3.72 (17,453 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 most.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 599 pages
  • 160 x 243 x 43mm | 1,107g
  • English
  • 1481422340
  • 9781481422345
  • 276,684

Review quote

During National Novel Writing Month, Darcy Patel, 18, pounds out a "Hindu paranormal romance" that earns her an advance hefty enough to fund a college education. Alas, Darcy has other ideas, moving to Manhattan to do rewrites and deferring admission to Oberlin. What follows are two stories, told in alternating chapters: Darcy's path to publication, and the final draft of the book she wrote, also titled Afterworlds. Darcy's new experiences inform her revision: falling in love for the first time makes her rethink the romance in her book. Her protagonist Lizzie's story is more explosive, beginning with a terrorist attack that she survives by so thoroughly pretending to be dead that she slips into a ghost world, where she meets Yamaraj, a hunky "soul guide." The back-and-forth between Darcy's story and her thriller is dizzying, but "Reading Zealots" like the kids Darcy hung with in high school will love the insider details about the YA writer's life--the intimidating editorial letter, attending BEA (Darcy naively brings her own canvas tote). An ambitious concept, well executed. Ages 14-up. Agent: Jill Grinberg, Jill Grinberg Literary Management. (Sept.)--Publishers Weekly, 6/30/14 *STARRED
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Rating details

17,453 ratings
3.72 out of 5 stars
5 28% (4,806)
4 35% (6,064)
3 25% (4,349)
2 9% (1,525)
1 4% (709)

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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