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All That’s Left in the World

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What If It's Us meets They Both Die at the End in this postapocalyptic, queer YA adventure romance from debut author Erik J. Brown. Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera, Alex London, and Heartstopper by Alice Oseman.

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.

345 pages, Hardcover

First published March 8, 2022

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About the author

Erik J. Brown

3 books1,138 followers
Erik J. Brown is a writer based in Philadelphia, PA.

His debut, ALL THAT'S LEFT IN THE WORLD, won the UK reader's Choice Books Are my Bag Award, was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award, the Waterstone's Children's Book Prize, and 2023 Yoto Carnegie Award, and was selected as a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard.

His follow-up, LOSE YOU TO FIND ME, became a USA Today Bestseller and was featured in The Nerd Daily and United by Pop.

The much anticipated sequel to ALL THAT'S LEFT IN THE WORLD is coming Summer 2024.

You can find him on Twitter @WriterikJB, and Instagram @ErikJB

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5 stars
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3 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,905 reviews
Profile Image for Erik Brown.
Author 3 books1,138 followers
March 30, 2022
I wrote this. So I think it's definitely top five best books of all time about queer kids surviving the apocalypse. I also think you'd agree so give it a read!
Profile Image for Charlie.
85 reviews418 followers
July 21, 2022
I adored this book for so many reasons. I’ve struggled with genres that are not fantasy or romance for many years, and I’ve been waiting for a good queer dystopian to come along. I used to read so many post-apocalypse novels, like the Fifth Wave, when I was younger, and there was always something missing from them. All That’s Left in the World, has that something!

I flew through this book in less than half a day, which I have never done before, not even when I was a crazy teen reading 20 books a month. There was something so calming about the beginning of the story. I loved the moments Jamie and Andrew shared in the cabin. If you focused on the sweet parts, you could almost forget that there was an apocalypse happening outside. The first half of the novel felt more like a romance set in a post-apocalypse world, while the second half delved into the action/adventure I was expecting from a book of this genre.

Both Jamie and Andrew had their past demons they were keeping from each other in fear of it changing their relationship. I loved watching them slowly open up and understand that knowing the more intimate and hard parts of each other actually helped their relationship blossom into something far greater.

I am so astonished by the quality of the writing. This book was phenomenally written. The characters were authentic and believable, with real depth. The romance blossomed so slow and perfect. The plot felt so accurate to what probably would go down if something like this happened in a post-COVID world. Everything was just so good. I’m deeply looking forward to whatever comes next from the author.

You can follow me on: Instagram Twitter TikTok
Profile Image for Marieke (mariekes_mesmerizing_books).
511 reviews340 followers
July 20, 2022
I’m in awe. Of the writing. Of the story. Of the character development. Of the funny moments, even though the story is scary. This book is easily one of the best I’ve read this year!

That writing! I could imagine what was happening so vividly from the moment I started reading. I gulped down the words at a furious pace, and I swiped through the pages frantically. I said ouch when Andrew hurt himself, almost got sick when Jamie used that needle, took a deep breath when the boys described the bodies on the street and felt their fear when they met other people. I read on and on and didn’t want to stop. Those descriptions, those sentences, they were all just spot on.

I immediately liked Andrew’s wit and sarcasm. I laughed out loud at his remarks about Tom Holland, and even though this story is sad and exciting and harrowing at times, I also had so much fun. I didn’t know beforehand that this story would be so humorous, and I loved it!

If you’ve read more of my reviews, you probably know that I adore cute cinnamon rolls. And Erik let me meet one of the cutest ever: Jamie. Although he seemed like a tough guy with his rifle and handgun, he was just so sweet and kind and sensitive and scared at times. I loved the scene with the fawn and its mom, and I rooted for all of them.

I’m not particularly a fan of dystopian stories, but I devour books like these. It’s the total package; everything is just right! The dual narrative, both voices so distinctive; the fear of being almost alone in the world and being attacked by the ones who lived; the friendship and the romance, so pure and heartfelt. While reading, I laughed, and my chest tightened, but I didn’t cry. Until the very end. Suddenly big fat tears clouded my eyes, and I sniffed. I even had to stop reading for a moment. When I finally closed my ereader, I was so glad I got to read this book. And I wanted to start all over again.

Like I said, I’m in awe, and it’s impressive when you can write a debut like this! So well done, Erik!! I can’t wait to read your next novel!

I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Profile Image for Noah.
215 reviews83 followers
July 4, 2023
It takes the crumbling of civilization for Jamie to have his bi-awakening, if that’s not relatable, I don’t know what is. A lot of apocalypse stories (The Road, The Walking Dead, The Last of Us) are so dark and bleak in order to be realistic, that it’s actually pretty subversive to write something optimistic in the same genre. And that’s just fine by me. And and and… this book fit perfectly with my post-apocalypse playlist! That’s not a weird thing to have right?

When civilization ends, all that’s left in the world is love. Hopeful post-apocalyptic fiction is so underrated.

(The playlist is “I Melt with You” and “Wasteland, Baby!” followed by the entirety of “The Emancipation of Mimi” btw).
Profile Image for paulita.
88 reviews4 followers
March 28, 2022
2.5 stars.

guys did we read the same book? how does this have so many good reviews? i'm 100% disappointed since y'all had set my expectations so high for this one 😔

i have several issues with this book so i'll try to list them out:

1. a pandemic book? and an unrealistic one at that? one would've thought it'd been more realistic, given what we now know about pandemics.
2. why would you write an apocalyptic book and STILL make homophobia one of the main plot devices ???? LITERALLY WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT ???
3. the characters were so under-developed that, at the end of the book in the epilogue where we don't know who's narrating, i genuinely think it could be either jamie or andrew doing it! but i don't know who actually is! they don't have a voice and their personalities were staler than unsalted crackers.
4. it fell into the tell and not show, hard.
5. i'm 98% sure something would happen to the worldwide ecosystem if birds just. stopped existing altogether.
6. did not mention how latinoamérica dealt with the superflu at all? or asia? or africa? suddenly, the world is only USA and EU.

and i think that's it? other than that, there's just smaller issues that branch out from there. like the main romance feeling flat, the confession at least. nothing to swoon over, in my opinion. but that's just because i didn't really get to fall in love with the mc's at all. also i'm still shook by the homophobic, racist, misogynistic, and ableist society that somehow survived the superflu. like, really? way to go for queer conflict in fiction 😐

nevertheless, this was a debut novel and it's YA so maybe i would've enjoyed it more if i'd read this when i was 14, not 18.
Profile Image for Maditales.
582 reviews23.8k followers
February 3, 2023
You know how uncomfortable it gets to read a book with references to corona or anything very new or Gen Z?
Yeah that should have happened in here but it did not. This plays after the corona virus when another virus breaks out that wipes out most of the population.
This is a survivor story between two teenage guys that could not be more different and I think that made this book soooo good.
The romance was such a good written subplot that I was rooting for them the entire time but not mad that it took soooo long for smth to happen bc you know #slowburn.

Let's not even get me started on the fact that the humour In this book is exactly mine. I find it often horrible to read jokes that I would say but something in here made them very entertaining. I am mostly referring to the fact that this is a post apocalyptic book and that you have still time and energy to joke about the simplest things. It just made this book soo much fun.

There was also a number of real life issues that are still (sadly) present to this day and I really liked how they tried to do what is best for them to keep themselves safe
Profile Image for Aaron Aceves.
Author 1 book282 followers
September 12, 2021
Guys. GUYS! I can't remember the last time I finished a book in a day. I am obsessed.

So. Plot: gay YA Contagion/World War Z/Severance etc. All of the suspense and thrills from those works PLUS a slowburn romance and LAUGHS. Laughs I say! Ugh. This exceeded my expectations and my expectations were high. I don't want to hype it up so much that that isn't the case for whoever's going to read it, but I really don't understand how someone could not love (not like, LOVE) this book. I mean it has me using CAPS!

Anyway, I wish I could erase my memory of this book and read it again, but sadly I can't. You, however, can read it for the first time and thank me later. And Erik, too, I guess.
Profile Image for Ben Howard.
1,026 reviews117 followers
August 30, 2023
This was everything I wanted and more.

Also obsessed with the cover.

Between All That’s Left in the World, Wranglestone, and The Darkness Outside Us I'm pretty sure gay post-apocalyptic is my new favourite genre.

The Superflu has wiped out the majority of the worlds population; Jamie and Andrew's paths cross while trying to survive. A bear trap leaves Andrew badly injured when he first meets Jamie. They're weary of each other, but Jamie helps patch Andrew up. And during the weeks spent in an isolated cabin, they become friends.

But a nearby hostile settlement and Andrew's secret makes them decide to leave the once safety of the cabin behind. Rumoured help from the EU gives them a location and they set out, travelling down the eastern coast of the US.

I loved how Jamie and Andrew's friendship grew during the journey. The banter from Andrew giving play-by-plays of his favourite movies and Jamie's love of Hallmark movies. We get both perspectives, so we see how they both start to realise there's more than friendship going on.

There were a lot of great moments; the author really had me going from being tense and worried for our character's safety one moment, to breaking out with laughter a second later. If you've read the book, you know the scene!

I can't wait to read what Erik J. Brown puts out next.
Profile Image for Maisha  Farzana .
556 reviews241 followers
July 22, 2022
☆ Unbelievably good. Nothing but awe-inspiring perfection. I'm unequivocally IN LOVE....

"All That's Left in The World" is a YA post-apocalyptic queer romance which features two boys who have miraculously managed to survive the apocalypse.

Congratulations to Andrew and Jamie for still being alive; for outliving the apocalypse. But are they ready to face what comes next?

Andrew and Jamie finds love in the most unlikely situation. They find solace and strength in each other's company. They are strong together. But both of them are hopeless when it comes to love. They might have survived the apocalypse. But are they willing to chase their love and happiness till the end of the world?

The road ahead of them is long and dangerous. To survive, they'll have to shed their secrets carefully. The future ahead is uncertain. The boys are conflicted. Only one thing feels certain: all that's left in their world is the undeniable pull they have toward each other.
Profile Image for drew.
213 reviews95 followers
April 9, 2022
i've been looking forward to this since it was announced and it did not disappoint. rtc
Profile Image for booksandzoe.
308 reviews1,813 followers
July 12, 2021
Coming into this post-apocalyptic novel following two boys who's lives collide, I wasn't really thinking about how my experiences with COVID would impact my reading of this novel. However, many moments of this novel were super triggering to me. I haven't lost anybody to COVID personally, nor would I consider myself to have any significant amount of "COVID PTSD," yet this book was so hard to read because it hit too close to home. Some may find post-apocalyptic media to be healing after the year from hell we've had, however I would urge readers to consider how hard of a read this book may be before the fact.

That being said, I really loved this book!! This book gave what The Fifth Wave, They Both Die at the End, and We are the Ants were supposed to give, but ultimately fell short on. We have: fully fleshed out main characters, a post-apocalyptic queer romance, mutual pining, self discovery on the low-key, murder, gore, a small little found family, and a thriller dystopian plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book features some pretty graphic descriptions of gore, as well as thriller sub-plots that will make you want to put the book down because your stomach is churning to badly. The author is fantastic at delivering high-stakes plots while keeping the light, fluffy bits to ease the mood.

Overall, despite the plentiful triggering content in this book, I *highly* enjoyed this read. The character development is *chefs kiss,* the romance is fantastic, the world-building is well-done, and it gave everything a YA post-apocalyptic thriller is supposed to give!
Profile Image for Andrew.
131 reviews
May 27, 2023
All That's Left in the World by Erik Brown would have contended for my favorite book had I read it at seventeen. But I haven't been seventeen since last century. My best efforts notwithstanding, I cannot turn back time. This book is a good example of why I try (often unsuccessfully, I will admit) to avoid YA novels: it presents the teenage perspective in a fundamentally uncritical way. It's not simply that I'm asked to immerse myself in the characters' emotional lives--that's the trick of so much great fiction--but that I'm asked to abandon the mature insights into those perspectives that I (supposedly) have acquired in the past twenty-four years.
Profile Image for Louis Muñoz.
171 reviews76 followers
April 24, 2023
Superlative! Review to follow, but in the meantime, thank you to #NetGalley for an e-ARC of this remarkable, moving, often funny, often very scary story.

Update. I didn't get around to properly reviewing this at the time, but the one thing I'll add at this stage, almost 1.5 years later, is that this book became one of two or three favorite books of 2021, and it has very much stayed with me. In addition, several of my friends have read this and really enjoyed it as well. I cannot recommend this book enough!!
Profile Image for geekyfangirlstuff.
140 reviews435 followers
May 13, 2023
nie lubię takich znaków zapytania w głowie💔

z jednej strony - świetny klimacik postapo, super pomysł na książkę, dużo humoru, ciężka tematyka ugryziona w lekki sposób i ogólnie fajny tytuł z queerową reprezentacją

z drugiej - bardzo mnie wynudziła, nie poczułam żadnej więzi z bohaterami, zamiast szybko lecieć się dłużyła i personalnie się niestety nie polubiliśmy
Profile Image for Meags.
2,180 reviews417 followers
June 9, 2023
4.5 Stars

I've been on a tear when it comes to reading YA hits this year and All That’s Left in the World has been the pinnacle of my enjoyment so far.

Even though I find dystopian-anything hella distressing, Andrew and Jamie's post-apocalyptic story was one I couldn't help falling in love with.

Angsty and violent at times, realistically so, this story paved a new and immersive experience in dystopian storytelling—one that was equal parts cross-country road trip (well, walking trip), edge-of-your-seat survivalism, and, best of all, a slow-burn bi-awakening romance between two young men who quite literally only have each other left at the end of the world.

I found this story hard to put down, which is always a telling sign that things are going very, very well. Andrew and Jamie were strong, relatable characters, flawed and all, making all sorts of good and bad decisions along the way, in a world where certainty and safety are unknown at all times. Their bond was lovely, starting as hesitant strangers, becoming companions and friends, and eventually falling in love in the most raw and vulnerable ways.

I’m absolutely blown away that this is Erik J. Brown’s debut novel—the storytelling was so strong, so addictive—but I have no doubt this is just the beginning of a long and illustrious writing career, and I, for one, can’t wait to read more.
Profile Image for leah.
190 reviews17 followers
March 17, 2022
girlies noah fence but why on gods green earth does this have such a high rating, the boy refers to himself as black widow from avengers because he has red in his ledger im about to scream
Profile Image for Drakoulis.
210 reviews19 followers
July 20, 2023
I'm in love with this book!

Erik J. Brown wrote a wonderful, heartwarming and captvating debut novel in All That's Left in the World .

It's a dystopian post-apocalyptic romance/adventure, set a few months after a virus has wiped out the majority of human population. This dystopian future is actually based on premises and scenarios from the real world, which makes the setting even more eerie and believable. The few survivors are scarred by what they saw, what they had to do and all the people they lost.

Andrew is one of them. The only survivor of his family, he flees south from Connecticut, until an unfortunate injury makes him desperate for shelter and medicine. Jamie lives in a cabin in the woods in Pennsylvania for the last months, stacked up on stockpiles, lonely and grieving the loss of his mother.

The story of the two boys is adorable and sweet and as their initial suspicions die down, they start warming up to each other, realize they need and want each other's company and friendship, and something even more than that.

Andrew is snarky and wary of the world, having seen the worst of it in action. He also carries guilt, a guilt weighing him down like an anvil.

Jamie on the other side is a cinnamon roll. He is kind and sweet, cannot bring himself to hunt animals for food, and is slightly confused by the newfound emotions he feels about Andrew.

The story has the heavy and dark themes of a dystopian setting (there is death, bodies, humans gone tribal) but is a story of hope and love, with many funny moments and humor shining a light even in the darkest moments.

The book is perfect: the character development, the worldlbuilding, the relationships, the interactions, the trauma, the love, every element exists in the exact right quantity needed to create the perfect result !

After re-reading: I can't wait for the sequel to come out next summer!
Profile Image for kate.
1,227 reviews949 followers
March 6, 2022
Erik J. Brown really asked “What if ‘The Walking Dead’ had less zombies and more gay pining?” and I’m so glad he did. I loved every second of this heartfelt, heart pounding, smile inducing apocalyptic rom-com and can’t wait to read whatever Brown has in store for us next.
Profile Image for Mel  Thomas.
79 reviews767 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
September 5, 2023
DNF @ 10%. I know it's kinda trite to be all, "I really wanted to like this," but this is a queer post-apocalyptic romance, and I REALLY wanted to like this.

In the past I've made fun of people who complain about pop culture references, and this is me eating crow. Turns out, I was only reading good pop culture references until now. Lucky me. Good pop culture references add texture to the story and tell you something about how the characters experience the world. What they absolutely should NEVER do is bend over backwards to make sure you appreciate how clever they are. They just move on to the next thing, and if you don't get it, that's cool. Like a Mel Brooks joke. Like, there's a world of difference between Lorelai making a quick quip about Rory pulling a Menendez when they're having a fight and whatever this is:

There isn't that defensiveness about him that there was with other guys our age. The ones who worry that if they get too close they might catch the gay. One guy told me that once and I looked him up and down, pointed at myself, and said, "You couldn't catch this gay if you had tickets to Hamilton."
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,478 reviews1,896 followers
May 14, 2022
This had potential and I absolutely appreciate a queer take on a post-apocalyptic story (in the sense that the characters are queer, incase that was poorly phrased) buuut there were just too many things about this that I had to side-eye.

From the blink and you miss it emotional whirlwinds (sobbing to conducting a normal conversation in the span of a sentence), events that just kind of happen to these characters before they move on, and just an overall lack of real substance or feeling to the MCs.. I just think for a darker book, especially one you're reading during a pandemic, this hit some offkey notes. I don't know quite how else to describe it.

This is basically a mix of STATION ELEVEN, The Walking Dead, and our current worldview. So not really a cheery experience despite all the jokes and romance within. It wasn't bad (again, potential!) but I didn't have a good time.
Profile Image for Royce.
65 reviews56 followers
June 7, 2022
This is an excellent post-apocalyptic novel with a well-paced plot and compassionate characters. Both our real-world experience with COVID-19 and current-day politics made the reading experience unsettling at times, but they provided a whole new dimension to the story. The slow-burn romance between the main protagonists, as well as their mission together, pushed the novel beyond what could have been simply a scary read to a captivating one. Unputdownable!
Profile Image for David.
624 reviews139 followers
November 11, 2022
This is a well-thought, multi-city action story with a slowly developing bond between Jamie and Andrew. Some of the intensity needs you to not be too squeamish as they encounter rogue groups of other survivors that are clinging to life.

There are some strong statements about society here, as highly protective instincts dominate. This 'me first' is a harsh reality to hear. The white supremacy in the large group at Fort Caroline is a major indictment of this type of life-style. I was glad our MC's survived.

The author wrote this book pre-COVID, but the last edit was Sept 30, 2021, so some small and careful references to COVID were added. It is quite the coincidence on the timing of this book's release.

I knew this was a YA book, with a 16-year-old focus. But I still thought Andrew's quip remarks could have been toned down when they were in serious peril. Andrew was nice, but he was a bit clingy, and all his pop-movie-culture-references tended to go past me. Again - there is a highly targeted audience for this book.

I connected more with Jamie, who thought just a little harder before speaking. Jamie was straight too (prior to this story, anyway), so his changes were refreshing to see. It was great to see the late-story addition of Cara as she quickly shined the light on the obvious!

Overall, a strong book, that I liked spending time with each time I picked it up to resume reading. But it didn't elicit any tears from me anywhere in the story. And the actual fear of the MCs dying in some scenes was fairly hard to read.

So a 4.25 score.
Profile Image for Steph (Teacups & Tropes).
713 reviews80 followers
June 20, 2022
★ ★ ★ ★ ★

I've been sitting on writing a review for this book for two days and I still don't have the words to describe it.

All That's Left in the World has quickly become one of my favorite books and I'm already jonesing for a re-read. Andrew starts the story off with a bang. Or a snap. Literally. Like he steps in a bear trap and breaks his leg. And the super-flu has basically wiped out like 98% of the world's population, including his mother and sister. When he comes across a cabin, he thinks his luck will change. Until Jamie is there holding a rifle in his face.

This book isn't marketed to be a horror or thriller, but I found my heart pounding pretty much from start to finish. The relationship between Andrew and Jamie was so organic and natural and I loved them so much. Andrew was snarky and bratty and spoke his mind; while Jamie was quiet, sort of shy, and the squishiest cinnamon roll I've ever seen. Except for when Andrew was in danger. Then he practically became a honey badger. This book though was laced with danger. Two sixteen/seventeen year old boys travelling alone while there are other scavengers hunting for food and supplies... It can make for a harrowing read. Plus, Brown didn't pull punches with his descriptions either. From what the super-flu did to the body, to the decapitated and shriveling bodies while the boys were traveling was just... ugh. Shiver inducing.

The slow building romantic tension here was top notch and it worked so well. Also the side characters (that weren't evil dickbags) were amazing. (Looking at you Cara and Henri!)

Just read this book and thank me later.
Profile Image for QuietlyKat.
502 reviews
December 29, 2022
All That’s Left in the World is 100% QuietlyKat. It’s exactly my kind of jam: queer, post-apocalyptic, action, adventure, dramatic, sob-inducing goodness! It may not have been the best idea to start this one just before midnight but when do I ever listen to the voice of common sense and reason when it comes to reading? So there I was at 3am telling myself to put the book down and sleep, but no, too hooked and invested to do so. At 4 I was like, giiiirl…! At 4:30 I full on gave up kidding myself. I finished after 5am, so so tired but so so satisfied. Completely worth it!

Library borrow but will absolutely add to my library permanently.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 3,905 reviews

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