The Young World The Young World Trilogy Book OneWritten by Chris Weitz
Survival, Post Apocalyptic, Dystopian
Published August 1st 2014
Thank you to Hachette Australia
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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.
It was reported that the first case of the Sickness was found in Europe two years prior, before rapidly spreading throughout the United States. The flu like symptoms seemingly developing in children and adults, leaving teens the only age group that have escaped the deadly illness. They believe the virus is based on hormones, and the hundred on teens that now inhabit Washington Square in New York are surviving until they reach physical maturity at eighteen. The tribe is now looking towards Jefferson, brother of the former leader who had succumbed to the Sickness, a responsibility Jeff reluctantly accepts. It's been two long years, and the teens around New York have now segregated and who the Sickness doesn't take... Ethnic cleansing surely will.
Within the partially self sufficient environment, an important member of the tribe discovers what may be the key to the Sickness and a small group including Jefferson and Donna, make the journey to find information that they hope may lead to a cure. But navigating the mean streets of New York, is only the first step in making the treacherous distance in one piece. Rival communities are planning a violent takeover, and will stop at nothing until they monopolise what remains of society, while others seemingly thrive with off shore produce.
But one thing remains constant throughout New York, it's kill or be killed... If the Sickness doesn't strike you down first.
The Young World was brilliant, a post apocalyptic fight for survival in which teens now rule New York. There are no adults or children, the teens believing that the Sickness lay dormant within their age group, then ensuring a quick death once a teen reaches physical maturity. None more so than Brainbox, the resident teen scientist who has his own theories about the deadly virus, but needs help to obtain proof. Their journey is incredibly dangerous, especially with the large community of Uptowners calling for blood after a failed trade attempt. During the journey, the group also come into contact with the Moles, kids who live underground, the racial divide between the African American teens and Hispanic, who are either vying for control or to simply survive.
Told in dual points of view, Jefferson is quiet, stoic and believes that those who remain can build a new society. He hopes for a future where the Sickness can be cured, and will either find a cure or die trying. Donna on the other hand is feisty, realistic and won't allow herself for anything more than seeing out each day. Friends since both were young, Jefferson secretly pines for Donna but can't bring himself to tell her. Their points of view are both incredibly diverse, and I loved seeing the same situation portrayed though both characters.
By far my favourite character was Peter, Donna's best friend and confidant. He's the token gay character, Christian, African American and incredibly snarky. His mild sexual innuendos and throw away one liners add a lightness to the storyline in an otherwise grim world.
The final Verdict
Overall, it's an awesome read, incredibly entertaining and had trouble putting this one down. Already I'm eagerly awaiting book two in the series. A brilliant debut author, Chris Weitz is definitely one to watch out for.