The Young World

( 17 )

Overview

"Chris Weitz has made a beautiful transition from writing and directing films to novels. The Young World is populated with characters you won't forget and a story as fresh and urgent as Divergent."--James Patterson, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Maximum Ride.

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 ...

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Overview

"Chris Weitz has made a beautiful transition from writing and directing films to novels. The Young World is populated with characters you won't forget and a story as fresh and urgent as Divergent."--James Patterson, #1 NY Times bestselling author of Maximum Ride.

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 a fellow tribe member discovers a clue that may hold the cure for the Sickness, five teens set out on a life-altering road trip, exchanging gunfire with enemy gangs, escaping cults and militias, braving the wilds of the subway--all in order to save humankind.

This first novel from acclaimed film writer/director Chris Weitz is the heart-stopping debut of an action-packed trilogy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Chris Weitz, the author of this book, is a screenwriter and director, perhaps contributing reasons to this post-apocalyptic thriller's cinematic feel. Told from the perspectives of three teens, The Young World drops you into a New York City totally bereft of adults, all of whom have been wiped out by a plague. As rival groups battle for survival, a few brave young people search for ways to banish the dreaded Sickness. An exciting series well-worth a place on your reading calendar.

The New York Times Book Review - Adam Gopnik
…Weitz is a successful screenwriter because he is a fine—at times terrific—storyteller. Dystopian fantasies depend on details, and here they are often unforgettably right.
Publishers Weekly
04/28/2014
Screenwriter/director Weitz (The Golden Compass; About a Boy) kicks off a post-apocalyptic trilogy with a riveting adventure in which teenagers—the only ones immune to a fatal plague known as the Sickness—have inherited the Earth and are fighting over the remnants of New York City. Narration alternates between Jefferson, the cautious and protective leader of the Washington Square Clan, and Donna, who Jefferson is falling for. When one of the group’s members, Brainbox, discovers a clue that might explain the origin of the Sickness, a few members of the tribe embark on an epic cross-town quest for information. As they make their way through the ruined city, they contend with cultists, cannibals, slavers, wild animals, and more. Weitz offers a satisfying YA interpretation of the Greek classic Anabasis, brimming with grisly encounters and gallows humor. He also finds room to touch upon issues of race, class, commercialism, and sexuality in nuanced moments that are sharply juxtaposed with the near-constant dangers and seeming hopelessness of the larger picture. A game-changing cliffhanger will have readers ready for the next book. Ages 15–up. Agent: Suzanne Gluck, William Morris Endeavor. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"A broken NYC is so compelling that readers will find it hard to put this book down."—School Library Journal

"A post-apcalyptic teen novel that's far from just another post-apocalytic teen novel."—Kirkus

"Telling his story in the alternating voices of Jeff and Donna, noted film director Weitz, in his first YA novel, has done a good job of meticulously building his postapocalyptic world."—Booklist

VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Pat Clingman
The Washington Square tribe is trying to survive in a dystopian New York City following “The Sickness,” which kills teens when they reach their eighteenth birthday. The Sickness has already killed all of the children and adults, leaving only the tweens and teens , who remember the time from Before. There are rumors about an Old Man who lives at the top of the Empire State Building. Wash is the leader of the tribe, which also includes his brother Jeff and assorted teens from the neighborhood. When an enemy gang, the Uptowners, tries to strike a deal with the tribe to exchange a pig for some of the tribe's girls, Wash shoots the pig dead, leaving no question that such an exchange was never going to take place. The next day, Wash turns eighteen and dies, leaving Jeff as the leader of the tribe. Brainbox, the smartest member of the tribe, discovers an abstract from a science journal that may hold the key to the cure for the mysterious Sickness. Five of the tribe members set out for the New York Public Library to find the journal. Once there, they encounter a cult that has resorted to eating human flesh, and after the tribe escapes, hoping to reach an animal research center on Long Island, the journey becomes increasingly dangerous. This is Weitz's debut novel and the first in a planned trilogy. The author is the director of The Twilight Saga New Moon and the director and screenwriter of The Golden Compass and About a Boy. The Young World is most suitable for older teens due to sexual themes. Fans of dystopian fiction may be interested in the New York City setting. Reviewer: Pat Clingman; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Katarina Dranchak
In this new dystopian novel, teenagers run the world. All adults and children were killed by “The Sickness.” The main characters and their tribe live in a small section of New York City, where they fight every day to survive until they turn eighteen and die. This book is realistic, if the reader accepts that the world has been taken over by an epidemic that killed only adults and children. The characters are believable and relatable because they are all so drastically different from one another. Readers of The Hunger Games or Divergent will definitely enjoy this book. Reviewer: Katarina Dranchak, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Lizzie Ruetschle
The Young World is captivating with its constant action that will draw readers in and keep them enthralled until the very end. This intriguing debut includes realistic characters and a plot that hits close to home. It is similar to the Gone series by Michael Grant due to the teens’ responsibilities. Teen readers will enjoy this dystopian futuristic book. Reviewer: Lizzie Ruetschle, Teen Reviewer; Ages 15 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-04-09
A twisted Neverland where you don't get older, you just die. As if traffic and congestion weren't enough to cope with in Manhattan, the rapid-fire, incurable Sickness has begun eliminating New Yorkers. Strangely, the only unaffected residents are teenagers. Stranger still, once the surviving teens reach their 18th birthdays, fever, coughs, delirium and death swiftly follow. A short life means there's no reason for civilized order, so New York devolves into Mad Max-like chaos. Union Square and Washington Square are no longer overpriced zip codes, they're pocket territories for tribes of gun-toting teens as likely to trade a pig for people as they are to resort to cannibalism. When the brainiac of one of these tribes theorizes that he can cure the Sickness, a cluster of five dives headfirst into the task of either saving civilization or prematurely ending their already doomed lives. Inclusion of New York landmarks lends an authenticity that makes the chaos frighteningly plausible. Through the dual narration of Jefferson, the focal tribe leader, and Donna, his crush, veteran screenwriter and director Weitz presents a veritable dichotomy of literary and commercial; Jefferson's chapters are intellectually elevated, while Donna often sounds like an elongated Facebook post. The action perseveres, the sex, blood and violence dominate, and race and class clashes continue headlong into the sequel. A post-apocalyptic teen novel that's far from just another post-apocalyptic teen novel. (Post-apocalyptic adventure. 13 & up)
School Library Journal
04/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—A postapocalyptic novel told from the point of view of three teens in New York City who have banded together after a mysterious sickness wipes out the entire population of children and adults. The survivors are faced not only with the breakdown of society but also certain death when their hormonal levels even out. When food dwindles in the neighborhood where their tribe has hunkered down, they decide to risk a trip to the main branch of the New York Public Library to find a scientific study that may explain the origins of the sickness. On their quest, they encounter a group of fanatical cannibals, a misogynistic gang of entrepreneurs, mole people living in the subway system, and a very organized group creating weapons from 3-D printers. In the course of their journey lives are lost, bravery tested, and childhood relationships become something more. What they eventually find is a research island where secret experiments are being fiercely guarded, but the brainiac of the group is able to trick their captors into letting him try to find a cure. A giant cliff-hanger at the end ensures that a sequel will soon follow. While the plot employs some very predictable story lines the characters are interesting, the action moves quickly, and the context of a broken NYC is so compelling that readers will find it hard to put this book down. Chapters written from alternating perspectives offer the chance to see how the same situations are interpreted by either the boy next door, the sweet girl with the tough exterior, or the intellectual with traits common to people with Asperger's. At times the dialogue inexplicably changes from that of a regular book to a movie script, which can be jarring. However, readers will likely breeze by this minor distraction while they're frantically flipping pages to find out what happens next.—Sunnie Lovelace, Wallingford Public Library, CT
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316226295
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 7/29/2014
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 60,440
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris Weitz

Chris Weitz is an Oscar-nominated writer and director. His films include Twilight: New Moon, A Better Life, About a Boy, The Golden Compass, and American Pie. The Young World is his first novel.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 30, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Waste of time!

    First of all let me say that I take reviews rather seriously as a children's bookseller at a Barnes and Noble. I am always looking for new titles to recommend to teens and their parents, and being able to confidently assure parents that content matter in the books will be appropriate for their child. "Young World" fails on all counts.

    PARENTS - if you don't read any further, please at least read this. There is a LOT of sex, rape, prostitution, sexism, racism, violence, foul language, and otherwise inappropriate material contained in this book. Some teen authors develop a style that can include such material but only with the slightest implication that most kids wouldn't realize it was ever there. "Young World" states full on out sex between various characters (one of them being one of the two narrators), and interactions earlier in the book show prostitutes offering sex, hand-jobs, and the like for money or food, and an entire society of the "better off teens" has turned into a male run society where all the women (even their own sisters) into whores and prostitutes for their men. So I urge you all to be conscious of what your children are reading!

    "Young World" is (another) dystopian styled novel that occurs in New York City after a plague wipes out all adults children leaving only teenagers (similar to the "Gone" series by Michael Grant). These teens have set up smaller communities for their own protection around the city.

    Now the so called motivation to this book comes in place with a group of 5 teens deciding that they are going to seek out answers to the plague. Any English teacher worth their salt would have stopped the author right then and there as this is some of the worst motivation I've ever seen in a book. It's better to view it as 5 teenagers got bored in their dystopian society and decided to go wander through New York and by some lucky miracle managed to survive encounters with quite a few rotten seeds.

    There is cannibalism, racism, sexism, and some pretty prominent stereotypes that are used; almost as if the author were trying too hard to appeal to multiple cultures and ways of life. In the end it just lends the book into the obscure with no real focus.

    I also can't forget the constant pop-culture references, they were to a point where you get the impression that companies and celebrities paid off the author to include them. From constant references to an iPhone, Starbucks, half a dozen major chain clothing stores, and another half dozen celebrities and musicians, and a fairly blatant call out to "Twilight" with one character worshiping Edward Cullen as god. The pop references become overused and distracting rather than using fewer, well placed references for emphasis.

    The other main distraction I found was in the female narrator and the overuse of "like". While it is a fairly common stereotype with a decent population of teenagers, as a reader it is distracting for your narrator (or one of your narrators) to portray this stereotype. It doesn't make the character any more relate-able or enjoyable to read, just irks people who are annoyed by it in real life. And when this narration is compared to the more literate sounding male narrator it becomes a bit striking switching back and forth between the two.

    Overall this is a book I would not recommend, and while I am sure there is a smattering of individuals who would enjoy it, I do be

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 12, 2014

    That first it sounded like a good story but, when I got it I cha

    That first it sounded like a good story but, when I got it I changed my mind. The way the story was wrote I had a hard time staying with it. 
    It was alway going off topic. I just got board with it and, stopped. I didn't find any reason to have it. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Read from June 20 to 21, 2014 Book Info  Kindle Edition, 384

    Read from June 20 to 21, 2014




    Book Info 
    Kindle Edition, 384 pages
    Expected publication: July 29th 2014 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    ASIN B00GG0GIRM
    edition language English
    series The Young World Trilogy #1
    other editions (8)
    Source:Netgalley EARC




    Book Buy Links
    Amazon




    BOOK SYNOPSIS








    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








    Despite the fact that the story follows a very familiar path that is quite similar to ones written by various other authors this book is in no way a complete copycat but rather it embraces all the good points from it’s predecessors with likable characters, lots of action scenes and an ending that will not take you totally by surprise but does tie up the story arc of this first book up to a point with a good lead in to solid opening for the one to follow in the trilogy.




    Told in alternating points of view from Donna and Jefferson the story depicts a reality that is pretty graphic as well as sobering when one thinks about how easily the scenarios of how the Sickness came about and was spread could come to pass.




    I enjoyed hearing the alternating voices explain what was happening during each chapter as Donna and Jefferson trade off telling what is going on as the action unfolds. Especially when they and their companions started traveling, while doing so the different factions of survivors that they encounter drove home just how much survival depended on working together.




    So many have compared this to certain other books as well as a series of shows that I have never heard of much less watched or read, do agree though that there is a lot of similarity to The Lord Of The Flies while maintaining it’s own spin on how things are handled as the group of teens face each obstacle in their path.




    After thinking about it for a few days since reading have come to the conclusion that regardless of the fact that this is not a totally original idea, nor is it a book that will appeal to every reader, it still has a certain charm all on its own that made me very glad to have had a chance to take the journey along with Donna, Jefferson and their friends. 




    This truly was a book where the anticipation of wanting to know what happened next was almost as good as the actual events described, a really honest to goodness sit down and read to the finish type of story!




    [EArc from Netgalley in exchange for honest review]

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    Short review: Fantastic dystopian novel for a more mature audien

    Short review: Fantastic dystopian novel for a more mature audience. 

    Long review (minor spoilers): I absolutely loved this book. I'm a big fan of the dystopian genre and am
    often disappointed by the Young Adult selection. But Weitz' novel captures something about what it means
    to be a teen today (at least, a teen living in the inner city) that most YA books fail to capture. As someone
    who was recently a teen herself and who continues to work regularly with teenagers.... when teens are
    on their own, away from their parents, yeah, they swear. They're addicted to their phones. You can't have
    a conversation for more than 2 minutes without a pop culture reference. Many of them expectantly await
    the day they will suddenly become famous like their idols: Gaga, Lana, Kanye... 

    Of course, many teens also reject this pop culture-obsessed way of life, preferring to spend an afternoon at
    the Met rather than browsing Vine (like our main character, Jefferson). But my point is, this book doesn't shy
    away from the way many teens speak and interact. 

    So, yes, there is some swearing, references to sex (no characters have sex 'on screen', but it's implied)
    and discussions of racism & homophobia that may not be totally PC but are, IMO, realistic for a bunch of
    teens raised in the city. The swearing & sex isn't gratuitous, but is definitely better suited for a more mature
    audience. 

    There are references to cannibalism, rape & murder in this book. The author does a good job of making these
    themes present without getting graphic. I do wish the theme of sexual assault had been dealt with better; The
    main characters are aware that the "Upsiders", as the teen gang which controls midtown is called, kidnap & rape
    girls, but the characters never seem to deal with the emotional fallout that such an environment would create.
    The one character who we suspect has been sexually assaulted is (SPOILER) killed off without ever given the
    chance to share her story.  

    One of my favorite aspects of the book is it's clear the author has spent a good amount of time in NYC because
    every detail rings true. Weitz brings to life many urban legends about the city (Mole people, the secret subway
    station below Grand Central, the alleged illegal experiments on Plum Island, etc), so I especially rec this book if
    you've ever lived in the Big Apple!

    As for the plot of the book- it was fast paced, engaging, at times humorous (especially those chapters narrated by
    our spit-fire female lead, Donna). The premise is nothing earth-shatteringly original (SPOILER): one of the
    science geniuses in the group believes he can discover a cure to the disease that wiped out all adults & children,
    so our heros go on a crazy adventure to discover the truth. 

    Overall, I found "TYW"  to be a believable, dangerous & exciting take on the dystopia genre, and is perfectly
    suited for a movie counterpart (something that Weitz, a screenwriter, is no doubt acutely aware of), and I simply
    can not wait for the sequel. -k

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014

    Great Dystopian Read

    I don't know about the stuck up reviewers who hate the way that the author happened to make this postapocalyptic world, but I thought it was brilliant. The characters were not to well defined, and that was a bit aggravating. However, the themes such as racism and sexism run throughout the book and I believe that it was great that they were included. I mean, comeon, even if the world fell apart, everything is not going to be all fine and dandy. And yes, there are some inapproproate themes, but that simply means that parents should watch what their children are reading. I've been an advanced reader for who knows how long, and as a young teen I read any book I find interest in. Another thing that annoyed me was how the romance between the characters progressed. The teenage girl Donna's sudden revelance of her feelings toward Jefferson were too abrupt as was their relationship. Another thing that bugged me was the ending; it just happened and kind of cut off the whole plot of the story (sorry no spoilers). Sorry I'm kind of all over the place. What I'm trying to say is, the book was overall good.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 28, 2014

    I don't know why some of these reviewers did not like this book,

    I don't know why some of these reviewers did not like this book, but maybe it is because I am relatively new to the YA genre (about 2 years) so I haven't read everything out there. Now, I will agree with another reviewer, I did NOT like Gone. I couldn't even finish it, but I could not put down The Young World! I ate it up like someone was coming to take it away from me at any moment! Anyhoo, like I said, I liked the plot and the premise of the story, so I would recommend it to anyone that likes YA dystopian.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Good post-apocalyptic book to read. It has your action, romance,

    Good post-apocalyptic book to read. It has your action, romance, etc.
    The book switches from two different perspective, the main guy and girl of the story. I really enjoyed reading this book. def. recommend this! the first of a trilogy! so i cant wait for more!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

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  • Posted August 12, 2014

    VERY FUN READ.  Love reading about Teens in NYC after the apocol

    VERY FUN READ.  Love reading about Teens in NYC after the apocolypse plague.  Can't wait for the sequel!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Help

    This sounds like a good read, but what perspective is it in? Third person? First person? I need help. -bookworm14

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted August 9, 2014

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    Posted July 12, 2014

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    Posted August 3, 2014

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    Posted October 21, 2014

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    Posted March 4, 2015

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