Who Runs the World? Book Review

Who Runs the World? Book Cover Who Runs the World?
Virginia Bergin
Young Adult, Science Fcition
Macmillan Children's Books
June 1st 2017

From the author of H2O—In a society where women rule and men are almost extinct, River discovers a dark secret that will change her world as she knows it… 

Sixty years ago, a virus wiped out almost all men on Earth. Now women run the world, and men are kept in repopulation facilities, safe from the deadly virus. At least, that's what everyone has been led to believe…until River discovers a young man on a country road—injured but alive. Mason has been outside for five days since escaping from his facility, and no one can understand how he has survived. Hiding the boy violates the rules of their world, but as the women of the town band together to try to save him, River begins to suspect that the truth behind Mason's existence is darker than she could have imagined.

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin as a fascinating book about a world without boys.

I discovered Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin while browsing books at Waterstones. the concept of the book really piqued my curiosity. From the very beginning, I loved it. Reading about a world where women are the rulers because men no longer exist. Or well.. none that are truly healthy.

Sixty-years prior to the story, a virus, or the “sickness” wiped out the male population. Because of this, women had to start doing male jobs in order to thrive. The population in general also started to decrease, but due to IVF treatments, things started to pick up.

Selection of children

It became possible to also select the sex of the child. But for a boy, once born, they would be transported to a Sanctuary to protect them from the virus. Without these places, the boy would more than likely die.

I thought the whole idea behind the rules and the culture of which women lived was intriguing. The idea that behind some of these rules was super interesting. For example,  ‘everyone should be allowed to be heard’ and ‘every child is our child’. The way that people were called differently was quite well done also. The Little Ones, the Teens, the Mummas and finally, the Grandmummas.

I think because of how relatable they were, I loved the Grandmummas the most. Not only because of how they acted towards others but because they were around before the virus struck. They are us of the future. They knew how things were in the past and wished things were different. I loved reading about them.

Characters are super interesting

I really enjoyed reading about River. She has only lived within the rules of the new world. She has only ever read about men, or to her the XY’s. So for her to stumble upon one, it shocked her. I loved how curious she was about the boy and did not know how to handle it.

For me, it was really interesting to read about this from the point of view of River. To follow her journey of learning what a boy actually is is pretty great. It was like starting from the ground up, sort of like Adam and Eve. Only Eve had to idea how to interact with Adam without worrying about a virus that could kill him, or that it could kill her somehow.

I also really enjoyed Katy, the main Grandmumma of the book. She speaks like so many of us speak nowadays. An absolute joy to read about and she was just great. She was also just super blunt and sassy and god… yes please, more Katy.

Overall I really did enjoy reading about the idea of what life could be like without men. What if they did, in fact, get wiped out? What would the future generation do without them? Super interesting, and kept me gripped throughout the entire time

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