ByBrit Cole, writer at
River: Does sarcasm help? The Doctor: Wouldn't it be a great universe if it did? - Pretty much sums me up.
Brit Cole

(***Minor spoilers!***)

Apparently I am in the minority as far as my opinion of this book goes, as I seem to be one of the few who did not like it. This is unfortunate for me, as I really wanted to enjoy it because the only reason I read it was because I have a rule that I don't see the movies until I've read the books from which they are adapted. But now, I don't even want to see the movie, so at least I saved myself some money.

To begin with, I thought many elements of this story, along with its characters, were unrealistic and therefore unbelievable. The story starts out slow, with one of the main characters, Cassie Sullivan, whining the whole time about how life used to be. Cassie was just a regular, awkward 16 year old just 5 months ago, never handling a gun or experiencing any real tragedies in her life (except for maybe her unrequited high school love of Ben Parish), but somehow, at the start of this story she's surviving on her own in the woods, shooting rifles, and killing people. I think this would have been more believable from a reader's point of view if instead of Cassie telling us flashbacks of what happened with the invasion, we had "lived through it" with her from the very beginning. But sadly, the first half of the book is Cassie explaining how a bunch of high school kids stayed completely calm as all the technology in the world (including their phones, cars, electric lights, airplanes, etc) stopped working. Then they calmly watched an airplane fall out of the sky, assumed it was an alien invasion (oh yeah, duh, well what else could it be?) and then Cassie and her best friend discuss who they should have sex with before they die. Totally normal behavior, of course.

Cassie is also a huge fan of boring info-dumping, and many times repeats the same information over and over again. She also repeats that she thinks she's "the last human on earth" about a million times . This is obviously exposition, but also annoyingly naive. But to be honest, ALL the characters are really naive. After Cassie explains at least 5-6 times about how the 1st wave took out all technology, a helicopter flies by their little refugee camp and everyone there, including her father, gets all excited that they are going to be rescued! Riiight.

Another part of the book that really bothered me is that at one point, Cassie is found hurt and unconscious by a guy out on a road. So this guy takes her to his home, undresses her, bathes her, and then redresses her in someone else's clothing. When she wakes, she realizes this, freaks out in her head, but then when he comes into the room, she's suddenly chill about it because well, he's kinda cute and he did save her life after all. ...I'm sorry, but WHAT!? Absolutely not! Any girl in real life, with any shred of sanity, would run the hell out of there, injured or not, and certainly would not (I hope anyway) trust him and befriend him! I was completely disgusted by this. If this were a true story (or even a logical one) the next scene would be a horror scene with him raping and murdering her. I really hope that girls that read this book don't think this type of behavior is acceptable and normal.

Finally, after about half the book, the story picks up a bit when the POV switches to Ben, who is now in a boot camp-type setting. Unfortunately, we don't get to stay with Ben, as the author starts constantly switching POVs between Ben, Cassie, and Cassie's younger brother. Usually, I don't mind this in novels, but in this case, it made the predictability of the story even worse, as nothing is left to the imagination because the reader knows exactly everything that is happening and what is going to happen because another character already told us. This also caused a lot more incidents of repeated information, as we get to be with every character as each one realizes the truth of what is happening (and each one reacts the same way and says the EXACT SAME THING about the realization). This was so repetitive I ended up skipping small sections, which is something I hardly ever do when reading a book of any kind. There were also sections of Ben's narrative in which the writing got so short and choppy that it was hard to follow. I understand that was supposed to make the reading faster and more exciting, but I didn't feel it accomplished that whatsoever, as I ended up having to go back and reread parts to remember what was actually happening (even though rereading really didn't help all that much).

Although the author tries really hard to convince the reader that this alien invasion is like nothing we've ever read or seen before by continually repeating exactly that, the whole book is a jumbled mess of other ideas and stories from other works he's hastily thrown together. There were some decent parts of the story and maybe one or two semi-surprises, but the rest of the story was so irritating and predictable that it drowned out anything that was good. I had high hopes for this novel, but sadly I was extremely disappointed. Unless the movie fixes the aforementioned problems with this story, I can't imagine it being much better.


Latest from our Creators