Book Review: Afterworlds

by Scott Westerfeld
Published by: Simon Pulse
Form: Purchased Hardback (autographed)
Big Themes: Writing, Afterlife, Death, Ghosts, Revenge, New York City, Growing Up, LGBT, Ramen

This book tells two stories: Darcy Patel, the teen who lands a book deal and moves to NYC to pursue a career in writing–and–the other story being the book Darcy wrote: the story of Lizzie, the victim of a terrorist attack who can see ghosts and travel the afterlife following her close encounter with death.

Review in a Nutshell:

Really fantastic concept.  Loved reading the story of an author side by side with the book the author is working on.  The writer in me especially loved that.  And Westerfeld totally pulled it off.  I had no difficulty keeping the two stories straight.

I was far more interested in Darcy’s story than Lizzie’s story.  I really enjoyed getting a little glimpse at the writing life, especially the romantic idea of living in New York City after a huge signing contract and being able to take a stab at writing full time.  That’s my dream life.  Not to mention living in a refurbished dance studio with huge windows?  Sigh.  I want that life.

I was less enchanted with the romantic subplots of both stories.  Lizzie/Yama or Darcy/Imogen did not feel authentic or swoony to me at all.  I think this was due to a lack of tension or build-up in either romantic plot.  Both relationships fell together rather easily.

I’m a huge fan of Scott Westerfeld, but this won’t beat the Leviathan series for me.  I liked the glimpse of the writing life.  And I liked the whole concept of reading a writer’s life side-by-side with their novel.  Three stars.

3 comments on “Book Review: Afterworlds

  1. lab1990 says:

    I haven’t read anything by Westerfeld yet, but I do want too. I like the concept behind this one.


  2. I love the concept and everything Westerfeld as well. On your recommendation I read my youngest the whole Levianthan series (he LOVED it). Not sure if I’ll put this one at the top of my list although the Lizzie story does sound like writer reading candy.

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