Yay, it's the apocalypse!(I know, it's strange. I just like end-of-the-world things.) I was freakishly excited to get this one for review. I even photographed it with my coffee. Spoiler: That says I like it.
Thanks Hachette Australia for the ARC! The Young World by Christ Weitz hit shelves July 29th, 2014.
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.
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I was really excited to read this one, because a) I'm a huge fan of Gone by Michael Grant and this looked similar and b) APOCALYPSE. Accuse me all you want, peoples, but I do find the apocalypse fascinating. (Except for the part about no WiFi...I don't find that fascinating at all.)
I was a little bit underwhelmed, unfortunately, but I still liked this book.So shall we go list-tastic? Aw, stop shaking your head. I KNOW you love my lists.
Basically: I love all theories about the apocalypse.One of the coolest is probably the There Are No More Adults So The Kids Create Havoc. Who doesn't like to hypothesis on the craziness of kids, right?! And, like in Gone, the kids have set up communities, they wave guns, they eat rats, they try to find The Answer To All Things, which in this case is a cure. (Which reminded me a lot of Partials, actually.) The world actually seemed quite stable. There have been no adults for 2 years and the kids have rhythm in their mini societies.
The characters are kick-butt AWESOME.We have two narrators which usually I don't like (because it's hard to get to know two people's POVs and oftentimes one is a lot stronger than the other). But this time? LOVED IT. On one side we have Jefferson, who's half-Japanese and nice. Flip the page and meet Donna. She's feisty, sarcastic and talkative. Their voices were wildly different and both equally interesting. I can't even pick a favourite!
There's a motley of secondary characters like Brainbox, Peter, SeeThrough and Kath. No one is as good (I didn't think) as the two narrators. And they all sort of fit into their slots of "the brain" and "the comic relief", etc. But Jefferson and Donna really punched the cookie-cutter shapes and were their own people.
How about a pop-culture reference...or two...or ninety?I'm half happy with this, half...skeptical. It's absolutely stuffed with pop-culture references. Which is interesting and cool when you get them...but I'm Australian. Sometimes I just had NO idea what they were talking about. And it's not just "they're listening to Justin Bieber" but stuff like "We went all Hulk at them". If you don't understand the references, you don't understand the scene.
So this kind of fits on my "not-so-happy" list. I didn't understand some of them, and it actually sacrificed clever writing for references. Instead of describing Jefferson's sword, it just said "if you've watched This-And-This movie, you'll know what I mean". Um...well, I haven't, so poor me, I don't get to know what his sword looks like.
Oh, and the format was like reading a movie script: which I loved.You know me! I'm a little bit wild about crazy formats. This had 'em. Often times it was like reading a movie script, which makes sense seeing as the author is a film director. (Actually, this would make a good TV series. Just sayin'.)
Donna dropped her snark as the book progressed.
She was very heavy on the pop-culture references and sarcasm and snark at the beginning...but as the book went on? I almost felt like we just ran out of references so we stopped. WHAT. You can't do that! I love beginning-of-the-book-Donna, but end-of-the-book-Donna nearly seemed like a different person.
The ending was very rushed.Again, it felt like we hit 300 pages and went "Okay, time to wrap it up." I thought there was no way they'd be able to finish the journey and find the answers in the last 50-pages. I assumed it'd be a cliffhanger ending with all the answers Coming To A Sequel Near You. (It is the start of a trilogy, by the way.) But NO. Let us cram all that needs to be done in 50-pages. It felt so rushed and so awkward.
And the ending?!
WHAT WAS WITH THE ENDING?! It was fine...but it was random, and the only way you're going to find out is if you read it. (I still recommend it, by the way, even though I have a lot of twitchy issues with it.)
And there was the small issue of...I have read this story before.It's basically Partials by Dan Wells meets Gone by Michael Grant. While The Young World was absolutely enjoyable to read...I'm don't feel like it brought anything new to the table. (Gone will always be my favourite.)
I won't lie: I enjoyed it insanely much. Apocalypse! Freaky kids with guns! Viva la Crazy Teenagers! I'm just a bit underwhelmed at the plot (although the characters were brilliant) and I'm disappointed in the crazily rushed ending.
Will I read book #2? You better believe it.
chat with me, blogglings! if you've read it: did you think those last 50-pages were too rushed? (or is it just me?)
if you haven't read it: how do you feel about pop-culture references in books? do you find you don't always "get" them, or do you think they're freakishly awesome?
Cait has realised she can find applicable Supernatural gifs for EVERY review. She won't though. She'll spare you. But it was very handy to have review this book with Cas. Because the apocalypse is so fascinating, Cait has taken active measures to be prepared for it. She has a survival plan. She has a chocolate stash. She's enjoying the Internet while she has it.