Rating: 5 Stars
Published: September 2014
Genre: Young Adult
“Just remember, the things we write, they aren’t always really us.”
“To know a family is to eat its feasts…”
Darcy Patel is a writer who hopes to score her writer ID someday soon. She deferred college once she got her first book deal after writing a novel during NANOWRIMO. She packed her bags and moved to NYC for a fresh start and a chance to rewrite/edit her novel and start book 2. Her life in NYC becomes a whirlwind of finding herself and writing all the while having doubts and living in awe of the writers she meets. Her novel, called Afterworlds, is about a girl named Lizzie who is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack. Lizzie slips in the afterworld and is saved by the god of death, Yamaraj. Lizzie learns that she has power. She is a psychopomp and can travel freely between the afterworld and the world of the living. Lizzie becomes addicted to traveling between the worlds. She also can’t stop thinking of Yama and what the feel of his touch does to her skin.
Told in alternating chapters of Darcy and Lizzie, Afterworlds is like nothing I’ve read before. Part realistic coming of age novel and part paranormal romance, Afterworlds will leave you wanting more.
I got addicted.
Darcy’s fears are my fears. I want to be a writer. I want to be legitimate. Scott Westerfeld wrote Darcy and Lizzie so well. I was captivated.
I admit, I also had a tiny fan girl moment when Scott named his two characters Lizzie and Darcy. My inner Jane Austen did a happy dance. My inner Lizzie did a happy dance, too. Another strong female character with the same name as me, SCORE!
This novel was so hard to put down. It gave me a writing boner. I wanted to open up my story in Word and get writing right away. It makes you ache to create something as powerful and enchanting. It was so hard leaving their world when I had to put the book down. At over 600 pages, the book seemed daunting but I was determined.
The characters and worlds are fleshed out so nicely. It’s so fascinating to have Darcy have a storyline that compliments what Lizzie’s world is like. Darcy uses what she finds out about her own mother to spark the idea for a novel. Reading about what makes an idea flourish, even fictionally, is meeting their creativity. It’s seeing the cause and effect. Now I want to know how Scott came up with the idea for both girls. What sparked that?
What’s crazy, too, is that he even has another fictional writer’s opening pages for that novel in the book. Darcy’s circle of writer friends all have their own fictional ideas of books. It makes you wonder if these were Scott’s discarded ideas for novels. That’s what I would do.
I have been a fan of Scott Westerfeld’s for years. I loved the Uglies series in high school. I love his writing. He always puts a unique spin on his stories. The only thing I haven’t read yet by him is Leviathan. But it’s on my list!
I am so excited to recommend this book to my friends.