We’re excited about “The Last Star,” which comes out next Tuesday, so in commemoration of the third and final “5th Wave” installment, we’re catching up on an old feature to highlight what makes that trilogy’s main character such a compelling heroine. Welcome to our new contributor Claire for her very first post!
Cassie Sullivan from “The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey
After the 1st Wave only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th Wave, just one rule applies: Trust no one. Now it’s the dawn of the 5th Wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing everyone they see… But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up. More about The 5th Wave
Who Is She? Cassie Sullivan is the 16-year-old main character in Rick Yancey’s “The 5th Wave” series. She is the “every girl” that we (the reader) experience the waves of a global alien invasion through. She’s close with her family (even if they are slightly off-beat having named her after a constellation), and she has a crush on the resident popular boy, Ben Parrish. Her biggest worries are boys, dates, and school. Then the waves of the alien invasion start, and this is where we see how awesome Cassie really is. She finds an inner strength after being separated from her little brother Sammy. Cassie becomes this badass warrior woman who decides that she is willing to do whatever it takes to find her brother.
Why Is She Awesome? Cassie decides that she will not take the invasion, the loss of her family, and the kidnapping of her brother lying down. Cassie literally takes up arms and goes on a quest to rescue Sammy. What makes Cassie an amazing heroine is that is she is unbelievably relatable. She is who most of us would hope to be in her circumstances — who I would want to be. She is scared but pushes forward. She challenges herself to continue to put one foot in front of the other, trusting and hoping that those steps will lead her to Sammy. Cassie is alone, and at 16 is responsible for a 6-year-old brother who believes her to be invincible. He knows Cassie will come for him. She doesn’t think beyond her mission. She will not stop, and her tenacity is admirable. Even if there are times when Cassie herself doubts she will find Sammy, that she will be successful in rescuing him, she doesn’t give up. She recognizes that she will never be the same again. She knows her life is split between “before” and “after,” but she continues. She pushes forward. Cassie Sullivan refuses to go quietly into the good night.
Whom Does She Love? She starts off with dreams of Ben Parrish. Ben the perfect quarterback, the dream boy. Ben with whom she’s convinced she’s shared a connection with through a quick exchange on a bus in middle school. Circumstances change both Cassie and Ben. They are not innocent teens any longer. Through these changes, and the growth of character (at times forced upon her), Cassie develops a real connection with mysterious newcomer Evan Walker. I have to admit, Evan definitely has my vote. Now, it’s not like he doesn’t come with some pretty heavy baggage, but Evan is trying to do what is right. His main concern, once meeting her is Cassie. And his loyalty seems unwavering even in the face of scorn, and mounting odds against them. Which makes Evan my choice, and oh so swoon-worthy.
“When I cry – when I let myself cry – that’s who I cry for. I don’t cry for myself. I cry for the Cassie that’s gone. And I wonder what that Cassie would think of me. The Cassie who kills.”
“It wasn’t about saving us. And it wasn’t about enslaving us or herding us into reservations. It was about killing us. All of us.”
“Because if I am the last one, then I am humanity. And if this is humanity’s last war, then I am the battlefield.”
“I can’t trust him. I have to trust him. I can’t stay with him. I can’t leave him behind.”
“‘No squad,’ I tell him. ‘I’m my own squad.'”
“This is the first rule of the last war: Trust no one.”