Sunday, 21 September 2014

Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

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.

Hardcover, 608 pages
Expected publication: September 23rd 2014 by Simon Pulse 
Genre: Young Adult/ Paranormal

Kristine's Thoughts:

I received an advanced readers copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

This book tells two stories. First is Darcy's story as she begins the process of getting her book published and second is the the actual book that she wrote. I thought that this was a neat concept and was excited to get lost in the stories. Unfortunately I was a little underwhelmed with the whole thing and here are some of the reasons why...

Darcy got on my nerves a little bit. Who am I kidding, she got on my nerves a lot! She was whiny, naive and very immature. She continuously said that she felt like an impostor to the point that I began feeling like she was. At first, I found the story of her book getting published extremely interesting but the character herself ruined it for me. The book repeats over and over how she wrote the book in the month of November. Why not just say that she wrote it for NaNoWriMo? That way readers who don't know what it is could look it up and understand the significance of the month of November. I understand the self doubt, hard work and worry that Darcy must have been feeling but she took it to extreme. At no time did the character realise or appreciate how lucky she was to be in her position. Even her love interest continuously told her how lucky she was. Hundreds of thousands of people would love to be in her shoes and it almost felt like a slap in the face to those people. Thank goodness Darcy was fictional because she wasn't very likeable.

Lizzie's story (Darcy's character in her book) started out strong. This was a very good thing because in Darcy's story it was stated numerous times about how good her first chapter was. I was excited to see where the story would go. Unfortunately the rest of the story did not live up to the first chapter and fell a little flat. The love interest aspect of the story was even more flat. I couldn't feel any kind of connection and was indifferent to the whole thing. The whole "shiny" thing was a little too Twilightish. I was however very curious as to how the story would end because in Darcy's story there was an issue with the ending and the publisher wanted it changed. A large part of her story was in her struggle to come up with an ending that she could live with and that the publishers would love. Boy was I disappointed. It was so anti-climatic that there was no desire on my part to read an "Untitled Patel" sequel.

I didn't hate the book but I didn't love it either. It was just a little boring for my taste. I guess with all the hype that was surrounding it, I was expecting a little bit more. I'm thinking that the really young fans of this genre may like it a little more than I did.


About the Author
Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in the Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. In 2001, Westerfeld married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best know for the Uglies and Leviathan series, and his next book, Afterworlds, comes out September 23, 2014.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier's Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association. 

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  1. I was a little confused about whether I should read it or not. Now, I guess I'll pass on this one. Thanks for the review! :)

    Book Maniac Reviews

    1. If you do decide to read it, let me know what you think. The reviews are all over the map on this one.