×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Afterworlds
     

Afterworlds

4.0 27
by Scott Westerfeld, Sheetal Sheth (Read by), Heather Lind (Read by)
 

See All Formats & Editions

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld comes a smart, thought-provoking novel-within-a-novel that you won’t be able to put down.

Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But

Overview

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld comes a smart, thought-provoking novel-within-a-novel that you won’t be able to put down.

Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Audio
12/22/2014
This novel is really two books in one, told in alternating chapters. The first is a realistic fiction piece about Darcy, an 18-year-old whose novel is being published. She puts off college, moves to New York, deals with the stress of deadlines and rewrites, feels the excitement of seeing her book in print, and falls in love for the first time, with another YA writer, named Imogen. The other book is Darcy's actual novel, told in full: the paranormal tale of Lizzie, who survives a terrorist attack by pretending to be dead. She can subsequently see ghosts and visit the "afterworld," where she becomes romantically involved with spirit guide Yamaraj. Each book has a different narrator, which is helpful for keeping the two stories separate, and both narrators are excellent. Lind conveys Darcy's youthful excitement, her passion for writing, her insecurity, and her naïveté, as well as voicing jaded and British Imogen, Darcy's Indian-accented parents, and numerous other characters. Seth is equally adept at Lizzie, searching for the truth and trying to do what's right, as well as creating believable voices for Lizzie's anxious mother, her curious best friend, a child ghost, and Indian-accented Yamaraj. This intriguing and creative audiobook will have listeners invested in both stories, rooting for both protagonists and eager to find out what happens to them. Ages 14–up. A Simon Pulse hardcover. (Sept.)
School Library Journal - Audio
12/01/2014
Gr 9 Up—Eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel's dream has come true. A publisher has accepted the novel she wrote, and she has received a significant advance for it and the unwritten sequel. Deferring her college plans, Darcy moves to New York City and joins the YA publishing world. Amidst parties with other authors, exploring the city, and endless rewrites, Darcy meets and falls for fellow author Imogen Gray. Unfolding in alternate chapters is Darcy's novel, Afterworlds, in which teenage Lizzie survives a terrorist attack at an airport by crossing over to the realm between the living and the dead. There she meets Yama, the Hindu death god in the body of a 17-year-old boy, and the two feel an instant attraction. Lizzie now has the power to interact with ghosts in both worlds, which leads her down a dangerous path. Dual readers Sheetal Sheth and Heather Lind solidly narrate the two stories. Sheetal effectively portrays Darcy's youth as she navigates the new worlds of publishing and romantic relationships. Lind captures Lizzie's struggles with moral decisions and provides an appropriately calm, accented voice for the death god Yama. The dynamic of the two separate story lines proves fascinating as if the plot of Afterworlds changes and evolves as Darcy edits her draft.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
Publishers Weekly
★ 06/30/2014
During National Novel Writing Month, Darcy Patel, 18, pounds out a “Hindu paranormal romance” that earns her an advance hefty enough to fund a college education. Alas, Darcy has other ideas, moving to Manhattan to do rewrites and deferring admission to Oberlin. What follows are two stories, told in alternating chapters: Darcy’s path to publication, and the final draft of the book she wrote, also titled Afterworlds. Darcy’s new experiences inform her revision: falling in love for the first time makes her rethink the romance in her book. Her protagonist Lizzie’s story is more explosive, beginning with a terrorist attack that she survives by so thoroughly pretending to be dead that she slips into a ghost world, where she meets Yamaraj, a hunky “soul guide.” The back-and-forth between Darcy’s story and her thriller is dizzying, but “Reading Zealots” like the kids Darcy hung with in high school will love the insider details about the YA writer’s life—the intimidating editorial letter, attending BEA (Darcy naively brings her own canvas tote). An ambitious concept, well executed. Ages 14–up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)
Booklist - July 2014
*STARRED REVIEW* Eighteen-year-old Darcy drops her college plans and moves to New York to revise her soon-to-bepublished novel and start the second one. Meanwhile, in chapters that alternate with Darcy’s NYC adventures, her fictional protagonist, Lizzie, survives a near-death experience to find she has become a psychopomp, responsible for guiding souls to the afterlife. Westerfeld masterfully creates two divergent reading experiences (YA romance and fantasy horror) with two distinct yet believable voices in Darcy and Lizzie—and, somehow, makes them mesh into one cohesive novel. In addition to the details of the fully realized story worlds—and that's worlds plural, as this is a busy book, with content drawn from Gujarati culture and Indian religion—this book includes romantic entanglements, a charming lesbian love story, terrorism and justice, and insider references to the YA publishing and literature scene (including several references to the Michael L. Printz Award) that will have librarians grinning in delight. Westerfeld deftly and subtly captures Darcy’s immature authorial voice, even including a few underdeveloped plot points that differentiate it from his own polished prose. There are no notes about cultural sources, but an extended conversation between (fictional) YA authors explores these issues, offering a few perspectives on respect and appropriateness. Get plenty; this one won’t stay on the shelves. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Westerfeld, author of the hugely popular Uglies and Leviathan series, goes meta in a big way (this thing is the size of an anvil). Expect tons of YA-world gabbing and gushing.
boingboing.net - Cory Doctorow
“A masterful accomplishment . . . unmistakably Westerfeld, in full command of a
prodigious talent, doing something complicated and difficult and
making it look easy, even as it grabs you and drags you through its
dark streets, laughing and crying along with both Darcy and Lizzie.”
VOYA, October 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 4) - Bonnie Kunzel
Afterworlds is a young adult tour de force, a ghost story par excellence, as well as a compulsively readable treatment of the writing and publishing experience, seen through the eyes of a teenage author whose first book, Afterworlds, is such a dynamo that she is given a $300,000 advance and turned loose in New York City to work on it and a sequel. In alternating chapters, readers hear the stories of Darcy, the struggling young author, and Lizzie, the almost-victim of a terrorist attack at the Dallas airport that leads to her relationship with Rama, the god of death, and her own calling as a shine, who sees ghosts and guides souls to the afterlife. The book goes full circle, with Darcy entering the publishing world in the first chapter and gradually finding her way at the end, still months before the actual publication of her first book, and Lizzie returning to the Dallas airport to help the ghost of the only passenger who fought back finally move on into the underworld. Intriguingly enough, Darcy’s struggles in the land of publishing and her first love affair with a colleague, a female young adult author, is just as compelling as Lizzie’s struggle to survive in the wake of the attack and in her new role as an immortal who can travel back and forth between the land of the living and the dead. This unique novel is a thick book that reads like a thin book because of how fast readers will turn the pages to find out what happens next. Reviewer: Bonnie Kunzel; Ages 15 to 18.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
★ 07/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—Darcy Patel, just graduating from high school and accepted to the college of her choice, has a written a book that has been picked up by a major publisher. She decides that instead of going directly to college, she will move to New York City, live on her advance, and edit Afterworlds and write the sequel. She heads to the city with no friends, no place to live, and a sense of adventure and excitement. Lizzie, traveling home from a visit with her father, changes planes at the Dallas airport where terrorists attack and she is almost killed. During those moments when she hovers between life and death and plays dead so that she will not be shot, she travels to the afterworld where she meets Yamaraj, who guides her back to life. As a result of this near-death experience, she can now see ghosts and travel back and forth between the real world and the afterworld; she has become a "pschopomp." And yes, Lizzie and her story are actually Darcy's book. Westerfeld has once again written a story with characters so compelling and a plot so intriguing that despite the book's length, readers still want more. With the interweaving of Darcy's rewrite of Lizzie's story, the background of Hindu legend and death gods, and the allusions to the YA literary world, including mentions of the Printz award and BookExpo America, this is a book that can be enjoyed on multiple levels. The blend of realism and supernatural is especially strong. Recommend this book as a "what to read next" for teens who enjoyed Libba Bray's The Diviners (Little, Brown, 2012), Maureen Johnson's The Name of the Star (Putnam, 2011) and Karen Healey's Guardian of the Dead (Little, Brown, 2010). A riveting and unique read.—Janet Hilbun, University of North Texas
Kirkus Reviews
2014-06-10
Westerfeld offers two novels in one: the story of Lizzie Scofield, a teenager who escapes a terrorist attack by somehow crossing into the afterlife and develops a relationship with a “smoldering Vedic psychopomp,” and the story of 18-year-old Darcy Patel, who has just signed a contract to publish the novel Lizzie anchors.In alternating chapters, the two books unfold. The still-living Lizzie pursues a relationship with Yamaraj, who protects newly crossed spirits from otherworldly predators, even as she negotiates her new powers to cross over and interact with ghosts, especially the little lost soul who haunts her closet. Meanwhile, Darcy decides to forgo college for the glamor of a writer’s life in New York City, struggling to revise Afterworlds and draft Untitled Patel as she watches her $300,000 advance vanish into agent commissions, rent, and fancy, foodie ramen. She also enters the tightknit, often bitchy world of YA writers, where she meets and falls for Imogen. Westerfeld clearly has a good time here, but he resists broad satire, focusing on Darcy’s coming-of-age as a writer who’s got the “juice.” Likewise, Darcy’s novel isn’t half bad, displaying a control that’s missing from far too many paranormal debuts. Readers who pay attention will see how Darcy’s learning curve plays out and how she incorporates and transmutes her real-world experiences into her novel.Watching Darcy’s story play off Darcy’s novel will fascinate readers as well as writers. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442372467
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
09/23/2014
Edition description:
Unabridged
Pages:
12
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Afterworlds

CHAPTER 1


THE MOST IMPORTANT EMAIL THAT Darcy Patel ever wrote was three paragraphs long.

The first was about Darcy herself. It skipped the trifling details, her dyed blue-black hair and the slim gold ring in her left nostril, and began instead with a grim secret that her parents had never told her. When Darcy’s mother was eleven years old, her best friend was murdered by a stranger. This discovery, chanced upon during an idle web search, both shocked Darcy and made certain things about her mother clearer. It also inspired her to write.

The second paragraph of the email was about the novel Darcy had just finished. She didn’t mention, of course, that all sixty thousand words of Afterworlds had been written in thirty days. The Underbridge Literary Agency hardly needed to know that. Instead, this paragraph described a terrorist attack, a girl who wills herself to die, and the bewitching boy she meets in the afterworld. It promised skulking ghosts and the traumas that haunt families, and little sisters who are more clever than they appear. Using the present tense and short sentences, Darcy set the scene, thumbnailed the characters and their motivations, and teased the conclusion. This was the best of the three paragraphs, she was later told.

The third paragraph was pure flattery, because Darcy wanted very much for the Underbridge Literary Agency to say yes to her. She praised the breadth of their vision and paid tribute to their clients’ genius, even while daring to compare herself to those illustrious names. She explained how her novel was different from the other paranormals of the last few years (none of which had a smoldering Vedic psychopomp as its love interest).

This email was not a perfect query letter. But it did its job. Seventeen days after pressing Send, Darcy was signed to Underbridge, a flourishing and respected literary agency, and not long after that she had a two-book deal for an astonishing amount of money.

Only a handful of challenges remained—high school graduation, a perilous decision, and parental approval—before Darcy Patel would be packing her bags for New York City.

Meet the Author

Scott Westerfeld is the author of the Leviathan series, the first book of which was the winner of the 2010 Locus Award for Best Young Adult Fiction. His other novels include the New York Times bestseller Afterworlds, the worldwide bestselling Uglies series, The Last Days, Peeps, So Yesterday, and the Midnighters trilogy. Visit him at ScottWesterfeld.com or follow him on Twitter at @ScottWesterfeld.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Afterworlds 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
COBauer More than 1 year ago
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. HOLY WOW! The first two chapters of this book are amazing. Afterworlds is a legit page-turner. The dual storyline concept of a debut author completing their first novel (which you read alongside) could have gone horribly wrong, but Scott Westerfeld nailed it. I LOVED the juxtaposition of Darcy’s (the author) journey alongside Lizzie’s. It was incredibly clever to watch the editing process affect the outcome and style of the Afterworlds story throughout. I was also majorly impressed with Westerfeld’s ability to write the young female voice so honestly and without the cliched traps many older authors fall into. These were human beings living their lives. It didn’t matter what their gender, race, or sexuality was. Very nicely handled. I’m not sure if I enjoyed this book more because I’ve been working with authors for the past year… but I found the process thrilling to experience on the page. I feel like I was totally in the know about the life of a writer. Some really good *wink wink nudge nudge* Would be interested to know how fellow writers feel about this piece… One of my favorite reads of 2014. Thanks for the opportunity to read/review the ARC, Simon Pulse!
DeniRemi More than 1 year ago
Afterworlds is the most recent book from Scott Westerfeld, author of the popular Uglies trilogy. Darcy Patel was a normal high school senior until she decided to write a novel in thirty days. Now she has an agent and is signed with one of the top publishing companies for her novel Afterworlds and its to-be-written sequel. Darcy decides that this is her chance to live her dream life and, after some debate with her parents, postpones college to move to New York City and become a full time writer. Darcy's story follows her as she begins her life in New York City and navigates the world of writing and publishing. It is filled with lovely insights into how novels adapt from the first draft to the final as well as the struggles and fears that authors have. Darcy is faced with the challenge of having to find a new ending for Afterworlds when her editor decides it isn't happy enough, which causes Darcy to doubt if she's truly cut out for writing novels. Meanwhile, the deadline for her untitled sequal is mere months away and she hasn't even begun to think of what it might be about. But as Darcy works to discover the ending her book was meant to have, she also begins to question her life and decisions, which she explores with the help of her girlfriend and fellow author Imogene. This leads to conflict between the two when Imogene begins to have problems of her own with her novel Pyromancer. Darcy's story is alternated with that of the novel she is writing, Afterworlds. Afterworlds follows Lizzie after she nearly becomes a victim in a terrorist attack and finds that she has the power to cross over into the "afterworld", the space between life and death, making her a psychopomp. It is there that she meets and falls in love with Yamaraj, the lord of death. With his guidance and the assistance of a more sinister psychopomp, Lizzie learns to navigate the afterworld and use her powers to help ghosts cross over after death. She has a more sinister plan of her own, however, as she decides to use her new found powers to right wrongs in the real world that others cannot help her with. Although the novel is a chunky 600 pages, it flies by as you feel like you are reading two separate stories. By weaving chapters of Afterworlds with Darcy's life, Westerfeld allows you valuable insight into why each character acts the way they do and gives you a better understanding of their thoughts. While Darcy's chapters are very informative and fun, Lizzie's bring plenty of drama and excitement that creates a nice balance in the book. I had a few problems at first though, because I assumed you were reading the first draft of Afterworlds when you are actually reading Darcy's final book, a distinction that is not necessarily made; this made some references in Darcy's narration to scenes that had been cut or changed in Afterworlds somewhat confusing. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of young adult fiction, especially if you have an interest in how books are published. While some parts seemed a little too fantastical, you still learn a lot and have some great laughs reading tidbits from the various experiences of the authors in the books. It is also a very easy read, so there's no need to feel daunted by the page count.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A great writer takes on the difficult task of telling two stories at once. Its not like anything you've read before. You won't regreat it. Death princes, ramon noodles, and ghosts! Oh my!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book turns out to be not one, but two stories. Half of it is the coming of age story of a teen writer who just moved out on her own to New York City, and the other half is said teen writer's paranormal romance book. I enjoyed the coming of age plot line, not so much the paranormal romance.
BookGirlR81 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading Afterworlds.  What Westerfeld has done with this novel is awesome.  I loved reading about Lizzie’s life and her struggle to adapt to life as a published author and life as an adult, alternating chapters with her first novel.  When I first started reading I wasn’t sure I was going to like the alternating chapters, but as I got further into the story I began to enjoy it more and more as I followed Lizzie’s struggle with copyedits and then read the sections of her novel with which she had been having such issues.  I enjoyed the meta aspect of reading a novel that contains a character writing a novel and the novel as it’s being written.  I recommend Afterworlds for fans of YA and fans of paranormal genre fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read it in a day. The tagline makes it sound (at least to me) like Lizzie and Darcy have an interaction beyond that of a fictional character and her author. They don't. It's Darcy's life as a new author in a new city and her decisions on the book, alternating with chapters of said book. Both stories had me hooked right away.
Nova_Blogder More than 1 year ago
This book was horribly disappointing. I've read Westerfeld's other works and they aren't the best (I'll be honest, I don't get the hype) but they aren't terrible either. I'm very impartial to his writing. However, I can't deny that I hated this book! It's actually a DNF in some ways because I gave up seriously reading after 450 pages. After that, it was just some skimming and figuring out where the story was going. I was bored. This is my main problem. I thought this book would be an inception kind of thing where it would be very interesting. It wasn't. Half the book was about Darcy's life as an author and the other half was about Darcy's story, Afterworlds. I hated Afterworlds by Darcy Patel and was somewhat bored with Darcy's life. Darcy's life was interesting because she was on her way to becoming a debut author, but it wasn't what I signed up for. I wanted a mix of realism with supernatural. However, all I actually got was a terrible supernatural story and dry writings about Darcy's life. In addition, this book was too long. TOO LONG! I don't really need 600 pages worth of this. So much could've been cut down and that would've kept my interest for a bit longer. My main problem with Lizzy's story (Afterworlds by Darcy) is how bad the pacing is. I liked how the beginning started with a bang and it totally cut to the chase. I was intrigued for a bit and then it went downhill from there. There was instalove and so much of it. They kissed at page 31. I read that and knew, I just knew it wasn't going to be good from there. And instead of building towards a climax, this book fell flat. I was so bored and nothing exciting happened. When something did happen, it was emotionless and bland because there was no rising action. It felt very erratic and honestly? Weird. And Darcy's story? It wasn't bad. It wasn't really good (not what I wanted) but it wasn't nearly as bad as Lizzie's. However, I found it so hilarious that Darcy got so much praise about how good her book was because I thought it was horrible. So I got a really good laugh out of that. I'm going to stop talking now because I've made my points. This book didn't agree with me at all. I was bored out of my mind and the only reason I was still reading was because I wanted it to magically get good in the end. Sadly, that didn't happen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was amazing, one of his best. A MUST READ FOR ALL FANS.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope that Scott comes out with a second for this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Search hearthstone and click on the first result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unlike anything I've ever read - I was hooked by page one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Darcy Patel has put everything on hold to be a writer. A real, published writer. She moves to New York City with a contract to publish her novel "Afterworlds" and its as yet unwritten and untitled sequel, part of her advance, and the dazzling title of soon-to-be debut author. Darcy does not have plans for college. She does not have an apartment. She does not have any idea what happens next. But somehow, in the world of writers--both seasoned and new--Darcy finds her people. Over the course of one tumultuous year in the city Darcy will learn about writing, publishing and even love. More than anything, she'll learn if she has what it takes to really do this thing that she loves so much. Interspersed with Darcy's story is the story that brought her to New York in the first place: Afterworlds. After surviving an unthinkable attack, Lizzie realizes she has the ability to slip into the afterworld--somewhere that exists between life and death. With her new ability, Lizzie discovers that ghosts are everywhere as are other, darker things. Everyone seems to want something from Lizzie but even her new gifts might not be enough to keep those she loves safe. Darcy and Lizzie's worlds blend together in this story about facing your fears and finding yourself in Afterworlds (2014) by Scott Westerfeld. The first thing to know about Afterworlds is that it reads like two books. Odd numbered chapters focus on Darcy's "real world" story of moving to New York and revising Afterworlds. Even numbered chapters detail the "story within the story" of Lizzie and her journey into the afterworld. While this book clocks in at over 600 pages (hardcover) really it's two stories--two books even--in one both told to excellent effect. In addition this book features a truly diverse cast in a casual/accepted way. While it's important to the story, the diversity never becomes the story. The premise sounds too lofty. It sounds highly un-writerly. A novel about writing a novel? With the full text of that self-same novel? Surely it can't work. Yet Westerfeld pulls it off beautifully. Although the story is highly self-aware (and often very meta), every detail works here. Darcy's new experiences feed into her revisions of Afterworlds. Her growth as a young woman and author mirrors Lizzie's growth. Both girls, in their respective arcs, accomplish great things. While not for everyone, Afterworlds is astonishingly successful on every level. Sure to have high appeal for all aspiring authors or sci-fi/fantasy fans. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley, The Lost by Sarah Beth Durst, The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, The Strange Maid by Tessa Gratton, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, The Archived by Victoria Schwab, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak *This book was acquired for review from the publisher at BEA14*
WulfLuva More than 1 year ago
Teenage authors, terrorist attacks, and reimagined Indian religions? Sounds like the start of a bad joke. But in the case of Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds, the joke wasn’t actually too bad. Of course it wasn’t amazing either. We start off with Darcy, a recently graduated from high school, almost published author who wants to move to the Big Apple. Her experience is cute, and contemporary, and oh-so-sweet. THEN, we move on to Lizzie. Lizzie’s just survived a terrorist attack at an airport by channeling her inner dog—in other words, she played dead. And now, Lizzie can see dead people. Of course, her entire life is being manipulated by the previously mentioned almost published author. Aww snap! The dual point of view was unique and fun. It was weird, in a good way, to go from a realistic story of a teenage girl in NYC, to a teenage girl running around with ghosts on her heels. Sadly, Darcy’s story is much more believable, and that’s not just because Lizzie lives with ghosts and Indian spirits running amok. Instead it’s because Darcy has such real emotions. She’s curious and fretful and reminiscent of every teenager who is out on their own for the first time. Whereas the “afterworld” and its protagonist, and even antagonists, left a lot of character and relationship development to be desired. And I just want to say that I'm in love with the idea of Yamaraj's character, not so much how he was actually written. Plus, for a book that sold for $150,000 to a publishing house,—like Darcy’s book Afterworlds (Not the book I’m writing a review on, but the book Darcy actually wrote that’s narrated by Lizzie. I know, the similar titles are confusing aren’t they?)— it better be a danged good book. The pretend Afterworlds just wasn’t $150,000-level good. Incidentally, Scott Westerfeld did a marvelous job of showing how unglamorous the publishing industry can sometimes be. I also heard he based a lot of his characters off of his famous author friends. *cough* John Green *cough* The big book Afterworlds (a.k.a. not the one written by Darcy) is a fantastic learning experience when it comes to the writing world. However, I failed to see the oh-my-gosh-I-love-Westerfeld’s-writing appeal. It was good, not squeal-worthy. 3/5 stars *Note: I received a copy of this book to review from Book Review Board of Missouri. This in no way altered my opinion/review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
hpfan28 More than 1 year ago
This book have officially become one of my new favorites! I loved how it was told in alternating chapters and that we get to learn how the publishers and editors really do influence the authors and their writing. For being a six hundred page book, it was a fast and enjoy able read. The main characters in both stories where very relate able and really brought the story together. I enjoyed taking a look into Darcy's (the author character) world and her story. This could also be considered a coming of age novel. When Darcy leaves her hometown and goes against her parents wishes to move to New York. Overall this was a great book, and I hope there will be a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
mollymortensen More than 1 year ago
Two books in one, one contemporary about a writer, one fantasy about a grim reaper I really liked Uglies, so when I heard the premise to his new novel I knew I had to read it. I’m not really much of a contemporary girl though, so I only really enjoyed Lizzie’s story. I was tempted (but I behaved myself) to skip over Darcy. This was a really hard book to review. It was good, but it could’ve been so much better and it was a bit on the long side at 600 pages. (Not that 600 pages is long, but it sure felt long.) Since this is essentially two books in one I think I’ll have to review them separately. Darcy’s Story (the writer) The Good: Talk about side characters with personality! I loved that the little sister was the mature one, just like me and my sister! (I’m of course the older immature one.) Darcy’s relationships all felt real, not only with her sister and her writer friends, but also her love. It wasn’t perfect, but it felt realistic as she learned for the first time what it’s like to be in a relationship. As an aspiring writer I also enjoyed seeing how Darcy went through the publishing process, though the plot was a bit slow for me. The Bad: I felt like I wanted to put my fingers in my ears so I wouldn’t hear spoilers for Lizzie’s story! Also hearing about the writing threw me out of Lizzie’s story at times, making me realize that I’m reading. (I hate that) For instance there’s this scene when everything’s really creepy and scary and suddenly the word bungalow is used and I remember where Darcy heard that word and it totally jarred me out of the story. Lizzie’s Story (The grim reaper or psychopomp) The Good: It was clever to do the book in the book in first person, that way it felt more real. Such a great first chapter! There was enough character for me to care, then it went right into the action. I also loved the way the author described the panic of the scene. I had high expectations after this chapter, unfortunately this is the best chapter of the book. Not only is the concept interesting, but the world of the Afterworld is awesome. I loved how they used the river to travel and it came out looking like ink. All of the little things were well done, from their powers, being invisible and walking through walls, to the bad guys, and even the way ghosts were held here by memories. I wish it was clear whether ghosts are people (like I think they are) or if they are just memories themselves. Darcy even talked about this so obviously the author knew about this problem. That’s one of the weird things about this book, in Darcy’s story we hear about all of the good and the bad in the writing of Lizzie’s story. The Bad: Though I like the idea of Lizzie’s love I didn’t feel it. It felt like love at first sight since they don’t know each other very well. Yamaraj is all mysterious, which is okay, but other than him being very handsome and nice, she doesn’t really get to know him. (If she does it’s off screen so to speak) There was one part towards the end that I really didn’t like, it was brutal and dark. I know this is a book about death, but I didn’t like the way it was handled. (Sorry for being so vague, I don’t want to spoil anything, but I felt like I should mention this.) Overall Darcy’s story has what Lizzie’s lacks, the characters and relationships, but it doesn’t have the cool plot, world, or powers that are found in Lizzie’s story. I think this could’ve been a great book if only the author had tried to write one book and not two. I recommend only reading Lizzie’s story or reading it first to avoid spoilers and the whole realizing you’re reading thing. Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, (Darcy) Fantasy (Lizzie) Point of View: Third (Darcy) First (Lizzie) Predictability: 3 out of 5 (Where 1 is George RR Martin (If the characters make a plan or think about the future I know it isn’t going to go that way.) And 5 is Cinder (where I guessed what was going to happen long before it did, but it was still a great book.) My Rating: 6/10 Stars Notes: Contains a lesbian couple, (girls kiss) and underage drinking
majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
I was initially very intrigued by Westerfeld's book. There was so much hype around it and i have to admit I, in turn, started lusting after it. When I got an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada, I was over the moon. It is intimidating, at 600 pages, but I started it. I loved the concept of the main protagonist being a soon to be debut author publishing a novel that we also get to read. The first chapter opens with the main protagonist, Darcy, dissecting the query letter she wrote and sent that got her the two book deal. The second chapter though, that chapter is one of the best beginnings in a novel I've ever read. It is technically the first chapter in Darcy's novel. It hooked me. I was addicted and I wanted more. I had so much expectations for Darcy's novel but I have to admit, it went downhill from the first chapter. I am not a huge fan of paranormal novels, so it takes a lot for me to praise one. Unfortunately, Lizzie's story (Darcy's protagonist), did not impress. It was a very cliche paranormal novel and by halfway I was just not interested and only read to go back to Darcy's world (it is told in alternating chapters). Darcy, however, was very interesting. Being a blogger and more involved in the whole publishing process, it was so exciting seeing Darcy going through it. I am not an aspiring writer but I feel people who are would get sucked into Darcy's world even more than I did. I have to admit though that Darcy as a character frustrated me. Her sister, Nisha, calculated a budget for her to stay within based on the advance she received from the publishing company, however from the get go, as soon as Darcy moved to New York, she completely ignored the budget. I was wincing every time she overspent, bought a plane ticket, or forgot something important. Girl don't be so careless and irresponsible! I am more of a Nisha so that's why that really frustrated me. One thing I wished for is if Westerfeld made Darcy write a mystery thriller instead of a paranormal one. There is a bit of a mystery in the paranormal and I can honestly say that was the only thing that kept me going. A thriller would have suited that book SO WELL. I even mentioned it to the person I was buddy reading Afterworlds with and she completely agreed. It would have definitely alleviated the book in my eyes. Afterworlds wasn't bad, it had its good and bad moments. I feel the infusion of the publishing process will definitely capture the eyes of many readers. 
CB_Devils More than 1 year ago
I read this book this summer, around July 4th or so. It was really good. I read the book in around one to two days. In my copy of the book there was a few grammar mistakes buts that what you get with the advance readers copy. I think if you liked this book you would enjoy "Trail by Fire" by  Josephine Angelini. It also came out recently.
LittlePiecesofImagination More than 1 year ago
I once started Uglies in my native language, but since I’m not really into translated fiction, I put it down, returned the copy to my local library and never once gave it a second glance. Not going to change that, but I’ll definitely check out Westerfeld’s newest releases in the upcoming years and here are the reasons why. The real world worked differently than stories. In a novel you always knew the moment when something Happened, when someone Changed. But real life was full of gradual, piecemeal, continuous transformations. It was full of accidents and undefinables, and things that just happened on their own.  I didn’t know much about Afterworlds, but had seen a ton of arcs on photos from BEA. I didn’t even expect to get approved for this, to be honest, but so very glad I did. (Thank you, Simon Pulse!) If you’d like to know the unspoilery version of what goes down in this book then all you need to know is that Afterworlds is a diverse YA book that tells the story in alternating POVs of two completely different, yet very similar women, and their growth into people they didn't necessarily expect to become.  Darcy is a high school graduate who moves away from home to pursue her career in writing and her story is quite inspirational. She goes through great character growth and I think that while some people may think her story is a tad more boring than Elizabeth’s, the main character in Darcy’s novel Afterworlds, I think that aspiring writers could definitely benefit from Darcy’s story. Her doubts, right and wrong decisions, growth and lessons learned? I’m not an aspiring writer myself, but if I were, I bet my worries would be something very similar to Darcy’s.  As for Lizzie’s story, since I wasn’t aware what this novel was actually about, I was really shocked about what went down in the opening chapters in Lizzie’s POV, but was immediately hooked! Westerfeld creates a haunting and horrifying atmosphere for Lizzie’s story, but the more her story unravels, the more it lost its edge in my opinion. Most of the time Lizzie was an awesome narrator to follow and root for, but as the end of her story nears, she starts making emotional decisions which you’ll definitely want to yell “No! Don’t do it. Come on, Lizzie! Could you please think with your head right now?” at. You understand her need to do something about the whole situation and help the people she cares about. That doesn’t make you any less frustrated with her in the final parts of the book though.  There’s a romantic plot in both stories and while I enjoyed them, I felt as though there was too much emphasis on both of those romances. No love triangles in either stories. The ending of Darcy’s novel leaves you wanting more and I definitely wondered what happens next for Lizzie and her friends. The world building for Lizzie’s novel, while interesting, felt a tad lackluster. I wanted even more of this unique take on ghosts, reapers and Indian mythology. Too bad it’s a standalone and we don’t get any development on that part. There is a companion novel in the making though and you can read about it here. As a whole, I loved the idea of this book, what it represented and I mostly enjoyed all the characters and their individual journeys. I wish the romances were a little more on the background, but they were still enjoyable. Same goes for world-building, only in this case, I wish there would have been a little more of it in Lizzie’s paranormal world. Even though I guessed most of the plot twists, I was still surprised by some and overall it made an enjoyable guessing game. I definitely recommend this if you want to read more diverse books and especially if you’re an aspiring writer.  Overall rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 *An arc was provided in exchange for an honest review.
ABookVacation More than 1 year ago
While I generally love Scott Westerfeld’s novels, this one fell just a bit flat for me. The novel itself is extremely long, and after the first 200 pages, I found that both storylines began to drag a bit, which is unfortunate since the novel started out with much intrigue. Unfortunately, I ended up not caring much for either protagonists, and I think a lot of my enjoyment of the story diminished as I got to know them more and more. Darcy is somewhat of a boring person. Unsure of herself within the world of authors, she stumbles along and overspends on her writing advance time and time again, wrapped in the throes of what, to me, seemed like an instant lesbian relationship meant to shock readers more than drive the plot. The relationship seems to fabricate out of thin air, and while Darcy definitely learns the ropes of authorhood from girlfriend Imogen, this portion of the story felt forced to me. And while I do enjoy novels that portray the world of authors, Afterworlds is the third novel I’ve read over the past month that deals with this topic, and by this time, it sort of felt old hat. Having read and loved both The Write Stuff by Tiffany King and Neurotica by Eliza Gordon prior to Afterworlds, I found that Darcy’s story just didn’t bring anything new to the table for me, aside from a protagonist who’s story was juxtaposed with her novel--awesome in theory, less so in execution. As Afterworlds tells two different stories, one of the real world in which Darcy resides, and one of the paranormal world in which Lizzie, the protagonist of Darcy’s debut novel, resides, I actually found myself more drawn to Lizzie’s story. Westerfeld alternates between the two, and I found myself, in the beginning, really wanting more and more of Lizzie’s story, but again, as the novel progressed, I found myself liking Lizzie less and less, and as it turns out, we don’t get the full story of Lizzie and her newfound powers—instead, it’s more of a shell. And I soon found myself losing interest in Lizzie and her world as well. Honestly, I feel as if the novel could be divided up into two shorter novels as the worlds don’t really intersect in the book, aside from the fact that Darcy is the author of Lizzie’s story, and that the publisher wants massive rewrites to the story. I really would love a fully developed novel surrounding Lizzie and her world, but I doubt we’re actually going to get it.