By: Melanie | December 18, 2014 | (43) Comments

Review: The Young World by Chris WeitzThe Young World by Chris Weitz
Series: The Young World Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Hachette Australia
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Genres: Action, Science Fiction, YA
Pages: 352
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

The Young World had a lot to promise. I was immediately fascinated by the idea of teens ruling the world with no adults or little kids around to get in their way. I mean, that would make me one step closer to world domination. And that would make the world a glorious place, amirite?

For me, The Young World seemed to be a character orientated read. How much you enjoy this book will most likely rely on whether or not you can connect with the plethora of characters. In particular, Donna and Jefferson. They’re the two main characters in this novel, and that becomes apparent immediately because this book is told alternating in their points of views. I strongly believe that these characters need some serious recalibrating. Take Jefferson for instance.

“Hey!” one of the gunners responds when I pat her on the behind. It’s that girl Carolyn, the blond who used to be kind of a fashionista before What Happened. Whoops. Even after the apocalypse, girls don’t like to get slapped on the butt.

“Sorry,” I say. “Totally nonsexual.” I try to say it in a cool, devil-may-care kind of way.

Ummm…what now? Most girls don’t like to get slapped in the butt, period. It’s called respect and I don’t give two shits whether it was meant to be sexual or not. Talk about bad first impressions. And that impression stayed for the rest of the book. So we’re told that Jeff is in love with Donna in the synopsis of the book; he has known Donna since kindergarten and he is basically pining for her for majority of the book. And when he does tell her, I actually had to reread that passage twice because I couldn’t believe my eyes for the first time. (This is in Donna’s POV, by the way.)

Jefferson: “Don’t. I don’t want to hear it. I’ll always be your friend, but I want more.”

Me: “I know. Maybe I’m crazy.”

Jefferson: “Just-just try, will you? Try to love me if you can.”

TRY TO LOVE YOU?! If she doesn’t love you, she doesn’t. She doesn’t have to love you just because you love her, ugh. Honestly, Jefferson’s personality had me disgusted several times. I like his ambition to save the world (even though it’s rash), but his people skills need a lot of work.

Furthermore, I felt somewhat uncomfortable reading from Donna’s perspective.

A lot of books you read, the author thinks it’s cool have an “unreliable narrator.” To keep you guessing and to acknowledge that there are no absolutes, and everything is relative, or whatever. Which I think is kind of lame. So-just so you know- I am going to be a reliable narrator. Like, totally. You can trust me.
First thing about me, I’m not beautiful.

She is talking to us like she’s aware of us – it was unsettling for me, and weirded me out. Some of you wouldn’t mind this, heck–even enjoy it–but I couldn’t get over that. Also, this chick over uses the word ‘like’ and even said LOL in dialogue. *cringe*

I will say that I liked how distinct their voices were; Jefferson obviously sound more mature and level-headed whereas Donna sounded awfully young and whiny. As for the supporting characters, they were also very distinct, but to the point where I felt that each one of represented a stereotype (like the smarty-pants, the clown, etc.).

I definitely liked the fast pace that this book did have. Many apocalyptic novels tend to be way to slow for my liking, and this book just goes to show that fast paced apocalyptic books do exist! I wasn’t bored in terms of the plot, which was a relief because it would have been very likely for me to DNF this if it weren’t for the well set pace. However, I felt that the ending was rushed. It was as if the author realised that it was time to wrap up the novel, and suddenly he tried to move everything into place without really bothering it to feel right.

The Young World was not what I hoped it to be. There were certainly one or two ups here, but the downs outweighed them by far. I don’t see myself continuing with this series, to be frank.

~Thank you Hachette Australia for sending me this copy!~

2 Stars
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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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43 Responses to Review: The Young World by Chris Weitz

  1. Kyra says:

    Mehh I don’t think I’ll be reading this! The characters seem quite annoying (Jefferson sounds perverted and cheesy and Donna sounds quite cliche) and as this is quite a character orientated novel, I think I’d get quite frustrated with it. I also can’t stand it when people say lol in actual dialogue, why can’t people laugh anymore? Why does laughter have to be an acronym, especially in a book? Nope nope nopeity nope nope. I don’t think I’ll be picking this up!

    Fantastic review though, Melanie! <3
    Kyra recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #22 – Top Ten Books I Read in 2014My Profile

  2. I need some time to digest your review and all those weird quotes. I mean it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen LOL! I don’t like all the sexual innuendos and the ass slapping and forcing someone to love you, I mean it’s giving me the heebie jeebies already. There also seem to be a lot of characters, so I can see why you found it difficult to connect to. Great review Mel!
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Contemporary YA Reviews #4 – Flirty Dancing by Jenny McLachlan & Red at Night by Katie McGarryMy Profile

  3. manda says:

    Those quotes make me cringe. Especially the second one. Yuck.
    But anyway, the concept of a dystopian society run by children kind of reminds me of GONE by Michael Grant (which unfortunately I have never gotten around to reading). I was wondering if you’d ever read that series?

    • Melanie says:

      Yes the second one disgusts me quite a bit. You can’t just ask someone to love you :S

      I haven’t read Gone but yes, many people pointed out that the two were similar, but apparently not so much once you read it?

  4. Megan says:

    Ugh, I can totally see why you wouldn’t like this. I agree, the premise sounds so good, but just by reading your review, I feel like giving the two main characters nice, hard bitch-slaps. Especially Jefferson. How about we go around kneeing dudes in the balls, you know? Would that make them understand? Sheesh. And lol, the whole “confessing my love for you” scene… CHEESIEST SHIT EVER.

    I don’t think I’d like reading from a main character who seems to be talking to you, too. And maaan, talk about original — “First thing about me, I’m not beautiful.” Yeah, I’m not liking Donna already. And even though I do use “like” fairly often when I speak, for some reason I don’t like it when authors incorporate that aspect of teenage slang into books, haha! It’s annoying. xD

    Well, at least it wasn’t boring, right? Anyway, I’m so sorry this turned out to be such a disappointment for you, Mel. 🙁 I was hoping for a badass read, too, but looks like I’ll be giving this book a pass. Thanks for the awesome review, hon!

    • Melanie says:

      I just realised I didn’t talk about the “I’m not beautiful” part of the quote. But yes, that annoyed me SO MUCH. Honestly, I don’t care if you’re beautiful or not, ugh.

  5. Christy says:

    Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more! I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews saying they were disappointed in this one.

    Try to love me if you can? Smh, WTH is that about? Just no. I’ll definitely be skipping this one!
    Christy recently posted…Find My HomeMy Profile

  6. MWAHAHAAH I feel no compulsion to read this one at all. I think the warning signs flash at me whenever I see tv writer to author. I have no idea why. I just get all skeptical which is horribly prejudice of me. Ew, bad habits.

    EW where is my gender equality and respect huh???? NO THANK YOU. I think I’m going to go on living a happy life without this one. THANK YOU FOR THE REVIEW, MEL AND THOSE QUOTES. Now I can trample all over my curiosity with this one HAHAHA Lovely review, m’dear! <3 x
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Do You Feel Compelled To Read Seasonally?My Profile

  7. I definitely do not care to be slapped on the butt, I have to admit 😉 This sounds like a frustrating read character-wise, so I think I’m going to pass Melanie! Most of the reviews I’ve read for this have been really mixed, and I’m in the mood for something that’s going to absolutely blow me away. It’s been a while since I’ve had a read like that!
    Jenny @ Supernatural Snark recently posted…This Shattered World Blog Tour: Interview + GiveawayMy Profile

  8. Lily says:

    So I don’t think this one is for me. Any time I visibly CRINGE while reading a book review or quotes I know it’s just not going to work for me. These characters would terrible and like a huge headache waiting to come one. Plus I feel like from what your saying–this book is disaster waiting to happen. Nope, can’t. I just can’t.
    Lily recently posted…Amour Amour: ReviewMy Profile

  9. Naban says:

    I’m steering clear off this book. I hate it when the narrator sounds like she’s aware of us. Used in the right context, it might be okay, but otherwise, it’s just plain weird and creepy. I’m with you on that. AND look at that “I’m not beautiful” line there, ew. A book that’s about teens ruling the world and that’s the first thing she chooses to address about herself. Fantastic!

    GAH, I feel like I should read this just so I can rant about it. :’|
    Naban recently posted…2015 Releases That I Cannot Wait ForMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yeah in some occasions, it’s cool to say that or convey it. But the first thing that ever comes out of Donna’s mouth was that quote. Like please, sister, NO.

  10. Rashika says:

    If Jefferson is the more mature one, I don’t know what that says for the book. I was actually looking forward to getting around to reading this one but if we have a character who thinks slappings butts is okay so long as it’s non-sexual… I don’t think I could put up with this book for longer than that. *shudders*

    I am also not a fan of the pretty people syndrome but… the fact that Donna thinks that you can trust her just because she isn’t pretty… yeah NO.

    AND then again, the whole thing with Jefferson begging a girl to love him? Not attractive. Blegh. I think I am going to skip this one.

    Fantastic review, Mel!! <3
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: Last Will and Testament by Dahlia AdlerMy Profile

  11. You aren’t the only one who is disappointed in this one. It has been hit or miss with readers. I don’t have any plans to read it. Totally agree about the butt slapping thing. Thanks for the helpful review.

  12. Anah says:

    I was drinking orange juice while reading this and nearly snorted some out after reading that quote. MOST people don’t like to be slapped in the but by some random dude. I’ve only seen that acceptable in football and amongst friends. And Donna. I don’t mind when the narrator is aware of us, but that just sounded immature. First thing we should know about her is that she’s not attractive? Sounds like a lame attempt to try to get insecure readers to relate. .__. Sorry you had to read that. I love post-apocalyptic teen books as much as the next person, but methinks I shall pass on this one.

    Great review, Mel!
    Anah recently posted…How I killed my Inner Editor (And why you should too)My Profile

  13. blodeuedd says:

    Oh I remember watching a show like this, some AU one from the 90’s, early 20s?
    blodeuedd recently posted…The Mark of the Tala – Jeffe KennedyMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Yes apparently a show that is EXACTLY like this and a couple of people were raging about it on Goodreads because they were complaining the man just copied the TV show.

  14. Great review. Thank you for including all of the quotes, they give a lot of insight into the book. Oh dear.. both characters don’t sound all that great to me. So I am not sure how much I would enjoy this book when it is more character driven than plot driven. The quotes just… NO! Haha
    Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm recently posted…All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: ReviewMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Thanks, Charnell 🙂 I thought the quotes would be helpful, and I HAD to share because I couldn’t be disgusted by myself. Being the generous soul I am, I had to share the disgust with all you lovelies 😛

  15. Okay, Jefferson sounds like a douche canoe so I don’t think I’ll read this. I’ll just get mad. And what’s with the hate on unreliable narrators, huh? That’s annoying.
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  16. Betsy P. says:

    I’ve seen The Young World around goodreads but never gave it a second thought and I suppose that’s a good thing because from your review I can already tell I would have DNF-ed it anyways. Awesome review!
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  17. Missie says:

    I haven’t heard of this one and I can see why – guess it is one that I can be ok with skipping for now!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings
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  18. There are very few books that I have read where the protagonist speaking to the reader works. When it does like in Emma Chase’s Tangled series it is brilliant, but when it doesn’t I find I feel disconnected.
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  19. Kelly says:

    I had a few issues with the ‘romance’ too, especially Jeff being so needy to the point where it was inappropriate and uncomfortable to be honest. But apart from that, I actually really enjoyed this one. It reminded me of Revolution, but with teens. I’m really biased when it comes to dystopians or post apocalyptic novels, even the terrible ones I seem to love and sit there clapping my hands like an excited monkey.

    Lovely review poppet and hopefully your next reads blows your socks off instead <3
    Kelly recently posted…The Bookish Best Of… Books That Surprised Us in 2014My Profile

  20. Valerie says:

    Interesting. I actually read a short story about the unreliable narrator, though sadly I kind of don’t really get it. BUT WOW that quote. That’s kind of gross and disturbing. AND NO IF SHE DOESN’T LOVE YOU SHE DOESN’T LOVE YOU. Please tell me there is no relationship between them
    Valerie recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #35My Profile

  21. Alreem says:

    sorry to hear you didn’t like it ,, I hope your next read will be a 5 star 🙂
    Alreem recently posted…Review: The Titan’s Curse by Rick RiordanMy Profile

  22. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this more and hope your next book is a better fit!
    Jen @ YA Romantics
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  23. Lyn Kaye says:

    I keep going back and forth about this one….I think I am just going to skip it. It just seems like a cheap shot that wants to copy a lot of pop YA at the moment.

    Meh. 🙁
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: StrangerMy Profile

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