Book reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

Source: Bought
599 pages

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.

My rating

I have so many mix feelings about this book, at the moment. I started this book with very high expectations. I’d heard so many good things about this book and I was slightly doubtful about it since I disliked Uglies. I didn’t even finish it. So like all YA readers, I trashed all my preconceived ideas and dived into this novel. I was instantly hooked by Darcy’s success and the riveting story she wrote. She’s eighteen and her YA novel is being published after finishing the first draft in only a month. I enjoy intelligent characters, they’re hard working and somehow are always rewarded for it. I was starting to feel like an under achiever. Being published is a big deal. I noticed that Afterworlds is almost 600 pages and I was ecstatic. I mean, who wouldn’t get excited when reading 600 pages of YA fiction awesomeness. So first 100 pages or so, I’m really enjoying this book, especially the chapters of Lizzy’s story. The terrorist scene is frightening and captivating and the whole idea of the flipside was intriguing. Lizzy becomes a psychopomp, meaning she can travel to where the dead are. She can see them, hear them and throughout her story, she is trying to get used to it. She meets Yamaraj, a hot Indian who is also a psychopomp and one thing leads to another and they fall in love. At the same time, Darcy is going through troubles like having to change the ending of Lizzy’s story, get a start on the second book and handle the ups and downs of her first love ….. with a girl.

I don’t know; a quarter way into this book, I felt as if everything started to drag along. There became no point of reading Darcy’s story except hearing about her complain and moan about how hard her writing was, how her first draft was a fluke and how desperate her budget was becoming. Her character didn’t develop, in fact it did the opposite. She starts from being independent and decisive to insecure and doubtful. I didn’t enjoy the romance, I felt as if nothing was there. Gay/lesbian romances don’t really do anything to me. They’re just there and I feel nothing. Is that bad? Romance is supposed to add to character instead it did Darcy’s no benefit. She becomes annoying and ungrateful. She’s constantly complaining when her novel is being published, at nineteen. She rushes off to Imogen for advice (or really, a solution) for her problems. Darcy trusts Imogen enough for that but not enough of her own identity in Imogen’s eyes.
Lizzy’s also started to do the same. There was no underlying plot line in her story. There was just her thoughts and her troubles and the dumb decisions she seemed to keep making. She’s constantly rushing off to something without thinking it through and it’s only once she’s done it, that she actually sees the repercussions of her stupidity. She’s heavily reliant on Yama, the love interest. A romantic relationship, especially a fictitious one should be adding and benefiting to the two characters not taking away. In both these cases, their independence is taken away.

Anyway, it was enjoyable and entertaining during the first half of this book. But then, the second half started to slow down and became a chore to read. Only to find out the ending instead of, to enjoy the story. I’m sorry, this was just not the book for me. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t for you, though



It probably seems like that I hate this book but I don’t. I dislike it. Two different things.

Let’s begin with Darcy.
She’s smart and she had achieved at eighteen. I mean, she’s just graduated and her books are going to be published; one already written and the other hasn’t even been started yet. But she is so insecure and clingy. She needs so much reassurance and praise in order for her to feel good about herself. So many times she says that she can only write when Imogen is around. Gradually, it almost seems like she can’t live without Darcy. At the beginning, she’s independent and can make her own choices. She talks to her parents about her decision to hold off college and stay in New York City for the sake of her novel. She’s able to stand on her own two feet. Once Imogen enters her life, Darcy becomes such a nuisance. I really don’t believe how Imogen could cope with her for that long. Darcy always runs off to Imogen when a problem comes up. She wants her solution served to her on a silver platter. Hello, it doesn’t work like that. Once Imogen left, I felt that it would allow Darcy to finally grow up.

Lizzy’s story . . . eh.
I liked the beginning. The opening chapter is indeed intense and very drawing. Terrorists come and shoot everyone, leaving Lizzy as the sole survivor. But after, she became stupid. Killing the bad man because of Mindy was as stupid as she could of gone. Mr Hamlyn is obviously not a good dude. You don’t do anything for him because the cost are going to be too great. Of course, she’s too emotional and illogical to see this. I don’t see why she had to go back to him so many times. She, too is quite clingy to Yama. She can’t sleep without him. That goes a bit far. She’ll do something dumb then, she’ll call Yama to save her. Yama will be mad for only a second and then they’ll be googly eyes the next. Are you kidding me? It’s also the same with Lizzy, I didn’t really see any development with her character.

There you go! Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld did disappoint me. It raised my opinion of his writing quite high during the beginning and then it just went downfall from there.


4 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

  1. Oh, I am so sorry you didn’t like this book as much as you hoped to 😦 I was in the shop and debated whether or not I should read this. In the end I picked it up and decided that no, I wasn’t going to buy it. Maybe I will try it sometime, but it looks like there were a lot of negatives in here as well as positives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard so many mixed things about this book, either everyone loves it or hates it…. not sure what to make of this book now, or if I want to read it. Hmmm, I’m really not sure, especially because most of the things that you didn’t like, I know I won’t enjoy either. Oh well, I might give it a shot one day. Great review x

    Liked by 1 person

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