Have you ever read a book where you can see how someone would love it and obsess over it, even if you yourself cannot? Because that is what The Land of the Young by Will Robinson is for me. While reading it there were many scenes I enjoyed, but not enough to say I adamantly love this book.
As I am sure you are aware by now, there are many hills I am willing to die on when it comes to my reading experience. One of those hills is when the book is set somewhere, (in this instance Ireland) and the author uses a high amount of that settings slang/dialect. I don’t like it. And the main reason I don’t like it is that while it may be how an individual would talk in that land, talking and reading are not the same thing and it makes it incredibly hard to get through the boo; Especially if you are no familiar with that slang/dialect. Every area in the world has their own dialect. I am from the Pittsburgh Pennsylvania area, and we have slang of our own. We use words like warsh, yinz, and aht. And while I understand all three of those words perfectly (wash, you guys, and out), putting them in a book to make the reader struggle to interpret is not going to endear them to me, or make them want to finish my book.
That being said, that was my main problem with this book, and while I am sure I am not alone in disliking that, if you can get through that I think you will enjoy the book overall. Will Robinson paints incredibly vivid pictures of lands that I have not visited but want to. I also loved that while he used magical elements in his book, it was a very ordinary world. Every time I think of Ireland, I think of magic. Whether or not that magic is actually there, the rolling green hills of Ireland are magic to me. Will very much leaned into that notion of magic exists you just need to look for it.
I loved that the author gave each chapter a title. I love a good chapter title, but it did feel a bit odd that there seemed to be a short paragraph at the beginning of each chapter summarizing what was going to be happening in the chapter itself. I am not entirely sure if I liked that at all, and it did detract from reading a bit.
I think my favorite scene in the book happened between Fand and Bridget. I liked that it was two women’s interaction that ended up saving Tommy. I also loved that with everything happening, and with Tommy in danger, Bridget’s first reaction to Fand was to try to clothe her so she would be protected from prying eyes and the elements. I don’t know why I found it as funny as I did, or why it is the one scene that sticks out so clearly in my mind, but it is.
Overall – This was not a bad book and I could see how people could easily fall in love with it, however I am not one of those people. While I loved the setting and the vivid pictures the author painted, I was not a huge fan of the slang/dialect in the book that kept jarring me out of reading.
Plot – 5/10
Characters – 5/10
Originality – 8/10
General Joy of Reading – 3/10
Overall Score – 21/40
The Land of the Young – Will Robinson
Cost* – eBook is $2.99 and Paperback is $16.62. This book is included on kindle unlimited.
*Cost is based upon what the book cost when book review is published