Author: Chris Weitz
Genre: Young Adult / Dystopia / Post Apocalyptic
Publisher: Atom / Hachette
Publication Date: 29th July 2014
Stand Alone/Series: The Young World Trilogy #1
Pages: 352 pages
First Lines: It's another gorgeous spring day after the fall of civilization. I'm doing the rounds, following the path that winds through Washington Square Park like a warped infinity sign.
Synopsis: Welcome to New York, a city ruled by teens. 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 Thoughts: I was pretty stoked. I arrive home from work one afternoon with a couple of packages sitting on my desk. I had requested a book from Hachette a little while ago and was lucky enough to be given a few different books to read. This was one of them.
I must admit, I did read the back of the synopsis and think, "Damn, no zombies in this." I've read similar post apocalyptic story lines like this before too but you know what? I love the post apocalyptic/dystopian genre and have not yet reached my threshold of "I've had enough of this".. yet.
I must admit, I wasn't completely hooked the first few pages in, but like alot of other books that turn out to be awesome, I kept going. And I'm glad I did.
The two viewpoints in the book are Jefferson, reluctant leader/Generalissimo and Donna, his long time friend. Both POV's are in first person present but unlike Jefferson's, Donna seems to talk to the reader a little more.
I liked Chris Weitz's writing style and his characters were true to form of typical teenagers (without hopefully stereotyping teens), eg. declarations of love, the constant use of "like", everything is so amplified when your a teen. It almost as if teens feel more than any other age group. Hopefully that makes sense. I got that feeling throughout the book. Maybe not as up front and in your face obvious but it was there.
There were parts of the book which were less enjoyable than others, but I had to look at it this way. If you were to take any adult and child away from a scenario leaving teens, how would things be. I can totally understand the grouping. Maybe not so much the emphasis on the "b&*%es" and the whole sexual objectification, but this is really only targeting one small group in the whole story and not all characters agreed with that attitude. On the other hand I did laugh at the group from the library. A little bit scary but at the same time a bit amusing and a little gross. Sorry if there are a few spoilers here, I'm trying to keep some things as vague as possible so as not to ruin it for others.
I can see other readers saying this type of story has been done before, but really which ones haven't? I'd love to see where the next two books takes the story and its characters! Maybe in the second and third book it will set this trilogy apart from other books in this genre.
I've also read that this book has been optioned for movie rights already by Warner Bros so keep your eyes open. It would sure make a great movie. Especially since the author happens to have had a hand in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass and American Pie. Yep. I reckon the movie should be good :)
Fave Lines: "..You and Jefferson will have ten Eurasion babies. Me and Theo will adopt half of them. I'll host a TV show called Apocalypse Wow." Page 327
Book received from: Hachette Australia