Author: Scott Westerfeld
Year Published: 2014
Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20759444-afterworlds
“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.”
I have to start off by saying how pleasantly surprised I was by this book. I had previously read Uglies by Scott Westerfeld and I really disliked it, to the point where I couldn’t even finish it. But I had bought this one as it was about writing and being a writer. And I loved it.
I think it’s such a clever book. Not only do we get to see Darcy’s new life as a newfound published writer but we also get to see the book she had written. I really liked that Scott Westerfeld did this because I don’t think it would have worked quite so well if they were two physically separate books. Darcy references plot points and scenes from her novel in her daily life and it’s like when you follow an author on Twitter and see they’ve referenced a thing they like in their work. It’s like “OH MY GOD I GET THAT I GET IT!!!!”
I will say though, I gave this four stars because Darcy’s actual novel (which is titled Afterworlds) didn’t captivate me as much as I was captivated while reading about her life. Darcy’s novel Afterworlds is very much your typical YA that would have floored me when I was 14. I gravitated towards her life as a writer as I am an aspiring writer one day waiting to be published. And she’s the same age as me so ya never knoooow…. (I say with only 1,000/70,000 words written)
The cast of characters throughout the novel were so wonderful to read about. This is what makes Westerfeld the perfect author to write this kind of story. With his first novel published in 1997 and still continuing to be writing and publishing today, he has a ton of experience in the industry and has probably seen a lot change! There’s a couple of scenes with Darcy talking to writers who were sharing anecdotes from their publishing experience that were likely to be based off the people Westerfeld knows.
And there’s also a cute love story with one of the writers. I’LL SAY NO MORE. I didn’t see it coming and neither should you because it was freaking adorable.
If you are into the publishing industry I think this is definitely the book for you. It’s a chunker at 600 pages long but, in my opinion, it is 600 pages of pure bliss.