The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
In this first book in a new series for young adults by Rick Yancey, the 5th Wave has descended, and Cassie Sullivan roams the empty, desolate roads trying to find her little brother while also hiding from Them—the alien beings who look like people but are actually on a mission to eradicate the human race. While Cassie doesn’t know who to trust, her high school crush, Ben, is saved from the Red Plague and recruited as a soldier. Along with others who have lost their entire families, he arrives at Camp Haven to be trained as a deadly soldier. Told from multiple perspectives, The 5th Wave combines elements of suspense and strong characters to weave a wild ride of a story.
This book is not your typical alien invasion sci-fi novel. It does explore similar themes of pitting young adults up against a world they don’t understand, and forcing them to become adults under daunting circumstances, but the reason I recommend this novel is because it keeps you guessing. There were multiple points where I had no idea who was good, who was bad, and when it all hit the fan, I felt like I’d just been on a thrill ride. As an example of developing a plot that includes trickery and twists, this novel is stellar. Regardless of if you’re a science fiction writer or not, The 5th Wave demonstrates plotting mastery and should be on your list to read, study, and underline.