“It wasn’t just the world that had changed with the coming of the Others. We changed. I changed,” 16-year-old Cassie writes in her diary, the book that shares space in her backpack with canned sardines, bottled water and her little brother’s teddy bear. Ever since the alien invasion’s first four “Waves” wiped out most of the human race, Bear has been Cassie’s only companion—not counting her M16 rifle, of course.

Cassie’s on a mission to find her younger brother, who was stolen away along with other child residents of a supposedly safe refugee camp. But two other teens are on missions, too—missions that might help or hinder Cassie’s. Like all those who weren’t killed by power outages, floods, pestilence or roaming snipers, Cassie and her fellow survivors find themselves constantly wondering how anyone can hold onto hope in a world where human idealism is rapidly becoming the enemy’s best weapon. What shape will the upcoming 5th Wave take . . . and what new horrors will it bring?

Set on a future Earth where aliens look human, humans look alien and no one can be trusted, Printz Honor-winning author Rick Yancey’s post-apocalyptic adventure story mixes high-energy action with sharp psychological tension. Narrative sections become shorter and faster-paced as the dĂ©nouement looms, echoing the characters’ increasingly rapid choices as they navigate between individuality and conformity and between loyalty and paranoia. Fans of dystopias and suspenseful thrillers won’t want to miss this exploration of the limits of human tenacity in a world gone horribly wrong.

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