Reading

Afterworlds – Scott Westerfeld | A Book Review

Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld

TitleAfterworlds

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.

Quote:

“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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Reading

Books Of The Month | August 2016

What better way to relax over the summer than to read a good book? Or ten.

What I Finished:

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

One phrase description:

A long but fast read.

Quote:

“It was amazing what humans could do.”

My general thoughts:

At first I thought I’d take forever to finish the novel because I’m a slow reader. It’s longer than I anticipated as well. But since I liked the characters and the pacing of the story, I got through the book pretty quickly by my standards. Even though the teenagers each had a unique power, there was also a downside or weakness to their abilities. I’m all for diversity, flawed human beings, and different people coming together for a common cause.

Joyland by Stephen KingJoyland by Stephen King

One phrase description:

A fun summer read.

Quote:

“But the mind defend itself as long as it can.”

My general thoughts:

King is king. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. King is king. I found myself falling in love with the story more and more. I desperately needed an escape from the real world while reading Joyland, and Stephen King didn’t let me down. I made a guess at who the murderer was, but guess what? I was way off. No surprise there. I didn’t see the ending coming. Not by a mile. And I’m perfectly okay with that.

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

One phrase description:

A peculiar read.

Quote:

“But eventually, if I lived through this, I would have to face up to the decision I had made and the pain I had caused.”

My general thoughts:

I still love the characters, even more so the second time around. I felt like I got to know everyone better. That said I also enjoyed the new characters (humans and animals) that were introduced, even if they did have a minor role. The photographs didn’t disappoint either. Neither did the paper that the book was printed on. I like good quality paper. Let me be.

What I Want To Read Next Month:

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith

Why:

I’ve never read anything by J.K. Rowling, so it’s about time I did.

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Reading

Books Of The Month | July 2016

What better way to relax over the summer than to read a good book?

What I Finished:

Half Bad by Sally Green

Half Bad by Sally Green

One phrase description: So strange.

Quote:

…every breath has to be precious and worth it and something important.

My general thoughts: I’m still confused and somewhat unsatisfied after finishing it. That’s probably why there’s a sequel. I seem to have read-the-first-book-in-a-series-and-not-the-second-or-third syndrome. So we’ll see if I get around to picking up the other novels.

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

The Rule of Three by Eric Walters

One phrase description: So Canadian.

Quote:

I just know that it’s better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it.

My general thoughts: It felt like I was imagining a movie in my mind. A part of me feels like Walters should’ve turned this story into a screenplay instead. Even though I wasn’t the biggest fan of the dialogue, I still

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

One phrase description: So relatable.

Quote:

If you find that you start a number of stories or pieces that you don’t ever bother finishing, that you lose interest or faith in them along the way, it may be that there is nothing at their center about which you care passionately.

My general thoughts: Lamott gives great advice. But it’s one thing to read. It’s another thing entirely to apply that advice to your writing.

What I Want To Read Next Month:

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

Why: Because I want to. And I didn’t feel like reading anything else on my shelves.

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