Author: Scott Westerfeld
Published by: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 29th September 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Paranormal, Romance
Told in alternating chapters are the life of Darcy Patel, recent high school graduate and novice New Yorker, and her soon to be published novel, Afterworlds.
Darcy goes from living at home and pretending to have deferred college instead of admitting she missed the deadline, to living in New York, going to bars with her favorite authors and meeting a fellow soon-to-be published author who changes her life. Darcy’s story is one of navigating the publishing world in bustling New York City, her first true love, and self discovery on more than a few levels.
Darcy is incredibly protective of her book, Afterworlds, and constantly worried about getting something wrong or offending someone. The fact that her male lead is based off of a Hindu God makes her wonder if she’s appropriating her own culture and she finds herself accidentally stealing scenes for her book from other authors, especially from her new love interest who has a mysterious backstory.
Afterworlds follows the life of a girl who is the only survivor of a terrorist attack and somehow finds herself on the other side of the veil that separates the living from the dead. She quickly learns that there is more at stake than she knows and with the help of a swoon worthy psychopomp (like herself), she tries to right some wrongs in her world.
I found Afterworlds to be a very good book. I don’t normally go for paranormal but I was a fan of the Uglies series by Westerfeld and I’ve been desperately looking for YA books with main characters that are out of high school.
I loved being inside Darcy’s head and feeling all of her anxieties of living on her own for the first time in a new city, trying to stay on a budget, going through the process of being published, going on book tours with a famous author, and finding love somewhere she didn’t expect it. I also really liked her novel, which had a wonderfully built world and characters that obviously meant something to Darcy for potentially false reasons.
Afterworlds is a great book within a book and I can honestly say I enjoyed reading about both Darcy’s life and the novel she created. It was really cool to get to read Darcy’s thoughts on her own novel and how stressful writing so many different endings was, especially when she disliked them all.
Despite seeming a bit dark at first, it ends happily. Plus, it’ll keep you on your toes and I encourage everyone to read it.