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Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
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Afterworlds

by Scott Westerfeld

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7654818,167 (3.61)9

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
DNF'd at 48%

This had a lot of potential to be a really unique and profound story. It's told in alternating chapters: one of Darcy, the writer finding her way through the world of Young Adult literature in New York City as a teenage debut author; the other is of Lizzie, the main character in Darcy's urban fantasy book, who is the sole survivor of a terrorist attack at an airport and subsequently becomes a psychopomp and falls in love with the Hindu death good Yamaraj.

Unfortunately, it was boring af. Here's a list of problems:

- Darcy expects the world to be handed to her on a silver platter. She makes a lot of mistakes but never faces any consequences.

- Lizzie is the sole survivor of an American terrorist attack in an airport but 1) never experiences any PTSD or symptoms of trauma, 2) overcomes her trauma because she insta-loves Yamaraj in the first chapter when he kisses her even though he told her to forget about him and never come back, and 3) she's a freaking Mary Sue.

- The terrorist attack could have been a really profound part of the story, being post 9/11 but instead it was just the method of her meet cute with Yama. It could have shown the complexities of terrorism, fear mongering, and islamaphobia in America today, but it was just an excuse for Yamaraj to kiss her into another dimension.

- Darcy's story, well generally less stupid, is just plain boring. I'm not super into contemporary unless someone's dead or about to be, so I was out of my element.

- Given how cliché and illogical the book in the book is, why the actual f was it acclaimed in universe as being astounding, having "the juice" and worth thousands of dollars? It's post-Twilight trash. It's generic and soulless. Even Darcy knows (is that supposed to be meta or bad writing?)

- Lizzie lies to everyone all the time. She lies to her mother about experiencing PTSD. She lies to her best friend about Yamaraj and says instead that she's dating the FBI agent who's in charge of her security (at least she tells him about it). She lies to Yamaraj about exploring the Stranger Things Upside Down—I mean the flip side.

- Can Scott Westerfeld stop having teenagers say "[adjective]-making"?? No one talks like that!!!

- Also, goosepimples or whatever. Just say goosebumps like normal people.

And here are some stuff I actually quite liked:

- Darcy is Indian, which is unforgivably uncommon in today's YA literature, given that a significant part of the world's population is Indian. She's also queer, even though I don't like that her girlfriend is a lot older than her (that just makes me uncomfortable)

- Idr her name for some reason, but the little ghost girl who follows Lizzie around (my brain wants to say Mindy, but I'm not totally sure) is actually a pretty great character and added much needed depth to the story. She's paranoid that the man who kidnapped and killed her, burying her in her own backyard, is still out there and will find her when he dies. Like that's some intense stuff!!

- I liked the psychopomp stuff. I'm writing a psychopomp novel so it was cool for me

- I appreciated the guide through the world of authors, but it felt unrealistic tbh

Lol half of these have negative comments in them.

I might retry at some point to see if any of these are resolved by the ending, but honestly I kinda don't care. ( )
  Faith_Murri | Jan 5, 2019 |
I appreciate the attempt at representation, but it does feel a little off sometimes ( )
  KaylaTheGinger | Nov 29, 2018 |
An interesting concept and a good story (or, one good story and a second decent story) but wrongly executed.


So, I actually liked the story that Darcy wrote, the fictional Afterworlds; that was the good story I was talking about it.

And like I said, Darcy's story was decent. The reason I bought this book and read it is because Darcy's story is my life's dream. And omigod I hated it.

**Note: The story was decent, I just severely disliked it**

First of all: YA Drinks Night was so awkward. Several times while reading this book, I said, out loud, that if this is what authors really acted like, I wasn't totally sure I still wanted to be one.

Of course, I came to the conclusion that authors are people just like other people but what Scott Westerfeld did in this book was try REALLY hard to make his authors REALLY hip and cool and it came off forced and so, so awkward.

Then there was the whole Imogen and Darcy thing, and it's not like I'm homophobic (I totally ship Malec), but I just thought it was weird. All though I will admit that Imogen did get some of the best lines in this book.

I really started like Darcy's story more when it became more about her writing rather than focused on all these other fictional authors. Darcy's fears that she couldn't come up with an original ideas rang true, especially as throughout the book we were continually shown or told where she was 'stealing' her ideas or scenes from.

Also, this isn't really a complaint or commendation, but a comment. Carla and Sagan. CARLA AND SAGAN!!! I'm going to theorize that their parent's planned because otherwise, what are the chances of two people named Carla and Sagan being friends.

Jumping to another bandwagon, I'm not sure if it really would be so big a deal if Darcy's name is Darcy and her main character's name is Lizzie. Yes, Pride and Prejudice, but Darcy's novel has NOTHING to do with that and honestly, who would even care? And if people would even care, I really need to, uh, reevaluate living in a world with people.

Other people have mentioned this, but since the two stories were so different, it was quite shocking having to reorient oneself in a completely different story every chapter, and I lost threads of Darcy's story in between chapters. ( )
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
I'm not really sure what I thought about this book as entertainment. I found the sections on Darcy's road to getting her book published fascinating. Fascinating to the point that I found all her other personal business irritating and unconvincing. I truly did love Lizzie's story, though, and kind of wish there was some more of that. For that reason, I'm baffled-the book is written by the same person, but is intended to make it seem like the protagonist of one is the writer of the other. Is this why I like one story so much better than the other? Interesting technique, I guess. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
Got an ARC of this from Edelweiss after missing out on a copy at BEA. And maybe it's because I'm a writer and I love reading about the writing process, or maybe it's the surreality of reading a book where the characters attend BEA, but I really enjoyed this. It's a massive departure from Westerfeld's usual style and genre, but once I realized how the structure works, and how the Lizzie parts do and don't relate with the Darcy parts, I found it quite fun. Recommended, with caveats. ( )
  annhepburn | Mar 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Scott Westerfeldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Flath, ReginaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosamilia, MikeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
We tell ourselves stories

in order to live.

-- Joan Didion
Education is the path from cocky ignorance to miserable uncertainty.

-- Mark Twain
Dedication
To all you wordsmiths, you scribblers, you wrimos in your vast numbers, for making writing a part of your reading
First words
The most important email that Darcy Patel ever wrote was three paragraphs long.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In alternating chapters, eighteen-year-old Darcy Patel navigates the New York City publishing world and Lizzie, the heroine of Darcy's novel, slips into the "Afterworld" to survive a terrorist attack and becomes a spirit guide, as both face many challenges and both fall in love.… (more)

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