Title: The Young World
Author: Chris Weitz
Publisher: Hacette Books
Pub Date: 07/29/14
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: I have a few issues with this book. The first is the method of apocalypse that the author chose. Disease is a pretty common scenario, almost to the point of being overdone. And this particular disease is so unrealistic, in that it killed everyone who wasn't a teenager, and the author tried to be scientific and explain how it would work. That would be ok, except that there's no actual way for the disease to work. But I can ignore that. Sometimes you just have to suspend disbelief. What I can't ignore is the main characters that the author chose. First of all, they sound almost the same in the way they're written, which sort of defeats the purpose of switching narrators. Secondly, they are two of the most boring characters in the whole story! There's not a single thing interesting about them, other than the bizarre levels of indecisiveness and forced-leader-complex they both have. There were side characters who would have been so much more interesting. Brainbox was the coolest person in the book, and the actual protagonist, since he's the one with the knowledge to cure the disease. SeeThrough is also way more interesting. Her backstory, at least the little we know, was cooler than the female lead, and she was a teeny ninja. I honestly stopped caring about the two main characters a fourth of the way in, or earlier.
Memorable or Forgettable: This book was essentially a more fluffy version of Lord of the Flies. It's a bunch of teenagers stuck on an island, although much bigger and less jungly. The only major difference was that there were girls in this version, so there was romantic tension. I did not care at all about the love triangles that kept springing up, because they were distracting the characters from performing the plot. Which was also forgettable, come to think of it. I only remember a few of the no less than seven giant fight scenes. I just think the author needed to choose to include fewer fight scenes and less romantic tension scenes, and focus on developing the plot, because there were passages that were sometimes several pages long, that serve no purpose in moving the plot forward. At all. Just random fighting and/or kissing.
Cover: The cover is okay. It's not the most exciting thing in the world. I wasn't drawn to this book for the cover. It actually took me a few seconds to find it. But it's also not terrible. I think it encapsulates the story well, and it looks pretty once you get up close. But all in all, it really doesn't have much shelf appeal. The colors are very muted, but not dark enough for that to be a draw. It's just a little too neutral.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 3Q Readable
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
tags: dystopian / postapocalyptic / ya lit