Thursday, July 30, 2015

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

 Title: Afterworlds

 Author: Scott Westerfeld

 Publisher: Simon & Schuster

 Date Published: September 23, 2014

 Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Standalone (not really a genre)

 Pages: 608 (Hardcover)

 Age Range: 14+


     Darcy Patel has put college on hold to publish her teen novel, Afterworlds. With a contract in hand, she arrives in New York City with no apartment, no friends, and all the wrong clothes. But lucky for Darcy, she’s taken under the wings of other seasoned and fledgling writers who help her navigate the city and the world of writing and publishing. Over the course of a year, Darcy finishes her book, faces critique, and falls in love.

Woven into Darcy’s personal story is her novel, Afterworlds, a suspenseful thriller about a teen who slips into the “Afterworld” to survive a terrorist attack. The Afterworld is a place between the living and the dead, and where many unsolved—and terrifying—stories need to be reconciled. Like Darcy, Lizzie too falls in love…until a new threat resurfaces, and her special gifts may not be enough to protect those she cares about most.


     SO, Scott Westerfeld has a new-ish book; I loved Westerfeld's Pretties series, so I decided to give this book a try. After finishing this book over a week- a very long time for me- I was kind of confused about how I felt. I liked some aspects of the book, I disliked some, some bothered me, and other parts I just didn't care enough about to develop an opinion. I didn't really love any aspect of this book, and I've been flipping back and forth between two or three stars. Finally, I decided to give this book a very generous three stars. My rating is more along the lines of 2.75 stars.
     Everything was really slow throughout the whole book in Darcy's chapters. Not a whole lot happened, and a lot of the book was angst. Angst is fine! I love angst... But, not really. It seemed like a lot of good advice was thrown at Darcy and she ignored it all just to some more hand-wringing. Imogen kind of fed Darcy's angst and canoodled her through it all, encouraging more emotion. Darcy's writing was really stressful for me because she was so concerned about it. She kept panicking and it kept making my heart race with worry.
     The romance between Imogen and Darcy existed. I didn't really feel a connection between the two, and there's no way that Darcy decided that she was gay out of the blue after Imogen's kiss. I felt like Darcy was latching onto whatever gave her attention. They had some really nice moments and such, but it all felt stilted- almost forced.
     I liked Lizzie's chapters much more than I liked Darcy's chapters. They were more action-packed, and they showed off the Westerfeld-ness that I fell in love with in Pretties. Lizzie was a much better character than Darcy in my opinion, and she had many faces. I didn't like some of the decisions that she made, though, and I wanted to slam on the brakes for her and Yamaraj- not a good thing.
     My favorite character was such a minor character. Agent Elian was my favorite character. He was hilarious, but I really wanted to see more of him. I also think that he should've been younger so that he and Lizzie could get together. Yamaraj was very one-dimensional for me, and besides being gorgeous, I didn't see any appeal.
     I was left disappointed by this book, but the writing was nice, and I did like some of the minor characters like Kiralee and Elian, and I did like some of the plot. Otherwise, the book was just middling. Again, it took me a whole week to get through because I just kept putting it down, and putting it off.


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