Thursday, 25 September 2014

ARC Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Author: Scott Westerfeld
Pages: 599 pages
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: September 23, 2014
Received From: Simon Schuster Canada

Synopsis (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.


Afterworlds was an amazing book from start to finish! It was the perfect balance between contemporary and paranormal fiction that crossed between two different realities while maintaining the morals of a story between two different narrators.

I personally love Scott Westerfeld, mostly because he and Lois Lowry are the reason why I started reading YA in the first place.

The story is about two different girls in two different worlds: Darcy Patel, an eighteen year old writer who decides to hold off university for a writing career in New York; and Lizzie, the protagonist in Darcy's novel, Afterworlds.

Reading this story was interesting right from the beginning. You get to see reality from Darcy's eyes, and the life of a fictional character from Lizzie's eyes. It took me awhile to make my brain understand that I was NOT reading two different stories, no matter how different each reality was for the narrators. 

Scott Westerfeld created a story that revolves around contemporary hardships and extraordinary events in both characters lives: Darcy, learning the ins and outs of the publishing industry, becoming her own person, while realizing that she is a published author, just not printed yet; and Lizzie, a girl from a broken family who becomes a famous sole survivor, and develops a gift that can either save her or break her. Both narrators have different situations, but have similar problems: figuring out their own selves, while trying to figure out the crazy world around them. 

Although I found some parts of the book lagging (especially when Darcy goes all "author mode" on us, however it was interesting to see the author world through a book written by a well known author... Makes me wonder how accurate it REALLY is now), but also loved some of the little hints on opinion the author has on the publishing industry and diversity in books (I applaude you Mr. Westerfeld, you rock!).

Afterworlds may seem a little daunting in size (not unless you're seemed fitting to make a Divergent joke here), but the book is a masterpiece, and an exceptional read!


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