The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey Thank you Karen for providing me with an ARC of this book!Edit: I've decided to bump this down to 3 stars. This was one of those books that I liked more at the time I was reading it, but after digesting it for a while, I realize that it just didn't stick with me. And after thinking about it and reading a bunch of other reviews, I don't think this deserves more than 3 stars (I originally had it at 3.5.) Rick Yancey, you're awesome and the Monstrumologist books are the bomb, but ... sorry, this one disappointed me.On to the original review: I wanted to love this book. I really did. When I first found out about it, I totally lost my shit. (You can see this for yourself in my pre-review rants, posted at the bottom of this review.) I mean, I adore Rick Yancey. And I'd been craving a good YA alien book, because I haven't read many that I liked.I really love Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist series––I read the first three books in a span of like three or four days (the fourth book hasn't come out yet), which is something I never do with series (read the books all in a row like that, I mean). I just find that series to be so exciting and innovative, and unlike any other YA series I've read before, in a lot of ways.Thus, when I heard about The 5th Wave, that's what I expected it to be: innovative. Different. Creative. I expected something on the level of my other favorite YA dystopian series, like the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness or Angelfall by Susan Ee. Unfortunately, this book just did not meet my super-high expectations. Maybe it's because I expected too much of it, but I found it a bit disappointing. While I liked it, it just wasn't quite what I wanted it to be, and my opinion, it was pretty clichéd.Basically, the story is about a future, post-apocalyptic world in which most of the human race has been wiped out by aliens. Cassie is on the run from them, trying to survive on her own. She's also on a mission to find her brother, who was taken away from her by a suspicious group of soldiers. She soon meets Evan Walker, a boy who seems trustworthy––but can Cassie really trust anyone in a world of aliens disguised as human beings? In a second storyline, a teenage boy nicknamed Zombie is captured and taken to a mysterious army base where he is trained to be a soldier … but he soon begins to discover that things are not what they may seem, and that he might be fighting on the wrong side.Over all, I thought the book was pretty fun and addicting for the most part. It's fast-paced, has a lot of action, etc. And that's pretty much what it has going for it. It's the type of stuff that's perfect for an action-movie adaptation … and I have a sneaking suspicion that's the reason it exists in the first place. (After all, the book already has a movie deal and a $750,000 marketing campaign … holy shit.) I mean, for the most part it was pretty well-written. The style has a lot of personality, humor, etc. It just didn't capture me quite as much as the Monstrumologist books did. Probably the biggest problem for me, though, was that I just didn't feel much of a connection to any of the characters. I was pretty disappointed in Cassie. When I first read the description of the book, I was psyched … I mean, I expected to get a really kickass female protagonist. But, don't be fooled. The summary of the book is super misleading. The weird thing about it is that it doesn't mention Zombie at all … and actually, I felt he was more of a protagonist than Cassie was. I was pretty confused when it suddenly switched to another point of view besides Cassie's. I figured it out pretty quickly, but still … It was just a bit jarring, since the summary of the book doesn't even mention there being a second narrator. And from there, Zombie's narration kind of took over the book, and really it was the more significant half of the plot. Cassie's point of view ended up being pretty … well, boring really. For a majority of the book, she was sitting around in a house with Evan and couldn't move anywhere because of a leg wound. It wasn't until towards the end of the book that she really did anything. And really, I didn't care much about Cassie and Evan's romance; it felt forced to me and it was hardly fleshed-out at all. Her dedication to her little brother is realistic and endearing, but that's pretty much her only strong character trait. Zombie was a slightly more interesting and likable character. (I think Rick Yancey is more convincing at writing from a male point of view than from a female point of view.) But still, I didn't find him to be particularly memorable. There were also some plot twists that were pretty predictable.The whole thing where the child soldiers were actually being trained by aliens to kill humans … Well, I guess we kind of knew that from the beginning. But still, it just felt kind of obvious and expected to me.And then, Evan being an alien … surprise, surprise. Forbidden romance and all that. It's just been done a billion times before. If I need cheesy alien-human romance, I'll go watch "Roswell." Lulz.Anyway, at the risk of sounding like a total hipster, this book just felt like it was trying to go super mainstream. And what with the gigantic marketing campaign, that seems to be the case. Not to make assumptions, but I feel like Rick Yancey genuinely wanted to write the Monstrumologist books, while The 5th Wave felt like something someone paid him to write. It's not a terrible book … it just doesn't have a lot of soul, in my opinion. I'll probably give the sequel a chance, though, because I could see this series potentially getting better as it goes along. And the first book was at least exciting and compelling enough to keep me going.--------------------Pre-review rants under the spoiler:Update (4/18/13): YAY I'M GETTING AN ARC OF THIS AFTER ALL! Thanks, Karen! :D--------------------3/7/13:So, I didn't win an ARC of this.And on NetGalley they're only giving it away to Australian reviewers. Seriously, if someone has an ARC of this that they don't want/need could you just send it to me? Like, ACTUALLY. I am a million percent serious. ----------2/26/13:OH MY GOD, WHY HAVE I NOT EVEN HEARD OF THIS BOOK UNTIL TODAY?!RICK YANCEY. ALIENS. WHAT. I ... I CAN'T EVEN. I'M SO EXCITED, YOU HAVE NO IDEA.Okay, so I LOVE the Monstrumologist series. I finally got around to reading them this past summer, and I devoured all three books back-to-back, within a single week. They were that good. They're like some kind of terrifying supernatural Sherlock Holmes and they're so freaking awesome. And so the fourth book isn't coming out until September, which sucks. But now I hear that I still get a new Rick Yancey book in the next few months. YAAAAYYYY. And it's about ALIENS.I was seriously thinking like two days ago about how there aren't enough good YA alien books. There's of course the beautiful Chaos Walking series, but other than that I have trouble thinking of any (and if I can, there aren't a lot that I actually liked). So yeah, recently I've been thinking "DAMN I NEED MORE ALIEN BOOKS." I think the universe is rewarding me.On top of that, advance reviews for this book make it sound really promising. Like, REALLY really. I see that Wendy Darling has boldly predicted that it could be the next Hunger Games-esque phenomenon, and Melissa Marr said it was "one of the best books [she's] read in years." So ... holy shit. I'm psyched. PLEASE LET ME GET AN ARC OF THIS. OH PLEASE OH PLEASE.