A Fresh New Voice – The Young World by Chris Weitz

The Young World

by Chris Weitz (Website, Twitter)
Series: The Young World Trilogy #1
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on 2014-07-29
Genres: Adolescence, Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
4 Stars
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.

Do you remember Chris Weitz? As a big Twilight fan – I did remember him quite well! He was the director of New Moon, and when I heard about him writing a book I was all over it. And, even more at BEA this year, the wonderful people from Little Brown was gushing about this book so much that I broke my Dystopian Hiatus for The Young World 


Pic taken from the very cool “The Young World” website

Oh damn! All Adults and Kids are dying….

The story takes place not far in the future after a disease wiped out all kids and adults, basically everyone who is not adolescent. Even more, kids that reach maturity also die. Needless to say, it’s been chaos in a world where kids are left to fend for themselves! Different tripes are formed that have different ways of living together. There are those where the strongest rule over the weak, but also others where they help each other and try to utilise each one strength for the common good. It’s an interesting approach, to show all the different forms of societies reflected in these kids way of living and dealing with this situation!

Incredible Unique Teen Voices!

We get two very distinct and unique voices and POV – Jefferson and Donna. And … I LOVE Jeffersons voice so so much! He’s funny, despite the circumstances, he’s a leader, even though a reluctant one and he has the heart at the right place. But he does not shy away from responsibilities either which makes him the perfect leader anyways!

Donna.. Hm Donna was a little more difficult. Chris Weitz tried to capture a very girly voice and Donna is a very special and sometimes weird personality. With her, I had a few more problems to connect and it’s easy to be annoyed by her. I got used to it at some points, but I was always eagerly wishing for Jeffersons chapters!

Let’s Save The World!

New revelations and a smart geeky kid leads our heroes to look for a cure to save the world and  all the kids that are dying once the reached maturity! This journey of course comes with loft of dangerous moments and Donna, Jefferson and their sidekicks stumbled from one dangerous place into the next. This had a typical quest-like structure which I didn’t mind too much as the different settings were quite interesting, some thrilling and some eerie.

As a Biologist, the explanation for the virus was a little.. far fetched, but we are dealing with fiction after all. It’s not complete non-sense though, so don’t get me wrong. There were some situations that I found rather weird, like the romance which didn’t get to me at all.

However, the end made up for these few shortcomings as it was a brilliant twist that I didn’t see coming and now I’m eager to read the next book!


Bewitched Rating

Rating 3.5

*without Donna’s POV it would have been easily a 4 or 4.5! 

Bottom Line

The Young World by Chris Weitz was a very unique dystopian, as it comes with a very light and funny tone set in a very dire, dark world full of death. Jefferson completely rocked the story and I wish the whole book would have been writing from his POV. The storyline was captivating and compelling in it’s quest-like set up. Chris Weitz is definitely an author who manages to capture Young Adult voices in a very honest and genuine way!


It’s been a while I read a Dystopian, but this one was definitely worth my time! Again, I could have totally lived without Donna’s POV – but I really loved Jeffersons! 

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Mary @ BookSwarm 8/7/2014

Yeah, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Donna — I think Weitz tried a bit too hard to capture both a girl and teen voice. She was over the top, especially at the beginning. But then she settled in and it worked. Enjoyed this story.
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The main criticism I’ve seen for this book has been with Donna and her voice, so you are definitely not alone in not being able to fully connect to her. I’m so glad Jefferson is amazing though, and I know if I pick this one up I’m going to be wanting to hurry through Donna’s chapters to get back to him:) Fantastic review as always!

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Jefferson sounds like an awesome character. However, I’m not sure how I feel about the plot and romance. I’ll wait and see how the series progresses. Great review, Danny!
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I read the sample chapters that Barnes and Noble was giving out on the POP Culture weekend, and I enjoyed it so much that I ended up preordering the book that night! Although I do have to agree; Jefferson’s voice and perspective was way more interesting than Donna’s. I’m really excited to get into the full book now!
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As I’ve been really burnt out on dystopians lately I sent my copy along to my new contributor Kat – I hope she enjoys it. That photo from the website is freaking outstanding!
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I got really excited for this one at BEA this year too – I hadn’t read a good dystopian in awhile so I was eager to dive in. The premise was promising and like you I really enjoyed Jefferson…but. But, I had a REALLY hard time with Donna’s POV. If the book had been told from only Jefferson’s POV, I think my rating would have been higher too. I’m glad that you enjoyed this one more than I did and I loved reading your thoughts on it Danny :) Wonderful review ^^
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