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.
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 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.