Author: Scott Westerfeld
Format: Hardcover borrowed from library
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Summary (from Goodreads): 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.
So much drew me to this book. First, I liked the idea of two books in one. Second, it seemed Darcy would be living my dream come true: move to NYC to be a writer. Third, once again, friends of mine had a lot of positive things to say about it. I saw it on the NEW ARRIVAL display at my public library and knew I had to grab it. Overall, I really enjoyed both stories in the book.
I really like the novel Afterworlds that Darcy is writing in the book. Lizzie’s story was a page turner. Sometimes, I found myself hoping to rush through the chapter about Darcy so I could see what happened next in Lizzie’s world. The beginning of that novel in the airport was so suspenseful that it set the stage well for an amazing story. There were twists and turns I did not see coming. The ending was awesome as well, something Darcy struggles with throughout the writing of the book.
That is not to say I didn’t enjoy reading about Darcy as well. It was fascinating to learn about the publishing industry and what it is like. There is a lot I never knew. I also appreciated reading about the struggles Darcy had as a writer and how she worked through them. There were times I wanted to felt frustrated Darcy for how she was acting, but I know her age had a lot to do with that. I think she was a realistic eighteen-year-old to read. I think Darcy grows and matures realistically throughout her story as well and it was great to read that transformation.
One tiny thing bothered me. I am not one to be against behaviors in books like underage drinking. However, the fact that Darcy, at 18, had no issue ordering a beer anywhere she went in New York without once being asked to show an ID kind of irked me. I found that unbelievable. Or it may be sign that I am getting old. :) But I digress.
If you like a supernatural story as well as a realistic one, Afterworlds is a book for you. Do not be intimidating by its size; it can be a surprisingly quick read.