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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Publication Date: September 23, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
A Young Adult Novel
Pages: 608
Genre: Supernatural, Romance

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
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.
*An Advanced Readers Copy was provided by the publisher for an honest review*

Have you ever wonder what happens after you die?  Darcy did.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is unlike anything I have ever read, not because it portrays a homosexual relationship between two human beings, not because it show a life after death that has never been seen before, but because it a shows the relationship between a writer and their story in the most amazing way.
Since Westerfeld wrote the story, the writing is out of this world but that isn’t why you should pick up this book; Afterworlds is split between two story lines, the first is the actual book of Afterworlds, when a teenage girl named Lizzie discovers she can travel to the “flipside” and explore all the mysteries it holds.  The second story is of Darcy, the writer of Afterworlds who struggles with suddenly stepping into the world of writing.  Separately the story-lines are okay, nothing really remarkable, but together, a reader gets to enjoy the duality between the way that Darcy’s life is reflected in Lizzie’s storyline and how Afterworlds has affected Darcy.  However, I cannot talk about the beauty of Afterworlds without bringing up the one thing that I think Westerfeld did right; a non-heterosexual love interest that was completely reduced to her sexuality.  The love is very natural and the reader can understand the intimacy and romance between the two characters without any vulgarity or stereotypes. I do not want to spoil a single moment of this for any readers, so I’m not going to expand into much more, but if you are tired of heteronormative romances, you need to read this.

My only problems with Afterworlds are more personal opinions on Westerfeld’s writing style, especially pacing which at points was too slow and resulted in the lost of interest of a particular storyline.   As beautifully as the two story-lines play off each other, sometimes the contrast in pacing was incredibly annoying.   Also, as much as I love the uniqueness of the story, if one were to separate the two plot-lines, they are nothing special.  If you are a fan of Westerfeld’s style, I highly suggest picking up Afterworlds.
Four targets wonderfully slayed