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Overlevers (2014)

by Chris Weitz(Favorite Author)
3.38 of 5 Votes: 6
The Young World Trilogy
review 1: I'll admit it, I requested this book simply because it was all about teens ruling a dystopian world. Sure, I've read stories similar to The Young World before. It still never stops me from wanting to read the next one. I love seeing how each new author tackles the important points of a society like this. How the authors perceive young people, and how they would behave if a catastrophic event like this actually happened. I was eager to see what Weitz would do, and I had high hopes for this book.First off, kudos go to Chris Weitz for explaining how the Sickness came about. Is it something that is likely to happen in real life? Probably not. Am I happy that I wasn't left wondering how on Earth only teens were left in the world? Yes, absolutely. If, as an author, you take the ... moretime to share with me where your whole story stems from, I'm happy to follow along. I'll suspend disbelief to enjoy the tale that you've woven. Just give me something to latch onto. Weitz did just that, and it made me one very happy reader.I was also fairly enamored with the society aspect in this story. The stark contrast between the small community that Jefferson and his brother set up, and the other bands of kids around them, was interesting. I liked that, depending on who was in charge, each group of teens had their own laws, their own caste systems, essentially whatever it was that tenuously held them together. It made for a read that raised a lot of questions, and I appreciated it.What I didn't like so much, as reflected by my rating, was the way that the narrative was done. Jefferson and Donna were our two main characters, and they couldn't be more different if they tried. Jefferson was quiet, intelligent, and mostly peaceful. Donna was rowdy, opinionated, and honestly kind of annoying at times. I didn't mind that story skipped back and forth between these two. I only wished that they didn't have such different ways of relaying their pieces of the story. It was disorienting, and frustrating.In fact, I wasn't a fan of most of the characters. They felt like cut-outs. Like people who were included in order to make sure the group was rounded out. You have your brainy/jack of all trades guy, your unassuming girl who is actually a ninja, the flamboyant guy for comedy relief, and then Jefferson and Donna to round it all out. I didn't dislike these characters. I just never connected with them. So three stars to The Young World for great world-building and for actually letting me in on the secret of the Sickness! I see a lot of people definitely enjoying this book. I say, give it a shot.
review 2: The plot of The Young World grabbed me from the synopsis, and I was intrigued to see both a post-apocalyptic world, and how society evolved with teens left alone and forced to rely on their wits to survive such harrowing times.The plot maintained a fast pace from start to finish and held my interest from the first page to the last. I was somewhat surprised to read heavy criticism that the book’s plot was similar to The Tribe (I have not seen it so could not comment, and in any case one could argue this about many, many novels if one views plot alone on a basic level) and some comments that there was too much action, which I completely disagree with. A world such as this is highly likely to be tumultuous, and the action, whilst somewhat grim in one or two places, seemed at a fitting pace to me.The story is told by two different narrators, a mode which I usually dislike since I nearly always find it jarring when the narrators switch. In The Young World, our two narrators have wildly different voices, and yet somehow that takes the novel to a new level. I thoroughly enjoyed both narrators, and loved seeing such different views on the same events, and even more the occasional surprise when their outlooks coincided. The secondary characters were strong, interesting, likeable and added spice to the story.The ending seemed a little sudden, possibly because I was so swept up in the story but was an excellent cliffhanger to the sequel, which I eagerly await.Disclaimer: I was provided with an eARC by NetGalley for the purposes of this review, but all opinions given are, as always, entirely my own. less
Reviews (see all)
A fantastic book. The only bad news: it's #1 in a trilogy. Can't wait.
Modern retelling of Lord of the Flies on a grander scale.
3.4 out of 5
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