Review | The Young World by Chris Weitz – with Audiobook Notes

Posted March 10, 2015 by Asheley in review, Uncategorized / 1 Comment

The Young World by Chris Weitz
Series: The Young World Trilogy #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: July 29, 2014
Source: Book – Publisher, Audiobook – Library  

Find It: Goodreads / Amazon

Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens.

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 a fellow tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure for the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip, exchanging gunfire with enemy gangs, escaping cults and militias, braving the wilds of the subway – all in order to save humankind. (Goodreads) 
The Young World by Chris Weitz

My Thoughts: I never really get tired of dystopians or apocalyptic stories, so when I saw The Young World by Chris Weitz, I got excited to see another author’s take on this very popular category of story. I think the book was a bit more intense than I was expecting from the beginning, but an action-driven plot like this was admittedly a lot of fun. 

So in short, a Sickness has come, wiping out the adult-aged as well as the very young. This has left a mostly-teenage population, and by this time they’re running low on food and they’re beginning to realize that they’re going to die out if a cure for the Sickness isn’t procured shortly. A small group from the Washington Square Tribe, including the two narrators – Jefferson and Donna – go on a journey to a place where they believe a possible cure could be found. 

On the way, they end up having to survive other tribes, vicious animals, and many acts of violence. The people and animals they come in contact with are hungry and not very nice at all, and there are several in the group that do not make it to the end of the book. 

I think that my favorite thing about The Young World by Chris Weitz is the world-building. The world-building is fun. It feels gray and dark, like the sound of broken windows, the sound of shoes on asphalt, like kicking cans while you walk down the road. I love this take on New York City, it feels neglected and run-down. It feels used-up and dirty, maybe in the same way that a stereotypical teenage boy’s room is often described, except multiplied. The characters have this palpable feeling of always being on edge, of always watching over their shoulders, of never really sleeping. I think the feeling of unrest comes through really well in this story. 

I like the way that these characters band together in crazy-stressful situations, when they’re pressed – I mean the characters that are all traveling together. Even when they are not particularly close or very fond of one another, they usually stick up for one another because their lives are on the line, and I like that. However, in the same way that I like this feeling of togetherness, I like the way that the rival tribes had no qualms about fighting with anyone and everyone for anything they needed/wanted. There is survival-of-the-fittest in this story, and it causes some tense moments, which is great as far as an action-driven plot is concerned. All of this being said, I wish I felt like I was more familiar with the characters. I know who they are and what they did, but I don’t feel as in-tune with them as I would like to. This series is still early, though, so there is time yet to bond. 

There are some things about this plot that are a little on the standard side for books in this category. I get that and I am fine with that. I’ve heard of some of the comparisons between this book and others – I don’t like comparisons so I don’t plan to list them here – but I cannot speak to those comparisons because I haven’t read the other books that I’m aware of. Did these comparisons make a difference in how I felt about this one? I don’t know, honestly. I don’t think so. I think The Young World is fun enough even if it has a few of the standards we’ve seen before. There is a romance in the book and to be honest, it is not my favorite part of the story. There is a love triangle present that is a little murky, and it makes the romance a little complicated. 

I was surprised by a few of the scenes, how intense they are, with some of the liberties taken, with some of the violence. I’m not a reader that censors things, I am not an “I don’t read this” type of reader, I just remember thinking that oh yay my kids will love this book and then oh no, they’re not quite ready for this. True, they’re younger-YA-readers, but still, this is why I #readwhattheyread. 

I recommend The Young World by Chris Weitz to readers that enjoy young adult apocalyptic stories and survival/adventure stories. Reluctant readers may enjoy this story in particular, due to the action sequencing, but I would hesitate to recommend this one to the very young YA readers because this book may be a little on the mature side for them. I DO plan to continue with this series both for myself as a reader because I did like it, and also because I know that my kids want to read it. 


The Young World will appeal to fans of:

Young Adult Apocalyptic/Survival
Romance: Love-triangle. 
Great world-building.
Diverse characters. 
Alternating POV’s.
Action-driven plot.
Cliffhanger ending.

The Young World by Chris Weitz
is currently available for purchase.

Audiobook Notes:  The audiobook format of The Young World by Chris Weitz is published by Hachette Audio and is 8 hours and 32 minutes, Unabridged. It is narrated by Spencer Locke and Jose Julian, who are both new to me. Both were great in their roles as Donna and Jefferson, respectively. I loved listening to this audiobook as opposed to reading print-only because: with plenty of inner dialogue and high-intensity action scenes, I appreciated the interpretation each of the narrators gave to the author’s story. I think the funny parts may have been a little funnier and the more stressful parts may have made my heart beat a little more, which I tend to really enjoy. To be honest, I did have to back up the audiobook a time or two and re-listen to parts to figure out exactly where the characters were along their journey to find the cure to the Sickness, but this is not necessarily related to the quality of the audiobook – this is probably more to do with me being able to keep up with action sequences and alternating points-of-view than anything else. I would recommend this audiobook for first reads and for rereads, but I do think it worked best for me as an audiobook + print combo read. 

Have you considered reading The Young World? 
Have you already read it? 

Speak your mind! I want to know. 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


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