Saturday, October 18, 2014

Book Review - Afterworlds, Scott Westerfeld

Sorry for the inactivity!  I just got back to school this week, so I've been super busy.

Here's a review of AFTERWORLDS by Scott Westerfeld

Insight into the book from GOODREADS:
Darcy Patel has put college and everything else on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. Arriving in New York with no apartment or friends she wonders whether she's made the right decision until she falls in with a crowd of other seasoned and fledgling writers who take her under their wings… 

Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel, a suspenseful thriller about Lizzie, a teen who slips into the 'Afterworld' to survive a terrorist attack. But the Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead and as Lizzie drifts between our world and that of the Afterworld, she discovers that many unsolved - and terrifying - stories need to be reconciled. And when a new threat resurfaces, Lizzie learns her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she loves and cares about most.

  I'm going to begin by stating the main reasons I didn't give this book five stars.
  • It was unnecessarily long.  Both stories, Lizzie and Darcy together could've been summed up into 300 pages, but Scott Westerfeld dragged it out when it didn't need to be.
  • Darcy's character made me feel a little uncomfortable at times . . . ?  Not to mention, I found her part of the story super slow and boring.
  I know, I know, only two things I didn't like about the book, must've been pretty great?  No, these two cons I have shown above really ruined the book for me.
  This story is told from two characters.  Darcy, a young YA author entering the publishing world, becoming accustomed to New York, and meeting other interesting writers like herself.  Darcy finished writing Afterworlds, a story about a girl that has a near-death experience which soon leads to her seeing ghosts.
  The other character this story is told from, is Lizzie.  Lizzie is living the story that Darcy has written, and that is one of the coolest book plots I've ever heard of.  I really, absolutely, positively, enjoyed the story that Darcy wrote with Lizzie. 
  Lizzie is at the airport when there's a terrorist attack, and is frantically running with the crowd of people trying not to get hit by bullets.  When it's obvious there's no way out, Lizzie pretends to be dead.  Basically, this traumatic incident in her life allows her to go to the other side, where she can see ghosts.  There she meets Yama, the love interest of the story.  He can also see ghosts, but chooses to stay in the Afterworld.

  The action was decent throughout the chapters featuring Lizzie, but Darcy - I didn't enjoy her nearly as much.  Don't get me wrong, it was really interesting to read about the journey she went through to get her book published, but sometimes I looked at the pages with wide eyes and thought this wasn't necessary, or this could've been summed up in 5 pages, not 15.  Little things like that started to get on my nerves.  

  All in all, Afterworlds is a good YA book.  I'm looking forward to meeting Scott Westerfeld on Monday!


  1. I have this book to review and I've had it for some time but just imagining the plethora of pages, 600?! It feels so daunting. I'll get to it...eventually. Great review though!

    1. Yes, that's exactly how I felt. I only picked it up recently because I'm meeting Scott on Monday!
      Thanks for stopping by, Jazmen!:)

  2. Oh gosh, I absolutely HATE draggy plots... especially if the book is as long as this! I really have a hard time committing to one particular book at a time and I almost always automatically drop it when I get bored. BUT the story does sound pretty interesting so maybe it might be worth the 500+ pages :D

    -Leanne of The Reading Slump

    1. Yes, draggy plots are the worst! I almost dropped it at times, but still glad I finished it. You should give it a go!! :)

  3. Awe, such a pity that those two things impacted your overall feelings toward the book, but I'm glad Lizzie's story made up for it. ^^

    I'm not sure whether I'll ever pick up this book, just cause it doesn't scream READ ME - I'm not sure it's my thing. But who knows! :s Great review!

  4. I've read so many mixed reviews on this book, and it's been on my TBR shelf for a while now. I'm not a big fan of stories with multiple main characters- told with multiple main views. It always gets confusing for me, and I end up not liking the story as much as I could have. The whole idea of the Afterworld seems interesting and original though, and for that, I will probably end up giving this book a try. I'm always looking for fresh ideas and this one seems like it's right up my alley! Great, detailed review Cambrie, as always (:
    Morrighan @ Elysian Fields
    ( )

    1. I absolutely agree with you. To be honest, I feel as though I kind of forced myself to enjoy this book more than I would have if I wasn't meeting Scott. Thanks so much Morrighan!