Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking those links, I will receive a small commission from the sale at no extra cost to you.All That's Left in the World by Erik J. Brown
Published by Balzer + Bray on March 8, 2022
Genres: Dystopia, LGBTQ, Young Adult Fiction
Format: eBook (368 pages)
Purchase: Amazon • IndieBound
Add Book: Goodreads • Bookhype
When Andrew stumbles upon Jamie’s house, he’s injured, starved, and has nothing left to lose. A deadly pathogen has killed off most of the world’s population, including everyone both boys have ever loved. And if this new world has taught them anything, it’s to be scared of what other desperate people will do . . . so why does it seem so easy for them to trust each other?
After danger breaches their shelter, they flee south in search of civilization. But something isn’t adding up about Andrew’s story, and it could cost them everything. And Jamie has a secret, too. He’s starting to feel something more than friendship for Andrew, adding another layer of fear and confusion to an already tumultuous journey.
The road ahead of them is long, and to survive, they’ll have to shed their secrets, face the consequences of their actions, and find the courage to fight for the future they desire, together. Only one thing feels certain: all that’s left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.
Proceed With Caution:
This book contains death, blood, grief, mentions of suicide, murder, a pandemic, and mentions of COVID-19.
All That’s Left in the World is narrated by sixteen-year-olds Andrew and Jamison, two boys left alone after their entire families (and most of the world) died in the latest superflu pandemic. Andrew stumbles upon a cabin in the woods seeking medical help, only to find Jamison. Jamison nurses Andrew back to health, beginning a journey that neither was prepared for.
All That’s Left in the World is a book that I immediately added to my wish list, but by the time I got it from the library, I couldn’t remember why I added it or what it was about. Well, I was hooked from the first chapter! And the more I read, the more invested I got in Andrew and Jamison’s lives. This world is screwed up, dark, yet realistic. It’s also hopeful.
All That’s Left in the World is pandemic fiction, which I know isn’t going to be for everyone. I enjoyed this sub-genre before we started living it, and I still enjoy it now. This takes place after our current pandemic, and it seems that humanity hasn’t learned anything. Most people have been killed by the virus or by fellow survivors. Andrew and Jamison are trying to make it on their own, but ultimately they have to open up and trust someone else. All is not lost.
I absolutely adored how their relationship developed. Andrew is gay and out, and not-so-subtly drops hints to Jamison while he’s recovering to get that out in the open. He also constantly teases Andrew about being straight, secretly hoping that he might feel the same way. Meanwhile, Jamison is suddenly super protective of Andrew and starts catching feelings. Survival takes priority, but he does have plenty of time to ponder if he’s bisexual and what his feelings toward Andrew mean. They’re just so cute together!
There’s obviously a strong survivalist plot to All That’s Left in the World, and I was here for it! Andrew and Jamison are forced to leave the relative comfort of the cabin, and begin following rumors of help arriving from Europe. Along the way they have to make do with their dwindling supplies and contend with other survivors who only have their own best interests in mind. The two don’t come across too many people on their travels, but those they do meet are varied and interesting. Not everyone is bad. That’s something important to remember.
In the end, I loved All That’s Left in the World. There’s a great balance of tense and tender moments. I was on the edge of my seat whenever something bad was happening to these boys. I was also itching to climb into my Kindle to make them confess their feelings! It was an emotional roller coaster for sure, and one I’d happily ride again!