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The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Dear Rick Yancey,


This past year, I was on vacation with my family at my grandparents house in Florida. My grandmother always presses me to read more books, and I always, although sometimes grudgingly, allow her to get me a book. This year, when she asked me what book I wanted, I told her your book; The 5th Wave. When she came home later that day with your book, I looked it over and opened up to the first page. I began reading. Soon, I realized that it was time for dinner, and that I had lost track of time for a couple hours. I wolfed down my dinner, and returned to the book, as that was what I was really hungry for. I read late into the night, and by the end of that trip, my grandmother had told me I should’ve spent less time reading. Funny how that works.


Throughout my life, I have discovered within myself a certain yearning. To be something greater than I can possibly be. When I opened your book this is what I found. A normal girl, who became someone great, driven by only a problem and will. When I read, I am no longer bored, no longer just satisfied, I am rejuvenated, and alive. Inside a book I am refreshed. But yours brought me something special.


Today’s society profits from self-doubt. Throughout the beginning of The 5th Wave, It is easy to tell that our protagonist does not think to much of herself, and is a classic stereotype of somebody shaped by their society. However, throughout the book she undergoes an immense amount of change. When, “the others” invade our planet, Cassiopeia is changed by her environment, and all that’s left is raw. We begin to learn about her character, and that is what’s special about your book.  I read a quote you had left, and I forget where, but you said one of the weakest points of your writing might have been going too in depth to characters. This “weak point,” is the reason readers fell in love with your book. The more we get to know about the characters, the more we can relate to them, and care about them.


In The 5th Wave, I truly cared about your characters. The scenes at the farm with “the other,” Evan Walker, are some of the most powerful scenes in this book. Cassie is shaped by her environment, and has learned that perfect boys don’t exist. So  when she meets Evan, she is immediately set on edge. Evan has come from a society with a higher intelligence, and knows little about Cassie and how she feels. Because of Cassie’s doubt, she discovers the truth about  him.


So what does this say about our environment? The ads on the highways and on television informing us of what will happen if we buy their products? Buy this facial cream and you’ll become beautiful! Is this implying to us that we aren’t good enough looking as we are? Yes, in fact, this is exactly what these ads are trying to convey to us. When a person sees one of these ads, the picture-perfect models with the advertised product in their hand, their self confidence drops a bit. These modern, “regular people,” are made to feel that way. They don’t have a clue what goes on behind the scenes. Most of the people in those photos are just like us...but they are pictures. Made by technology and photoshopping, companies can accomplish anything they desire with a few taps of a button.
Your book has awoken in me a passion to change the society we live in. The company Dove, has been taking leaping strides towards exposing these sort of problems. Creating videos of how to turn a slice of pizza into a beautiful woman not only makes us laugh, but Dove has shown us how self confidence is okay, and that beauty isn’t real half the time. Although the world we live in is not perfect, if we erase these lying ads, we can take a huge step towards changing the world for the better.




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