Cover Image: All That’s Left in the World

All That’s Left in the World

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Member Reviews

This book has it all. Romance, suspense, adventure as well as homophobes, thieves, and survival. The plot was well thought out so the story was believable in an unbelievable world. 
This book will make you think.
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I went into this book fully expecting not to love it. After all, we’re still living in COVID times - how could a pandemic book do anything but make my heart hurt? And sure, it definitely did that, but it also made me laugh and cry and have to get up to take a lap because it was just too cute and I couldn’t contain myself. So while it might be about a world ravaged by a pandemic, it’s also hopeful, and I couldn’t recommend it more. I can’t wait until my bookstore can have it on our shelves for real!
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The book gave me all the feels. I thought the beginning was super sweet and I felt for the two boys, when they were learning to be comfortable with each other at the cabin, but I understand the need for building up their relationship, which then leads them to wanting to leave.

I'm so excited to see this out there in the world when it comes out. Erik's going to do fantastic!
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I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It was well written and I enjoyed the sarcastic humor and the teasing banter between Andrew and Jamie. 

This story is about two teens trying to survive in a post apocalyptic world where every man is out for himself and it doesn’t seem like there are many moral people left in the world. The two slowly develop their friendship into something more while meeting some interesting new friends, fighting against new enemies, and trying to keep hope and the goodness within themselves alive.
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This book really wasn't my thing. I only ended up reading about half, which was all that I needed to figure out most of the plot. It might be good for fans of apocalypse stories, but this one didn't wow me enough to keep going. I do really love the cover; it perfectly captures the characters.
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“All That’s Left in the World” is the queer, post-apocalyptic, survival-adventure-romance novel that we all so desperately need. This trailblazing story follows two teenage boys who befriend each other months after the world goes to ruin. They travel down the U.S. east coast in search of a second chance at life, discovering truths about each other’s pasts and coming to understand their developing feelings for one another.

While this book was enjoyable overall, some particularly strong points include its consistent and upbeat pacing, well-incorporated exposition, suspense, strong and distinctive character voicing, and representation present. The POV that switched between Andrew and Jamie every chapter was very well-done and the story and characters were so engaging that I had a hard time putting the book down. I ended up finishing all 400 pages over two days.

In terms of critiques, I have very few, though most importantly I could see the pandemic-induced apocalypse of the story being a potential trigger for those who have lost loved ones to illness in recent times. I do believe “All That’s Left in the World” handled this tactfully, however. Less notably, I would have liked for the story to end on Jamison’s last chapter, rather than with the epilogue. I found the vagueness of the epilogue to be a bit confusing and detached, and consequently I was not as engaged reading it as I was the previous chapters.

I very highly recommend “All That’s Left in the World,” and I cannot wait until it releases so that I can purchase my own copy of the book. It is unique, heart-pounding, heart-warming— really, just full of heart— and is an incredibly memorable first step into the world of queer post-apocalyptic fiction. Thank you so much to Erik J. Brown and NetGalley for providing me an ARC, I look forward to seeing what you do next!
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Andrew and Jamie live in a post-pandemic, post-apocalypse world. After stumbling into a bear trap (ouch) and gravely injuring his leg, Andrew happens upon a cabin in the woods—and Jamie inside it. As Jamie nurses him back to health, the two boys grow attached to each other and their no longer lonely life. But their new world is not as idyllic as it seems, and after a run-in with an outside group waving guns and touting The Walking Dead-eqsue survivor logic, Andrew decides to leave Jamie in order to protect him. Jamie follows. The boys go through a myriad of tribulations in their travels thereafter, encountering dangerous and helpful people alike as they make their way further south.

I always find it sort of hard to summarize apocalypse stories, because there aren't many ways, I've found, to shake up the genre. And in truth, All That's Left In the World does follow a fairly typical apocalypse plot: leave safety, find Other Groups surviving the apocalypse in their own way, get hurt a few times along the way, ultimately ending with a hopeful ending (because no apocalypse, of course, can be solved perfectly and neatly). Where this book does shake it up is in the slow burn "enemies" (like, briefly) to friends to lovers romance of the two main mlm characters. I don't know of any queer kids (or people in general!) in apocalypse stories. I remember watching The Walking Dead when I was younger and always getting attached to the queer characters before—woopsie!—they were magnanimously killed off the moment we get their backstory or coming out story. (Really? C'mon guys.) So the boys in this book were, for me, a beautiful breath of fresh air. Both Jamie and Andrew are also incredibly life-like characters, throwing around pop culture references and grappling with their own inner journeys with understandable teenage fun and angst. Their romance never felt forced, either, which is sometimes hard to achieve with apocalypse romances. I'm very much looking forward to recommending this book to the teens at my library. I think they're going to eat this book up just as fast as I did!
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I was surprised to read the author's note and find out the book hadn't been started as a reaction to the pandemic, because to me, it almost read as if it were written as a way to cope with COVID-19. I think this is a good example of a book that would have gone over better with me if I were the target audience. Parts of the novel were very compelling, but I felt like those passages were somewhat camouflaged in standard post-apocalyptic tropes and time skips (granted, those are hard to avoid in a book where the characters have to walk everywhere). I think maybe if the details about the characters' backstories were sometimes flashbacks instead of always being recounted verbally or mentioned in snippets, it could have made what the characters went through come across more strongly. Despite some missed potential, I do think the book had a way of keeping you invested in what was happening.
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Set in the near future in a pandemic-ridden world, All That's Left in the World is a gripping read that asks hard questions about what all of us are capable of in terrible circumstances but manages to temper that drama with a sweet coming of age romance.  Jamie and Andrew find each other in the middle of the apocalypse, both with secrets to hide.  Can they trust each other enough to survive?
The pacing of this book is dynamic, moving quickly from one set piece to another with ease.  I appreciate how the author kept the tension going for most of the book, both romantic tension between the two leads and the outside problems that threatened the two teens’ survival.  The details seemed realistic and the shift between perspectives of both boys was never forced.  Both characters were well defined, and there were lots of great moments of levity in what could have been a very dour book.  There was something surreal about reading about the aftermath of a pandemic in the middle of one, but I think this was handled well.  And although I felt the book wrapped up too quickly, I think that is more a testament to how much I don’t want to let these characters go than any fault in the storytelling.  I look forward to recommending this book to my students who love action, suspense, survival stories, and romance.  A fantastic read!
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✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ 
5/5 Stars

Synopsis: This book is set in a post apocalyptic world after a disease wipes out most of the population in North America. Andrew stumbles onto a cabin, inside he finds Jamison. Together they try to find a way to escape North America or try to find more civilization to help them. 

Definitely hooked me from the first chapter and the characters seemed very real and you can easily relate to them. The last quarter of the book really kept me wanting to read and didn’t feel slow and boring. The plot goes right to the end of the book and I could not put it down until I found out what happened.

The banter between the two main characters Jamison and Andrew began at the beginning of the book and it was so funny, realistic and really felt like two teenage boys trying to figure out how to work together. The author used a lot of pop culture references but they didn’t feel cringy or overused, it really felt like how teenagers would talk. In the book they mention Covid, it is very relevant to what a lot of people are experiencing right now and it helps us relate to the story a lot. While still being a dystopian and apocalyptic novel it does a good job of bringing other relevant topics to the table such as homophobia, gender roles, religion, white supremacy and woman’s rights. The LGBTQ+ aspect of the novel is definitely an underlying plot as in the whole book isn’t about them trying to figure out the identities and I really like that because not every book that contains LGBTQ+ characters has to have them trying to figure themselves out as the main focus. It really is nice to read a book where people are already comfortable in their identities. As you would expect from an apocalyptic novel it does touch on the subjects such as morality and survival and does a really good job of finding the positives and negatives of their situations. The only downfall I found was it felt sluggish when they were just walking to get to the next destination but that’s expected, but at this time they would also have very personal conversations. I feel like it helped grow their relationship. I added notes as I was reading and can bet that half of them just say “aw” and “so cute”.

Favorite Quotes:
1. “Christ, even after the apocalypse I can’t resist a pun”
2. “Oh man, I hope Paul Rudd survived the bug“
3. “This is the first time — in the entire time I’ve known Jamie — I’ve ever heard him laugh. All my snarky comments, my clever jokes, my anecdotes, retelling him movies, none of it made him laugh like this. And it sounds wonderful“
4. “A gender-bent, postapocalyptic Bonnie and Clyde”
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It gets three stars. I feel like when it comes out in audio, it will be amazing, the voices will lend themselves nicely to narration, but the pacing is not quite what I wanted. Great concept, love the queer representation though.
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This is a story about the things that remain, even after the apocalypse .. like queer love! 

I loved this book!  Dystopian & apocalypse settings are my favorite, but there’s rarely any queer rep (if you’ve got recs, hit me with them!) & I never feel like the impact of injury or age are adequately explored.  Enter this story!  This was a beautiful book, about what makes a good human during terrible circumstances, and the value of retaining what makes us ourselves- even when the world crumbles.  As an extra plus, it’s laugh out loud funny at points, so you really get to experience the full range of feelings before the end.

Thank you so much Netgalley,
Harper Collin Childrens & Balzer & Bray for this eArc!
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This novel is set in a world in which a deadly pathogen has wiped out most of the population of earth. Seems an appropriate topic considering what the world has been going through for the past year and a half.
I really thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I loved the romance, but beyond that, I think it told a post-apocalyptic story in a very realistic way. It definitely left me thinking about my own perspectives about COVID and the world beyond our current status. Super solid read.
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All That’s Left in The World by Erik Brown
	All That’s Left in The World by Erik Brown is a fantastic post-apocalyptic novel, it has queer representation that typically is not seen in this genre and creates a lovely backdrop that is vastly different from your traditional coming out and falling in love stories.
	Andrew and Jamie are two teenaged high school boys that have been left alone in a world affected by a fatal virus, leaving nearly no one unaffected. Both stuck in this new world without family or friends, they are searching for a way to cope and survive the fallout without losing who they were before. They come together in quite the fiasco of happenstances and end up travelling on an epic journey down the eastern coast. Their path is fraught with dangers and heart-pounding, lip biting obstacles, leaving you to wonder how they’ll survive.
	It delves more into the aftermath of how a pair of teenagers would survive rather than your typical “We need to find a cure and save the world!” type of story. and that fact alone would make this book more than worth the read. The story is fast paced, leading to a few areas where expansion in the world building would be nice, but overall, this book is 4.5/5 stars; it keeps you moving and guessing what they’ll face next. The representation and real-life issues brought up in this book give it a realistic edge that makes you relate to the characters and keeps you coming back for more. 
	The characterization of Jamie and Andrew keeps you rooting for them through thick and thin, combined with snarky sarcasm and earnest optimism, you’ll want to keep reading¬¬— hoping for a happy ending for the boys around every corner.
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All That's Left in the World is a wonderful post-apocalyptic novel that takes place after a superflu has wiped out ~80% of the population. Andrew is heading south from Connecticut when he steps in a  bear trap and then stumbles upon Jamison's cabin. To his surprise, Jamison gives him first aid and shelter while he heals. When they no longer feel safe at the cabin they travel east in hopes of finding other survivors immune to the flu.

Just about everything in this novel is extremely well done. I loved the dual perspectives and getting to read everything going on from either character's point of view. Both are well written and very entertaining to read. I never felt like I wanted to skip a chapter to get back to a certain character's POV, which I normally want to do when reading novels with multiple perspectives. 

The world felt incredibly realistic, especially since COVID is currently still very prominent. Despite not having been affected too much by COVID myself, a lot of the pandemic related stuff in this novel felt rather frightening to me. I also loved that the author chose to mention COVID in the book. It set the story sometime in the future and I felt that it was a nice touch.

The romance was very nice and not insta-love which I adored. So many YA novels have insta-love romances and I almost always dislike those stories. It was nice getting to see them going from strangers who were suspicious of each other to friends and eventually to boyfriends. It felt realistic and they were a very sweet couple. They're probably one of my favorite couples in a novel.

I really loved this book. It was a little slow for the first few chapters but it never felt dull. The characters were entertaining enough that even during the slower parts of the novel their inner monologues and dialogue were able to keep the story moving. This was a very enjoyable book all around and I will definitely purchase a finished copy when it's released. 

5 Stars
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All That's Left in the World is a post-apocalyptic novel set after a superflu has wiped out a vast majority of the population of the world. It follows two young men- Andrew and Jamison- as they travel the country.

I am huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction. Ever since I read The Stand as a teenager I have loved reading stories set after everything falls apart. All That's Left in the World is a good addition to the genre. It explores many of the constant themes of post-apocalyptic fiction (survival, how humans work in groups, the fresh hell of only having cans of mushrooms to eat) through the experiences of well drawn characters who each go on specific journeys. And, heck, there's even a love story kinda deal happening.

Erik J. Brown knows how to tell a story. His prose moves quickly and he has an eye for character detail. He tosses in some cool references to other works, but this is his own post-apocalyptic world.

There was a certain... vertigo... to reading a book about a superflu ravaged planet while we're still in the midst of the COVID pandemic. As I write this, the delta variant of COVID is currently surging in areas where there are higher percentages of unvaccinated people. It's hard not to draw parallels. I don't know that I would have enjoyed reading this book in April and May of 2020. So I'm glad I didn't read this then. LOL

This book doesn't come out until March of 2022. Hopefully by then COVID will be tamed. But even if it isn't, this is still a good book well worth the read.
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I love queer romances right now, and this book doesn’t disappoint. Our love interests make this story so interesting, to where you can’t stop reading and hoping for a happy ending!
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This book is fantastic.  It is set in a world following a pandemic brought on by an avian flu, where over 80 percent of the population has been wiped out.  Andrew, one of the survivors who has lost his entire family, is trekking southward from Connecticut when he gets injured.  With no supplies and no one to help him, he stumbles upon a house, where he meets Jamie, another boy his own age who also is all alone.  Though the experiences in the pandemic and aftermath have conditions Andrew and Jamie to be suspicious of people they do not know and their motivations, the two quickly develop a connection.  

When they no longer feel safe in the cabin, Andrew and Jamie decide to head south to see if they may find more help.  As they journey together, they find their relationship deepening, as they face external threats and the potential challenges caused by the secrets each is harboring.  

This book does an excellent job of balancing the adventure component of the story with the romance aspect. Both are quite compelling.  The two main characters are well drawn, and the alternating perspectives telling the story effectively advance the narrative in a way that keeps the reader deeply engaged.   

Very highly recommended!
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Wow.  This book is incredibly timely what with the pandemic and the way our society has reacted to it.

After being severely hurt by a bear trap, Andrew stumbles upon a cabin in the woods and Jamie.

From there an adventure fraught with danger, fear, humor, friendship, bravery, hate and love spins out.

Just like most other society ending stories show, people are always the biggest danger.  And sometimes a saving grace.
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Oh this book! It was soft and warm and full of life but it still maintained a gritty sense of realism that all truly great post-apocolypse stories have. Jamison and Andrew were an absolute otp from the beginning but I loved the slowburn angsty pining aspect way too much. Cara was also an unexpected favorite, and Henri is my absolute idol now.
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