Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings…
Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.
Afterworlds was probably one of my most anticipated reads for the year. I have read (and loved) Westerfeld’s Leviathon trilogy and his Uglies series was probably one of the first YA series I’ve ever read. So when I found out that Scott Westerfeld had a new book coming out and it’s about a teenage writer, I was beyond excited.
Afterworlds is a dual point-of-view novel that revolves around Darcy. She’s written her first novel during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) and she recently got a book deal for it and she decides to move to New York, to pursue her writing dream. The book revolves around Darcy’s journey and her book. As the tagline says: “Darcy writes the words. Lizzie lives them.”
Personally, I loved Darcy’s parts better. That’s mostly because I’m a huge contemporary fan and I’ve never read a book, contemporary or not, that deals with the same issues that Darcy has. Besides the whole ‘becoming a writer’ thing, Darcy also has to deal with discovering who she is and learning how to prove herself to the world. Her own personal journey was just amazing to read and I loved it. While I preferred Darcy’s parts, Lizzie’s world was very interesting. It was awesome seeing Darcy explain how something happens in her novel and then for the next chapter to demonstrate that through Lizzie. I loved how the point-of-views related and mixed and it was just fabulous!
The world-building in Afterworlds was just phenomenal, in both Darcy’s and Lizzie’s parts. I loved seeing how Darcy fit in modern New York and her publishing journey and gahh her at BEA was just AMAZING but I also loved Lizzie’s world and all the cool paranormal stuff.
The only thing lacking for me in Afterworlds was the romance and some of the plot. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the plot but it sometimes felt dragged on (or maybe that’s because I wanted to read Darcy’s parts so badly?). I also didn’t really enjoy both romances because they felt kinda unexpected and very instalovey. Lizzie’s romance especially because the love interest was just this hot dude who helped her out and now they’re suddenly in love? (BTW that is not a spoiler because it happens like 50 pgs in/Darcy always talks about it). I mean it’s a common YA trope but I figured that for Darcy to get published, the romance would have to be a little less predictable. Or maybe it makes sense because it’s so predictable and that sells? Ok I’m just psyching myself out but in general- the romance and I did not get a long.
Overall, Afterworlds is a unique novel that I haven’t seen the likes of well, ever. I enjoyed it immensely and recommend it for both contemporary and paranormal lovers!