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Summary

Jamie and Andrew are strangers and two of the last people on Earth. They don't know what they'll find on their perilous journey...but they may just find each other. A queer romance about courage, hope and humanity - this is How I Live Now with the heart of Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

When the Superflu wipes out most of the population, Jamie finds himself completely alone in a cabin in the woods - until an injured stranger crosses his path.

Life is dangerous now, and, armed with a gun, Jamie goes to pull the trigger. But there's something about Andrew...something that stops Jamie in his tracks. Jamie takes him in, and as Andrew heals and they eventually step out into the strange new world, their relationship starts to feel like more than just friendship....

But trouble isn't far behind. As the boys make a perilous journey south, they'll come face-to-face with a world torn apart and society in ruins. And who, or what, will they find waiting for them at the end of it all?

©2022 Erik J. Brown (P)2022 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"Tense, exciting, sometimes heartbreaking and always romantic, All That's Left in the World explores what it means to hold onto hope and humanity when the worst case scenario becomes reality. With characters you'll adore, and a fast-paced, mysterious plot that keeps you turning the pages as fast as you can devour them, this book is not to be missed." (Sophie Gonzales, author of Only Mostly Devastated)

"Brown has somehow achieved a book that is romantic, hilarious, warm-hearted, hopeful and page-turningly thrilling all at once. I was hooked from beginning to end." (Dahlia Adler, author of Cool for the Summer)

"A timeless love story that could not be more appropriate for this moment, All That's Left in the World is a thrilling, heartfelt and beautifully written debut." (Tom Ryan, author of I Hope You're Listening)

What listeners say about All That's Left in the World

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Good - But, Not Special!

Overall the book was enjoyable and the performance was excellent; the end was something of an anticlimax and a little predictable - unless the author intends revisiting this work.

The real issue isn't specifically with this book, it applies to almost every book in this category; the two chief protagonists, in this case Andrew and Jamie, are alway very similar in outlook and world-view; they think broadly the same on anything important and have the same attitude(s), almost without nuance, on very major topic. The difference, in personality, are superficial at best. There are differences but they are invariably domestic/family background, economic status or physical.

It would be a deal more interesting if authors could produce characters who believe different things rather than these 'cookie-cutter' creations. Obviously books in this genre will, naturally, have characters who like/love one another; but, is it really so difficult to imagine a world wherein people can love each other despite fundament differences in views.

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Just a pandemic novel?

No, is the short answer. You might be forgiven for thinking so from the blurb and if you've only listened to a few minutes of narration (which is excellent, by the way). This novel touches on so much else. And, interestingly, it was mostly written before Covid-19 reared its ugly head.

Andrew and Jamie are two young men facing an altered world on their own. They have to make decisions, so many decisions, on their own. And many are not on level of 'what are we going to eat tonight?'. They also have to orientate their moral / ethical compasses in a world seemingly without either of these traits. Many of the adults they encounter have developed their own system of ethics.

Amongst a string of adventures, the author also challenges his main characters (and us) to consider gun ownership, societal structures, white supremacy, survival only for the fittest, and queer attitudes. Oh, and grief. You can't really expect a post-apocalyptic novel not to dwell on loss and separation, but this is only one strand amongst many.

While far from being a young adult myself, I enjoyed this book a lot. It came across as genuine and well-considered. And engrossing.

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Lovely queer story set during a pandemic

I binged this in a few days as it was so addicting. This is the first audiobook I purchased with audible and I’m glad I did. Very lovely story, well written, and has relatable queer moments. I wish I could listen to this for the first time again!

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Beautiful

Great story with the representation that has been needing in this type of fiction thank you Erik

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What a book! Highly recommended

What a book! This book is fantastic-it is a real emotional journey from start to finish. I couldn’t stop listening. The story is brilliant and also very relatable in some parts. It is funny, sad and heart warming -there are definitely parts where I welled you too. The voice actors are amazing and have such great voices -I really hope a sequel to this book is in the works-and that the same actors come back some day, I would listen in a heartbeat-best book I’ve listened to in a very long time. I highly recommend this book and commend the author, actors, editors and everyone involved. Thank you for this experience. I’ll be thinking about this for a while.

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Incredible

A humble and beautiful story, I adored it all. ☺️❤️☺️ Worth it for sure! Try it!

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I'm so happy I love this I've cried too much

I LOVE IT AND IM SO GLAD THAT WE ARE GETTING QUEER REPRESENTATION ILYSM AHHH

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Amazing

I have no words it was SO GOOD!!! Everyone Must read this seriously 10/10

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Fantastically imagined, authentic characterisation

The post-apolyptic backdrop is multi-layered and ever-changing. And the story moves along at a great pace.

Best of all, the relationships and dialogue are beautifully realistic. The LGBT coming-of-age themes ring true to life. It's a book that I could've connected to deeply as a teen.

Both narrators deliver naturalistic and emotionally charged performances. And they complement one another perfectly.

So glad this book exists.

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amazing

loved it. I wish it never ended. at one point (many points actually) I was worried it will have a sad ending. thankfully it had an amazing ending. great story, great character development and great narrating skills. finished it two days.

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  • T
  • 25-05-22

Sweet and wholesome

It's really wonderful to see a novel set in a post apocalyptic world with gay characters, even better yet when they're young adults. I say that because it gives the chance for their relationship to be sort of pure, which it was.
But while this story has romance, it's not the main thing. The main thing is two young boys left alone in a hard world, learning to depend on each other more than they have anyone else in their lives.

It's an adventure, literally, but it's a fun, sad, heartwarming one with something for all of us to learn from.