Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon Pulse, 608 pages
Expected Publication Date: September 23, 2014
*ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss
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.
Although I loved Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series and I appreciated the story within a story, Afterworlds just didn't work for me. I enjoyed parts of the Darcy story--learning about the world of YA publishing, the conversations about writing, whether the book should have a happy ending, etc.--but at the same time, I didn't like Darcy. At all. I honestly didn't care what happened to her and part of me wanted her to fail.
And even though the paranormal story hooked me with that first chapter, it lost me after that. Given the alternating chapters, I was pulled out of the story over and over again and, consequently, I never connected with the characters. And even worse, I had to read about Darcy trying to decide what to do with the characters and the plot. Even though I know I'm reading fiction, I love reading because I become immersed and lost in the story. However, the characters and the format of this book made it impossible for that to happen. Not to mention the insta-love, the lack of character development for Yama, and the lack of world-building. So many questions weren't answered, but I wonder if that was intentional. A debut teenage author. Was her novel supposed to be good? It just wasn't, but perhaps that was the point?
Posted by: Pam