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.
I read in phases. Currently, I’m on what I call a contemporary craze but I was once upon a time, obsessed with post-apocalypse. So when I heard about The Young World, my old need to read these types of books came flourishing back. My mind: OMFG NO ADULTS?! DISEASE?! OMFG, I NEED THIS BOOK LIKE NNNNNOOOOOOOWWWW! Sufficient to say, I was excited to read this one.
Our main plot starts in New York. As a suburban Canadian, my knowledge of NYC only comes from my quick visit earlier this year. Luckily, references to The Strand were made so I thought that rest of it must be pretty accurate to current NYC. Anywho, The Young World is told through two main characters, Jefferson and Donna. Jefferson is your average nerdy teenager while Donna is a fiesty girl who doesn’t take crap from anybody. The writing in the novel was especially unique because Jefferson’s point-of-views were always clear, concise and had proper grammar while Donna used many acronyms from today (i.e. LOL, LMAO, etc.) to help her cling to the remnants of Before. To deal with the loss of all the adults and children, the teens tend to hang on to things from before the Sickness spread to help them feel better at ease knowing that as soon as they turn 18, they’ll die.
In general, I liked the overall plot and the events that led up to what happened. The Young World was fast-paced and Donna’s entertaining take on events happening around her amused me. I also loved that The Young World also manages to raise some issues about our society such as slut-shaming and racism. Also, the ending was just PHENOMENAL. I mean, I read the last page at least 3 times over and over again saying WHAT WHAT WHAT. So yeah, this cliffhanger was great.
While I generally enjoyed The Young World, I had several issues with it. Yes the plot was fast-paced and exciting but some things that happened seemed to be just “thrown in” to make the book more action-packed and really had no merit. The romance was also not a highlight of the book. The romance was more complicated than it needed to be and it could’ve been easily dealt with instead of all the confusing mess that happened. In addition, while I enjoyed/liked the main characters, I lacked any real feelings towards the events of the book except for the cliffhanger. I love to be emotionally invested when I read and I definitely wasn’t invested in this one.
Overall, while I had several issues/conflicting thoughts about The Young World, I fairly enjoyed it. If you like post-apocalypse/dystopian books, definitely keep an eye out for The Young World!