That Time I Saw The 5th Wave


I read The 5th Wave once upon a time. It was awhile ago, no idea when just checked Goodreads, which tells me two years ago. This was my short review of the book, in a “Books I’m Never Reviewing” post (actually, my first one ever!):

Short Version: I liked it, though it was incredibly dark. There is not a lot of hope in this book, it is just one big old bag of depression. Had there been a few more lighter moments, I think it would have helped the pacing as well, and made me like it a bit more. That said, I will definitely be reading Infinite Sea.

I do own Infinite Sea, but reading it hasn’t happened yet. I also pretty much forget the book. I mean, I remember the bigger details, and a lot of it came back to me when I saw the movie, but I’ll be honest: I can’t tell you how much of it veered from the book because I can’t remember. Here’s what I do remember: The book was draggy for me. The movie was not.

Let’s start with the characters, shall we?

So, Cassie, the main character, she’s fine. And Chloe Grace Moretz or whatever is fine. I don’t dislike her. I don’t love her, but she was okay, tolerable.  She is probably even decent, it’s just that… she makes the same face a lot.

Even like, pre-all-the-death, she made that face on the regular. 

I didn’t have any strong feelings for anyone else one way or the other. The guy who played Vosch was creepy as hell, so that was a job well done. The parents were decent. The group of kids were fun. And Ringer, I adored Ringer. 

She has lots of fans, see? Because of amazing stuff like this:

I feel like I loved her in the book too? Anyway. The rest of the cast was fine. Look, it isn’t winning an Oscar or anything, but they got the job done. Especially for a group of mostly kids. Sammy was adorable, of course.

The Plot

Like I said, I don’t know how much it deviated. But as I said before, it was a lot quicker. In a good way. I didn’t feel like they sacrificed integrity, but maybe that’s just because I thought that the book could have been a couple (hundred) pages shorter? Yeah so anyway. It started off really strong, because of course it did, the world was ending.

There was some weird stuff in the middle that neither me or my mom (who read it like, last week, literally) remembered. Things like flinging actual human bodies through the forest with one’s bare hands? 

This… cannot have been a thing, right?

And while I mostly liked the rest of it, there was some cheesy stuff toward the end that had us rolling our eyes a bit. And one moment where we actually laughed so hard we cried, which I don’t think is good? But overall, it kept my attention, and wasn’t too corny.

Random Crap

  • This is kind of a Hollywood complaint more than a movie complaint, but if it’s the freaking end of days, why does your hair look like a Pantene commercial? I could spend an afternoon on my hair and it wouldn’t look half as good as this girl’s after being without running water for months. Also- I had no idea that the goddamn laundromat was still up and running. Seriously, can we please talk about her jeans?! They look like she just tore off the tags.
  • There’s a moment where she is stopping to take a break from running through the woods, and she pulls out a Dasani bottle. Because apparently, Dasani was the official sponsor of this particular apocalypse.  And it didn’t look any less new than the jeans.
  • There is a scene, and I mean, it’s pretty spoilery so View Spoiler » she says “Evan, what  are you doing here?”, and my mom and I physically couldn’t keep it inside anymore. I leaned over to her and whisper-laughed “Oh you know, just here to grab some lunch, maybe a burger, some fries…” It was maybe one of the stupidest lines ever. 
  • The backstory was done really well, I think- it gave a really good indication of what had happened so far, and why the movie opened as it did. I don’t think you’d have to have read the book to get this at all.
  • I have no actual idea if they are making an Infinite Sea movie. So that’s a little weird, if they don’t. I know this movie has done fairly well in the box office- not great, but it tripled its budget, so that’s good. But, the critic do not love it. So I guess we’ll see?

Bottom Line: I liked the movie better than the book. It was just more entertaining and fast paced- kind of the way a story like this should be. “Meandering” and “Apocalypse” really don’t mesh, so it makes sense. Definitely action packed, but I also think it was true to the characters. But for goodness sake, can next time, maybe these people not look like they just came from the mall instead of a war zone?

Have you read the book? Seen the movie? If so, thoughts? And also, do you know anything about a sequel?

Posted February 23, 2016 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Bookish Movie, Review / 55 Comments


55 responses to “That Time I Saw The 5th Wave

  1. BAHAH YOU ARE HILARIOUS. And I’m laughing my head off at her faces. xD I liked Chloe Grace Mortez in If I Stay…but as an actor? Eh, eh. I’m meh about her, I guess? But she sure is landing ALL the roles these days omg. AHHHEM. SO I just finished reading the book actually. xD In preparation for the movie…although I didn’t go and watch the movie because omg, cinemas. Why are you so expensive. I could like buy a whole BOOK for the price of a movie-ticket and I get to keep the book. Ahem. SO YEAH.
    Also her jeans. What’s up with that tho? My jeans don’t look that nice after day 1 of me wearing them and I stay in the nice, safe indoors. Hmph to Hollywood.

    • Aw thanks!! The faces were HILARIOUS. I agree, she’s really just “meh” as an actor, but I guess she worked well enough. I feel like I liked her more in this than If I Stay? But I don’t really remember it that well. And YES movie tickets are crazy expensive. You could definitely buy a book for the price. And you can rent the movie for like, $1.99, so yeah.

      And RIGHT with those jeans?! Who has jeans that look that nice EVER, let alone after sleeping in the woods and in dirty camps and such- and surviving the PLAGUE!? What even!?!

      You must let me know when you see the movie! 😀

  2. I do see why you liked the movie more than the book. It’s more of the other way around for me though. I see what you mean when you said that the book was draggy. I kind of think that the book just had sooooo much of the characters thoughts – their fears, worries, blah-blah-blah and I honestly liked it. It was the part of the book that I noticed cannot exactly be shown in the movie and it’s fine. Really fine. Removing those aspects actually made the story move 10x faster in the movie.

    I think that the things that changed from book to movie, plot-wise, were generally okay and made A LOT more sense in the movie (particularly that moment when Cassie and Sam got separated). I was generally disappointed on how there was not enough time for the rest of Zombie’s squad to get attention though. I mean, I LOVE them all. I love how they slowly found out the truth.. But yeah, movies have to cut things out to save time, budget, to fit everything in the movie, and make it interesting for non-book readers. So I completely understand.

    Sorry for the short rant, but yeah.. the movie was more or less okay for me.. I’ve read the Infinite Sea and I’m eagerly waiting for the Last Star. I’ve never heard of a sequel for the movie but if they’d like to do that, I’d be glad to see how they do so. If not, it’s honestly fine for me. The 5th Wave isn’t exactly on my fave series anyway 🙂

    • The book DID have a lot of the good character stuff, I agree there! But I feel like I almost cared less because I felt the length? If that even makes sense hahha.

      DEFINITELY agree with you about Zombie’s squad. I DID want more screen time for them, no question! And I do understand, but yeah, I loved them! Much more than angsty looks between Cassie and Evan 😉

      I feel you about the series. I haven’t read Infinite Sea, but I plan to. But like you said, it isn’t my all time favorite series or anything, so I guess it will be on the back burner for now!

  3. That particular book passed me by – I always thought I might read it, but the reviews were mixed and I never got around to it. I thought about seeing the movie, but I’m not sure now that I’ve read your review. 😀 Your Jeans and Dasani as the sponsor of the apocalypse (I assume it’s a brand of water?) cracked me up though, so I’m glad YOU went to see it!

    • Yes, yes Dasani is a brand of water, and it was so RANDOM. It looked like she’d just plucked it out of the fridge. I could just see the ad: “Don’t run from aliens who are trying to kill you in the woods while you search for your brother without the cool, refreshing spring water from Dasani” and she holds up the bottle and then gets shot in the arm.

      You should see it and do a video! THAT would be great!

  4. I haven’t read the books and don’t know if I’ll ever read them but the movie was good. Lots of cheese!!! And cliche! I kept rolling my eyes and fake-gagging because of Evan and Cassie? Their romance was so bad. The rest was entertaining, decent as you said. But it doesn’t motivate me to read the books.

    • Bwhahahha I definitely rolled my eyes at them! I wonder if the actual direction was “look angsty and swoony and into each other’s eyes. Now look away. Now sigh. Repeat.” because yeah haha. I will let you know about the books after I read them all- and then I can give you a better verdict 😉

  5. Tammy V.

    I have read the books but haven’t seen the movie. I was hoping it would be close to the books and not go off course. Love the post.

  6. “Because apparently, Dasani was the official sponsor of this particular apocalypse.”

    I just snorted. 🙂 That’s a post in itself. For all the apocalypse books and dystopian novels that are out there who would their corporate sponsor be.

    After reading The 5th Wave (which I disliked) I’m steering away from everything associated with it. However, now I wonder, since it has been a couple of years since I read the book if the movie might be worth seeing. Maybe when it hits Netflix.

    • Bwhah right? That WOULD be quite a post! I wasn’t a HUGE fan of the book, but I liked it enough to feel like I’d give the second one a try. You know, someday 😉 I think it IS worth seeing the movie, just for the entertainment alone- but yeah, I wouldn’t spend tons of money, Netflix is a good call!

  7. So I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but is good to know from your review that you remember the book dragging a little bit. I know sometimes they add in extra details that they cut from the movie to make it go faster! Great Review!

  8. I don’t know that I’d say that I liked the movie better than the book, but it had been a while since I’d read the book, and so like you, I’m not sure exactly what varied. Other than one big detail, the really cheesy way she describes Evan’s eyes in the book, as chocolately brown, and then they weren’t in the movie. To me that was kind of a big thing because I remember her even calling herself out on being cheesy with that later on. But I did enjoy the movie!

    • Bwhah I totally forgot about that in the book. I just don’t know how I felt about movie-Evan in general at all. I mean, he was kind of okay for awhile, and then he annoyed me, but I think he did that in the book too? I am glad you enjoyed the movie (and teh book!) too!

  9. OMG the face thing made me laugh so hard lol

    My pet peeve with all these dystopian movies are the fake lashes. Na matter what is going on int heir world or horrible it gets – they all have perfect long, dark lashes.

    Everyone always looks artfully dirty.

    I saw that it is doing really well overseas so that helps the chances of second movie beign made.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

    • Hahhaha thanks! And GOOD CALL with the lashes! What IS that!!? And the makeup- because you’re right, they’re like, super made up, with just a light smattering of dirt bwhahah.

      I am glad that it is doing well! I would like the second movie to be made, honestly, it was entertaining!

  10. tonyalee

    Honestly, one of the reasons I have not read the book was the page count! Maybe I will like the movie better LOL her face though LOLLLL

  11. Hmmm. Thanks for this review. I really loved The 5th Wave and recommend it to teens at work all the time when they want a new Hungers Game/Divergent type thing but my own interest has waned enough that I probably won’t ever finish the series. I’ve been avoiding the movie because I’m super annoyed they whitewashed Ringer and haven’t really thought much about it since. Glad to hear you mostly liked it though–always nice when a movie is more fun than the book!

    • I know what you mean about the series. I mean, I DO want to finish it, but maybe someday when I am like, 68 and have nothing better to do? Who knows. Not today 😉 I didn’t even remember that about Ringer (which I now feel bad about!) but it was SO long ago. I will say that I was VERY surprised to see cast photos, and have her be a blonde girl!

    • Oh, I don’t blame you, the prices are obscene! We went in the afternoon, so it wasn’t as bad, but still, crazy. But I hope you enjoy it when you do watch it- I imagine it will be available in at-home formats fairly soon at this point!

    • DVD is probably a good idea! I am so glad you enjoyed the book though. Have you read the second one yet? I have heard mixed things about it, too. But I have it and do want to read it at some point! You’ll have to let me know what you think of the movie when you see it 😀

  12. “But for goodness sake, can next time, maybe these people not look like they just came from the mall instead of a war zone?” <— Ha ha. YES! We want more dirt, grunge and BLOOD…please. I've read the book and enjoyed it. I look forward to the movie, and hope to see it before it hits DVD. A blockbuster like that would be glorious is HD and surround sound. 😀

    • YESSSS! And I get that they don’t want to be TOO gory so they can be PG-13, but come ON! That doesn’t mean she has to look like she was shopping at the Gap before she popped into the apocalypse! I really hope you enjoy the movie- and that you get to see it soon!

  13. XD My thoughts exactly! I got halfway through the book before I gave up, precisely because it was so S L O W, for a story about the end of the world and a desperate girl trying to find the only family meber she has left, which could be in danger, surrounded by aliens! The movie was better, but I don’t like the actress. :/ She reminds me of Kristen Stewart’s faces. And no. My sister kept making jokes about that poor Evan’s guy’s face. She said he looks like a bird.

    • YES exactly! I mean, how do you make a book about the end of the world feel so draggy!? I don’t like the actress a lot either. I feel like she isn’t awful, but maybe inexperienced? She seems like less of a cardboard cutout than Kristen Stewart IRL, so I guess she has SOME hope 😉 And yeah, I didn’t really like Evan. He looked… I don’t know, like some kind of random lumberjack from Idaho- and much older than everyone else. I like your sister’s assessment! 😀

  14. Omg Shannon you are absolutely hilarious! Her exaggerated facial expressions were so funny and Omg the pantene commercial thing! And how hilarious was Evan having a perfect 5 o’clock shadow in the apocalypse? It was cheese at its finest, but I like how it explained the 5th Wave back story.

  15. I read the book and personally, I loved it. I did love Ringer in the book and she looks totally bad ass in the movie clip. I haven’t read The 5th Wave in a while, but I don’t remember the whole throwing people in the forest bit. That’s weird. And your comments were hilarious. I can’t wait to see this movie, but she did NOT look like the world was about to end in those pictures. My hair NEVER looks that good. I loved this review though. Very entertaining!

  16. I saw the *gasp* movie first. I never do that, and I’m not sure why I did this time, but I enjoyed the movie. However, when I read the book (a few days later) I ended up liking the book more. I agree that the book was a little slow, but I thought the characters were not quite as flat, and since Evan was SO STINKIN’ CREEPY, it wasn’t as strange (I guess). I think Ringer is amazing in both the book and movie (she is practically my favorite character), and Sams is soo cute! SERIOUSLY THOUGH WITH HER CLOTHES AND HAIR! I thought the same thing. What the heck? Way to make it not realistic at all (not that an alien invasion is realistic, but you know what I mean). I am currently reading The Infinite Sea and I really like it. 🙂 Thanks for the great review!

    • Totally agree about Evan being a creeper bwhahaah. I did like the character development of the book more for sure. But I guess sheer entertainment value made me the movie win out- and that includes the parts where my mom and I cracked up mid-apocalypse 😀 I loved Sam, both book AND movie Sam!

      I am SO glad you are liking The Infinite Sea! I want to get to it soon(ish), so hearing that it’s going well is very good! And thanks so much!! ♥

  17. This review is LIFE. You MUST review movies more, okay?

    Dasani was the official sponsor of this particular apocalypse — hahahaha.

    Okay, honestly I remember about as much as you do when it comes to this book. I read it when it first came out I remember loving it for the most part but also thinking it was so dang long and depressing. By the time the sequel came out I’d pretty much lost all interest in reading it. BUT, even though I don’t like the actress playing Cassie, I DO want to see this, if nothing else because I HAVE to see any YA adaption.

    WHY does everyone always feel the need to ask “What are you doing here?” at the most inappropriate times??? (yes, I read the spoiler, I HAD to!).

    I mean, they have to do a sequel right? These movie people are kind of burning through their post-apocalyptic dystopian books and they don’t seem to want to take on any other YA books unless they’re contemporaries. Seriously, where are my YA fantasy adaptions????
    I’m glad to hear the movie’s enjoyable if nothing else! =)

  18. I actually really loved the book, but I don’t remember a lot of details about it, to be honest. I don’t even remember who Ringer is, so … Maybe I’ll have to listen to the audiobook (which we have because my husband actually listened to it and really liked it – this is the closest we can ever come to actually sharing book) and then watch the movie. We shall see. Knowing me, I’ll wait too long and the movie will be gone from the theaters.

  19. After If I Stay I’ve been curious to see Chloe Moretz in other movies, but this one just does not sound like my cup of tea. And damn those Pantene hairstyles in apocalypse settings. You’ve gotta be kidding me!

  20. Wow that’s super interesting that you loved the movie more! Very rare, too… My dad is actually the one in the family who is a fan of this series. He randomly picked it up and likes it a lot! He’s the one who wants to watch it in theaters haha. I haven’t read it yet, aliens aren’t my favorite thing, but my dad confirmed that I MUST. Though, this may be the rare time I watch the movie before reading the book…

    • Okay this is weird- MY dad also picked up the book (I had given it to my mom for Christmas haha) and he likes it better than either of us did! It must be a “dad book”. Is that a thing? We should make it a thing! I think you’ll enjoy it if you love aliens! I hope you do love it!!

  21. I haven’t read the book or watched the movie, but I have heard plenty of people talk about it. I am trying to convince my threadsister so we read this ASAP so I can watch the movie before it is no longer available on the big screen. To be honest, I don’t consider Moretz a good actress but damn, she is badass.

    • I am totally with you. She isn’t the best actress of all time, BUT she was fine in the role- because really, it’s a bunch of relatively unknown kids, so she was comparable. I do hope you get to see it, and that you enjoy it!! 😀

  22. I read The 5th Wave back when it was the hot thing, and really enjoyed it, although it wasn’t perfect. I never got around to reading The Infinite Sea, especially when people were saying it wasn’t as good as the first book. I skipped over watching the movie because I’m no longer that interested, and I’m not a big Chloe Grace Moretz fan. The movie’s reviews have been mediocre at best, so I’ll most likely be skipping over anything 5th Wave related now. Sigh.

  23. This was a riot. 🙂 Add to the fact that I feel like you pretty much reached into my brain (ew, that sounds kinda messy) and pulled out my exact thoughts about both the book and the movie. I mean, it’s kinda creepy how dead-on our opinions are about both. It’s been 2+ years since I read the book so I remembered the big stuff but was way fuzzy on details. The book was overly long but I enjoyed it a lot and even made my husband read it. I thought the movie was a great adaptation – didn’t do anything really stupid to screw things up. (Although the body throwing in the forest? Yeah, no recollection of that AT ALL.) And now maybe one day I’ll finally read The Infinite Sea (but let’s not hold our breath on that…).
    *This review has been brought to you by Dasani, Pantene, and the letters F and W.

  24. Great post! It’s rare to like a movie more than a book for me, but this looks pretty good. Both actually :). I loved the comment about the clothes and the hair, so true. It would make the movie much more believable if things would be a little messier sometimes…

  25. Haven’t read or watched 5th Wave, but man I loved your Random Crap section haha – I notice some miniscule things when I read/watch, and those are some things I would have pointed out too! Especially with how perfect she looks omg :O

  26. HAHAHAH I agree so much with this! The only thing I disagree with is Ringer – I didn’t like her in the book and I thought her character was over the top in the movie. Like, where the eff did you get the eyeliner and why is it so god damn important you put it on when the world is like…ya know…ending?! Also, there was no flinging a human in the forest in the book, just so you know 🙂

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