The Young World #1
by Chris Weitz
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (July 29, 2014)
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Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens.The Young World is set in the future New York where The Sickness has wiped out everyone over the age of eighteen and younger children. After two years the left over teenagers have found a way to survive together. They band together and form tribes in order to survive this new, chaotic world.
After a mysterious Sickness wipes out the rest of the population, the young survivors assemble into tightly run tribes. Jefferson, the reluctant leader of the Washington Square tribe, and Donna, the girl he's secretly in love with, have carved out a precarious existence among the chaos. But when another tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure to the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip to save humankind.
The tribe exchanges gunfire with enemy gangs, escapes cults and militias, braves the wilds of the subway and Central Park...and discovers truths they could never have imagined.
I really wanted to like this book, post apocalyptic stories are my favorite, but this one just didn't do it for me. The story is told from dual points of view. Jefferson is the typical nice guy, trying to save the world when everyone else is just trying to survive. He becomes the leader of the Washington Square tribe after the death of his older brother Wash. Jefferson tries to do the right thing and thinks about what is best for everyone and not just himself. Donna is the typical teenage girl, she's been friends with Jefferson since childhood, and he's also in love with her. Jefferson is easy to like, his chapters are interesting and I didn't mind seeing things through his point of view. Donna's chapters were harder to get through. She seems to be every bad teenage girl stereotype rolled into one character.
The Young World reads more like an action movie than a novel which made more sense once I found out the author, Chris Weitz, is actually a director. There were some parts of this story that felt like they were thrown in just for shock value and had nothing to do with the overall story. The pace of the story is pretty fast and never slows down, the characters are thrown from one bad situation to the next from start to finish. Normally I would love the fast pace, but after a while it was a bit ridiculous and hard to believe. There is also a lot of violence and graphic situations that make this book better suited for older teens. I would skip this book if you're squeamish.
My favorite part of the novel is the last few chapters and the ending.The ending sets up the next book nicely and leaves you with a lot of new questions and wondering what will happen next.
All in all, while this book isn't my favorite there was something about that just kept me reading and interested in what was happening. This book wasn't for me, it might be great for someone who likes action packed adventure stories.
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