From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld comes a “masterful” (Cory Doctorow) novel-within-a-novel that you won’t be able to put down.
Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.
Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.
During National Novel Writing Month, Darcy Patel, 18, pounds out a "Hindu paranormal romance" that earns her an advance hefty enough to fund a college education. Alas, Darcy has other ideas, moving to Manhattan to do rewrites and deferring admission to Oberlin. What follows are two stories, told in alternating chapters: Darcy's path to publication, and the final draft of the book she wrote, also titled Afterworlds. Darcy's new experiences inform her revision: falling in love for the first time makes her rethink the romance in her book. Her protagonist Lizzie's story is more explosive, beginning with a terrorist attack that she survives by so thoroughly pretending to be dead that she slips into a ghost world, where she meets Yamaraj, a hunky "soul guide." The back-and-forth between Darcy's story and her thriller is dizzying, but "Reading Zealots" like the kids Darcy hung with in high school will love the insider details about the YA writer's life the intimidating editorial letter, attending BEA (Darcy naively brings her own canvas tote). An ambitious concept, well executed. Ages 14 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Seriously such a great book. I was hooked from the very first page.
One of my favorites!
I loved the uglies series but haven't been able to get into his other books but I pick this one up bc of the girlxgirl aspect and I have to say it is now one of my all time favorites<3 Two amazing stories on their own but combined makes a book you'll never want to put down.
One of my favorite reads of 2014! Amazing!
Received a copy from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
HOLY WOW! The first two chapters of this book are amazing. Afterworlds is a legit page-turner. The dual storyline concept of a debut author completing their first novel (which you read alongside) could have gone horribly wrong, but Scott Westerfeld nailed it. I LOVED the juxtaposition of Darcy’s (the author) journey alongside Lizzie’s. It was incredibly clever to watch the editing process affect the outcome and style of the Afterworlds story throughout.
I was also majorly impressed with Westerfeld’s ability to write the young female voice so honestly and without the cliched traps many older authors fall into. These were human beings living their lives. It didn’t matter what their gender, race, or sexuality was. Very nicely handled.
I’m not sure if I enjoyed this book more because I’ve been working with authors for the past year… but I found the process thrilling to experience on the page. I feel like I was totally in the know about the life of a writer. Some really good *wink wink nudge nudge* Would be interested to know how fellow writers feel about this piece…
One of my favorite reads of 2014. Thanks for the opportunity to read/review the ARC, Simon Pulse!