The Book: Afterworlds
The Author: Scott Westerfeld
The Publisher: Simon and Schuster
The Pages: 599
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Lizzie should have died in a terrorist attack. But Lizzie is a character in Farcy’s first novel, Afterworlds – and death only makes her stronger.
Sold to a New York publisher for a huge advance, Afterworlds catapults Darcy into the glittering book world and puts her college plans on hold. Immersed in rewrites, author parties and book tours, Darcy comes of age as she struggles with the perfect ending to her novel – and the intoxicating beginning of first love.
Scott Westerfeld, weaves together two utterly individual books – a novel, and the story behind the novel – into one mesmerising experience.
Oh where to begin! I had decided I was reading this book before I’d even read the blurb, due to my love of the authors Uglies series and the hype surrounded this book. This method of book choosing ends badly most of the time as books that are too hyped up tend to be a disappointment.
Luckily this was not the case this time! The hype for this book is fully deserved. It’s completely unique and original. As I discussed with another blogger (Cait from Notebook Sisters -Fantastic blog btw, seriously brilliant.) this book is like writer-inception (credit goes to her for the phrase) – its a writer (Scott Westerfeld) writing a book about a fictional writer (Darcy) who writes a book, and it also includes her book (also called Afterworlds). So yeah, nice and simple for you.
So it’s told in alternating chapters, between the story of Darcy writing her novel and her actual novel. I like to think of it as Darcy’s story and Lizzie’s story.
Lizzie’s story is fantastic. I probably would have loved this book if it had just been about Lizzie and Yamaraj. I mean seriously, the character of Lizzie is bad-ass! I love her! The book starts with her surviving a terrorist attack and after that she’s just tough as nails. She’s also caring and fierce. The storyline is gripping and suspenseful. And some of the secondary characters are really well done too. Mindy was an excellent character and what happened with her later in the book nearly made me cry (no spoilers I promise). Agent Reyes was one of my favourites (more on him in a sec). And I really liked Jaimie, shes not in it much but shes such a good friend! I’ll get to Yamaraj later…
You would expect Darcy’s story to be dull in comparison but at times it was actually more interesting. I loved Darcy. She was so damn real, and she’s especially going to be relatable to all you would-be authors out there, and you wrimos! Scott Westerfeld really reaches out to all us YA fans and I know that I felt a connection to the book that some people (non YA fangirl fanatics etc) will miss. Like when a non-fangirl blogger type person reads Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, it’s still enjoyable but there’s a level you miss. Secondary characters over here are fab aswell, especially Darcy’s sister Nisha. She was brilliant, I kinda want her as my sister.
Ok, I’m gonna mention the romance side. Here goes…
I SHIP DARCY AND IMOGEN SO HARD. God dammit what a fantastic couple. And I loved the way they first hooked up! So damn real, that kind of accidental ohhh. It was good, I was a fan.
That little romance was so much more real and a hell of a lot more feels than Lizzie and stupid Yamaraj. This romance I did not like. I just didn’t feel it. It struck me as too insta-love-y and you know my feelings on insta love…
In fact I didn’t connect to the character of Yamaraj at all. Maybe it was just me but he was pretty cardboard. He wasn’t interesting or book-boyfriend worthy. The only good thing about him was his love for his sister, which I admired but still didn’t really see it in the book. Their whole relationship was a bit wishy washy.
And yes ok I totally ship Lizzie and Agent Reyes! I cant help it! Their relationship had more substance and it wasn’t even any sort of relationship!
There was some seriously fabulous character development going on in this book. I like it when characters grow, learn and change through the book; character development is a must. I liked the development of Lizzie and Jaimie’s relationship at the end of the book. Not only do Darcy and Lizzie develop as characters but the whole story develops, it gets better and better, until I was left with only two chapters to go refusing to read it because I didn’t want it to end.
But overall the writing is absolutely spot on, and Scott Westerfeld manages to weave these stories together perfectly. I wasn’t sure it would work when I read that it was two stories in one, but it really really did. Fantastic. Reading this book was a real experience for me, I felt like I experienced the story rather than just read it. It wasn’t some overdone YA plot, it was original, unique and just amazing.