Author: Scott Westerfeld
Genre: Paranormal (Young Adult)
About the book: It’s told in alternating chapters following a young writer’s journey as well as the ghost story she wrote. Darcy is a young writer who has her novel published. Her story is about a girl named Lizzie who wills herself into the afterworld during a terrorist attack. Then everyone falls in love fairly quickly.
First impressions: I like the concept of a novel within a novel. Unfortunately, that also sets up the likely possibility I prefer one storyline over the other.
The beginning was promising. I liked the first chapter of Darcy’s novel because of the action and suspense. The scene moves along quickly. Then the book slows down.
Characters: Darcy has to navigate the city of New York as a soon to be published novelist. As a writer myself, I enjoyed and related to her struggles as a writer. She isn’t extremely confident about her writing. Who is? She has to suffer through edits and rewrites. Who doesn’t? Lizzie deals with being able to see ghosts/spirits. In fact, one is living with her. She tries to help Mindy move on from her unfortunate past.
To be honest, I enjoyed Darcy’s journey as a writer more than Lizzie’s experience with ghosts. I’m not the biggest fan of paranormal, especially when there’s romance involved. I’m even less of a fan when two characters meet and love each other immediately. Darcy and Imogen fall in love quickly. Lizzie and Yamaraj fall in love even quicker.
“The things we write, they aren’t always really us.”
Writing: There are indirect references to NaNoWriMo, which makes me happy. Westerfield balances description and dialogue. Although the beginning is strong, the story slows down in the middle. The book weighs in longer than an average YA book at 600 pages. Then again, it’s basically two novels in one.
Final thoughts: I went in with high expectations because I liked Zeroes so much. That’s why I thought I’d enjoy Afterworlds a lot. I still like the premise of a novel within a novel. In general, I found the story relatable. I hope other young writers will too.
Let me know what you think about the novel in the comments down below. Have you read it? Will you?
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