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.
Author: Scott Westerfeld
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Date of Publication: September 2014
Source: eARC from NetGalley
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I received a free copy of this book from S&S via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not affect my review/opinions in any way. Thank you S&S!
This is probably the hardest book I've ever had to review, because essentially, this book is two books in one. One that I loved, and one that I didn't.
I loved the start of the book; especially when I realised it was about publishing and books. My issue then was the fact that I'd gone into this book not remembering the synopsis - "Told in alternating chapters is Darcy's novel..." - so some of my first notes about the second chapter are "the two stories seem so unrelated" and "I'm a little confused by the person changes?"
Once I'd got over this, I really enjoyed both books; I loved the interesting, contemporary mixed with adrenaline of the thriller. I particularly loved the romance element of the contemporary side with Darcy.
I think the reason I stopped enjoying "Darcy's book" was because I found myself wanting to know more about what happened to Darcy herself, about the publishing industry and BEA; all about book bloggers and what authors have to do. Thrillers aren't my usual genre anyway, so once one is combined with a whole other book, I'm unlikely to enjoy it.
Another issue was definitely the length. Because this was two books, it comes to an almighty 640; and I only have the attention span of around 400. It took me quite a long time to read this as I found myself only able to read about 5 chapters at a time.
In no way was "Darcy's book" bad; I thought the writing was beautiful and the story intriguing. But I found myself skimming over it and willing for it to be over.
This book has provided me with one of my favourite quotes for my own writing, too: " 'You wrote a book,' said Imogen. 'That's real, whether it's a bestseller or not.' "
I did really enjoy this; it just didn't quite work for me as two books told alternately. Westerfeld's writing is gorgeous and I loved all the themes running through the book.