Tuesday, 15 July 2014

ARC Review ~ The Young World (The Young World Trilogy #1) by Chris Weitz

The Young World (The Young World Trilogy, #1)
Paperback received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Release Date: July 29th 2014

Publisher: Atom

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.

My Opinion

Where to start? Well firstly, I really wanted to like this book. The cover caught my eye and then I read the blurb and it sounded like there would be a lot of  action and drama. It may have not sounded like the most original concept but I've enjoyed books with a similar premise before so I was excited to start reading this when Atom sent me a paperback copy.

However, now that I have finished it, I feel kind of empty and can't help but think "was that it?". I really tried to like this book, and I struggled through until the end but I can't help but feel it's only an okay read. There were definitely parts that were better than others and for brief moments I thought things were going to pick up. Sadly, though, these moments were few and far between and it didn't.

I think the main reason I didn't engage with this book was down to the characters. I didn't connect with them at all and therefore, I just didn't care what happened. The Young World is written in dual POVs (Jefforson and Donna) and whilst I had no problem with Jefferson's POV, I can't say the same about Donna. I'm not sure if it's the author's director background or the fact that he is a male trying to write from a female perspective, but I felt the writing in these sections was stiff and littered with stereotypes. Donna uses "like" a lot which became irritating and as well as that, her sections seemed to be written more in the style of a play. I felt no real emotion in her sections, especially when characters' speech is written like:

"Me: "Shut up, will you?"
Jefforson: "We can trust her."
Me: "Okay, uh, why?"
Jefferson gives her, like, a significant look.
Jefferson: "Tell them."

I found this a really detached way of writing and it kept me at arm's length the whole way through rather than build a relationship with the character. The was little emotion or description for me to picture and created a rather bland section. There was also little growth in the characters because of the lack of detail.

Saying that though, Jefferson's sections were better. They were written in the normal style of a book and flowed better. I can't say I liked Jefferson as he didn't seem strong enough and his emotions didn't seem believable, but his sections were definitely more interesting as there was action that was described well. This was why I made the point about the author writing struggling to a female character as Chris Weitz seemed to have no trouble with Jefferson.

Jefferson's sections were the ones that kept me reading, so I would say around 40% of this book was interesting and caught my attention. When things happened they were great--like the polar bear scene, the bar, and the library--however the bits in between sadly, didn't make them worth while.

Overall, this was a book I really thought I would enjoy but my overall feeling is it was only okay. I think it may suit a younger audience better (even if there is some strong language) and they may be able to connect with the characters more, but it wasn't one for me.

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