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The 5th Wave, Book 1
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The 5th Wave is an emotionally intense science fiction adventure set in the aftermath of an alien invasion that has killed billions. It contains a high level of physical violence, resulting in main characters being seriously injured or forced to kill their perceived enemies at a distance or very up close. Younger, more sensitive readers might find the plotting too intense. The language is sometimes rough, with multiple instances of "hell," "damn," "son of a bitch," "bastard," "piss," and "s--t" and two or three uses of "f--k."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In the wake of an alien invasion, most of humanity has been wiped out. All that keeps Cassie Sullivan going is the promise she made to her younger brother, Sammie, and she will do almost anything to be reunited with him. After she's grievously wounded, she's nursed back to health by a mysterious stranger, Evan Walker, who seems to be keeping secrets from her. As Cassie struggles to trust Evan, she's unaware that the invaders are planning a new level of treachery that threatens to destroy every last human survivor.
Is it any good?
THE 5TH WAVE explores an apocalyptic scenario that still has some juice in it. By making the motives of the alien invaders opaque, author Rick Yancey keeps readers guessing and the level of suspense high throughout the book. Readers will find echoes of The Hunger Games, Ender's Game, and Stephen King's The Stand, but The 5th Wave displays plenty of originality. It's a nail-biter from beginning to end.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why stories about alien invasions are so popular. How can stories about extraterrestrials illuminate the human condition?
How do you develop trust between yourself and others, be it your family members, your friends, or your government?
How do real-life institutions, such as the government and the military, try to shape the personalities and thoughts of their members?
Themes & Topics
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.