whatever, I can deal. As long as I have my Zombie and Ringer ship. AND NOW THAT ISN’T SAFE ANYMORE.
Anyway, I almost would have preferred had the whole book been from the POV of the squad members.
Another Huge Problem
Cassie kept using symbols and imagery borrowed from Ben’s POV? Which really just ruined my suspension of disbelief because it was like all the characters got together beforehand and talked about it and got their symbolism straight. And it was just weird. The first time it happened, I almost overlooked it.
As you can see, I took it up with the author. Obviously. Because everyone knows when you write in a book and address the author by name, said author gets an instant notification. True story. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to receive a reply.
If it had just been once, I could have chalked it up to a small slip. But it happened at least two more times that I noticed.
So yeah. It definitely got old.
But the Plot! The Plot!
I just love the way this alien invasion was handled. I love how it’s contrasted with our movies and books about alien invasions—the way we’d like them to go. I love that the humans are powerless but still hopeful, because that’s what makes them human.
And so many things were just so diabolically genius that the Others did, though. Like the way they used the first two waves to herd the humans into groups, making the 3rd wave more effective. And the way they made it dangerous to trust. And the idea to use kids. I feel like it would be interesting to compare and contrast this book with The Lord of the Flies. Teacup man, Teacup terrified me. But in the end, she was still just a kid, and when they actually got into combat, she was the most frightened of all.
Gah I could go on and on about this book. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS BOOK. I am so excited to dive into the next one!
Anyone who has read this book, come discuss it with me in the comments!!!
And have a lovely day!