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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Scott Westerfeld comes a smart, thought-provoking novel-within-a-novel that you won't be able to put down. 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 more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 599 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 44mm | 1,039.98g
  • Simon Pulse
  • United States
  • English
  • 1481422340
  • 9781481422345
  • 203,647

Review quote

*STARRED REVIEW* Eighteen-year-old Darcy drops her college plans and moves to New York to revise her soon-to-bepublished novel and start the second one. Meanwhile, in chapters that alternate with Darcy's NYC adventures, her fictional protagonist, Lizzie, survives a near-death experience to find she has become a psychopomp, responsible for guiding souls to the afterlife. Westerfeld masterfully creates two divergent reading experiences (YA romance and fantasy horror) with two distinct yet believable voices in Darcy and Lizzie--and, somehow, makes them mesh into one cohesive novel. In addition to the details of the fully realized story worlds--and that's worlds plural, as this is a busy book, with content drawn from Gujarati culture and Indian religion--this book includes romantic entanglements, a charming lesbian love story, terrorism and justice, and insider references to the YA publishing and literature scene (including several references to the Michael L. Printz Award) that will have librarians grinning in delight. Westerfeld deftly and subtly captures Darcy's immature authorial voice, even including a few underdeveloped plot points that differentiate it from his own polished prose. There are no notes about cultural sources, but an extended conversation between (fictional) YA authors explores these issues, offering a few perspectives on respect and appropriateness. Get plenty; this one won't stay on the shelves. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Westerfeld, author of the hugely popular Uglies and Leviathan series, goes meta in a big way (this thing is the size of an anvil). Expect tons of YA-world gabbing and gushing.--July 2014 "Booklist "show more

Our customer reviews

What an entertaining and addicting read! This 600-page book (essentially two books in one) didn’t feel too long or overwhelming. Because it alternated between the stories, I flew through it to figure out what would happen next in both stories. It’s an interesting idea for a book. A story-within-a-story is always fun. Especially when it takes two genres you love! For me, this book was the perfect read. I love YA paranormal/thriller stories and I love YA contemporaries that focus on the writing world. What more could I want when the two are magically combined?! I really liked Darcy’s growth as a character. She goes into the publishing process naïve because the whole situation kind of fell into her hands. As she learns the truth that it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but in fact hard work (and a little bit of luck), she grows. Also, I really liked Darcy’s love interest and their romance. NO spoilers, but it’s just so cute! For those of you who don’t know, Scott Westerfeld based Darcy’s writer friends off his own writer friends. How cool is that!? The one in particular that stood out was his representation of John Green. Darcy tags along on tour with his character and there’s this great scene (one of my favorites) where they discuss the most important aspects of a story—plot, characters, setting, ect. Ugh, loved it! John Green tweeted his reaction to his character and wrote: “Yes, I am frequently dyspeptic. Yes, I’m verbose. But I don’t think plot trumps character! ALSO: I wish Scott wrote my real-life dialogue.” Oh John Green. J Then there’s Lizzie’s world. What an awesome and sometimes creepy story. I really like the world and the focus on the Hindu religion. The supporting characters in Lizzie’s world are really interesting (particularly the ghosts she meets in the afterworld!). If you’re a fan of anything YA you should definitely check this story out, as it’s got a fiction and contemporary storyline. Also, you should check out some of Scott Westerfeld’s other books (if you haven’t already). I LOVE his Uglies series and the Midnighters series!show more
by Ryann Dannelly
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