Review: The Young World by Chris Weitz

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 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.

youngworldThe plot of The Young World grabbed me from the synopsis, and I was intrigued to see both a post-apocalyptic world, and how society evolved with teens left alone and forced to rely on their wits to survive such harrowing times.

The plot maintained a fast pace from start to finish and held my interest from the first page to the last. I was somewhat surprised to read heavy criticism that the book’s plot was similar to The Tribe (I have not seen it so could not comment, and in any case one could argue this about many, many novels if one views plot alone on a basic level) and some comments that there was too much action, which I completely disagree with. A world such as this is highly likely to be tumultuous, and the action, whilst somewhat grim in one or two places, seemed at a fitting pace to me.

The story is told by two different narrators, a mode which I usually dislike since I nearly always find it jarring when the narrators switch. In The Young World, our two narrators have wildly different voices, and yet somehow that takes the novel to a new level. I thoroughly enjoyed both narrators, and loved seeing such different views on the same events, and even more the occasional surprise when their outlooks coincided.  The secondary characters were strong, interesting, likeable and added spice to the story.

The ending seemed a little sudden, possibly because I was so swept up in the story but was an excellent cliffhanger to the sequel, which I eagerly await.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an eARC by NetGalley for the purposes of this review, but all opinions given are, as always, entirely my own. 

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