Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Supernatural
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 23, 2012
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
The story follows Darcy Patel, an eighteen year old high school graduate who just signed a three hundred thousand dollar book deal for Afterworlds and an untitled sequel. She wrote Afterworlds in the month of November, two thousand words a day. Now, most bloggers and writers know what that means. Though NaNoWriMo wasn't specifically mentioned in the novel it isn't hard to put two and two together. She moves too New York, leases a beautiful apartment and meets many famous YA authors. Eventually there is a bit of romance involved with one of the authors, Imogen Gray.
Though I wasn't a huge fan of how fast Darcy dove into a relationship with Imogen I wasn't unhappy about it. I liked that Westerfeld used a female love interested rather than a male. I find that it isn't used much in YA writing.
One thing I didn't like was at times the character would be really mature, and other times really naive or immature. Like there was no in between, they didn't sound eighteen or twenty five. Though some of the dialogue was entertaining and bought up good points.
Of course though, Darcy's experiences and Afterworlds was written by Westerfeld, she isn't a real person, but a fictional character. I don't think enough reviews mentioned that. We all referred (I will admit it, I have too) to Darcy as a real person.
The story is told in alternate chapters, so another story is told. Afterworlds is about seventeen year old Lizzie who is planning to fly home to Dan Diego when terrorist attack the airport in which she is departing from. In the mist of the attack she is told to "play dead" and accidentally slips into the Afterworld where she meets Yamaraj, who is a guide of the dead. When she returns home from the hospital, after the attack she learns that her house in inhabited by the ghost of eleven year old Mindy, her mother's best friend as a child, who was abducted while on a trip, murdered, then buried in her own backyard. Lizzie takes is upon herself to seek revenge for the young girl.
I liked Afterworlds, I can't say I loved it though. There were a lot of things I was confused about. One being Lizzie after the attack. She was a bit shaken up, but most people after something at traumatic as that would be a bit jumpy at things. I just felt like she didn't have much of a reaction.
Lizzie acted extremely stupid sometimes, she would jump into situations with out thinking it through. Then when she tells her mother that she just needs space, her mother just goes a long with it like "Hey my daughter isn't traveling to the underworld and trying to solve a murder." Or how her mother lets her off extremely easy about taking a break before going to college. My parents would skin me alive.It just annoyed me.
I liked the idea though, the whole Afterworld, the river, and the idea that ghosts are memories that would fade overtime. It was interesting and kept my attention. I mean, I did finish a six hundred page book in under twenty four hours.
My biggest questions though: What is the title of Untitled Patel going to be called? What is it going to be about? That isn't answered when the story switches back to Darcy, so it leaves me questioning, is Westerfeld going to writing a sequel to Afterworlds?