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(Afterworlds #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  19,711 ratings  ·  3,100 reviews

Darcy Patel is afraid to believe all the hype. But it's really happening - her teen novel is getting published. Instead of heading to college, she's living in New York City, where she's welcomed into the dazzling world of YA publishing. That means book tours, parties with her favorite authors, and finding a place to live that won't leave her pennil
Hardcover, 599 pages
Published September 23rd 2014 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Aeslis It takes a publisher a while sometimes, but for an agent, it can happen very fast. Her agent signed a contract with her very quickly in the book. Afte…moreIt takes a publisher a while sometimes, but for an agent, it can happen very fast. Her agent signed a contract with her very quickly in the book. After that, the agent wrangles with editors at publishing houses, and hammering out the contract can take a while, especially if it's a big deal like Darcy's. (less)
Chelsea Fought There isn't really "magic" but there are paranormal aspects to Lizzy's story that you could argue are magic-ish... but definitely not "magic" in the t…moreThere isn't really "magic" but there are paranormal aspects to Lizzy's story that you could argue are magic-ish... but definitely not "magic" in the traditional sense.(less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
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 ·  19,711 ratings  ·  3,100 reviews

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Jenn (One of Many, We are Legion)
So, I kinda loved this book, its intelligence, its meta-awareness, and the way a lovely coming-of-age story is packaged inside a clever satire-bordering-on-love-story to the YA publishing world. It must be said that I love satire, even when it's subdued, because that love colors my entire opinion of this book.

As such, I’m baffled by the somewhat low reviews on this one. I could be completely off-base, and maybe I am seeing what I want to see because I want an excuse for liking this book as much
Kat Heckenbach
Jun 22, 2014 rated it it was ok
I'm going to start this out with a plea that someone please tell me this book is a parody. It *must* be. Because I am a huge fan of Scott Westerfeld's writing, have been for years, and this book makes me want to cry :(.

It is a dual story line. The main character, Darcy, is an 18 yr old, just graduated from high school girl who had written a novel in a month, in November of course, not that NaNoWriMo is specifically mentioned, but any writer can put two and two together. She sent off her draft to
Wendy Darling
3.5 stars I really enjoyed reading this. Despite its 600 pages, both Darcy's and Lizzie's alternating narratives flew by, and I enjoyed perching on the young debut author's shoulder as she navigates the writing and publishing world. The author's humorous, razor-sharp observations of YA culture are fascinating and feel familiar to anyone who's on Twitter, attended industry events, or even been present at business gatherings where there's frantic ennui and kindly condescension in the ranks, though ...more
Brigid ✩
After reading:

It like physically pains me to say this, but ... I found this book disappointing. Look ... I love love love Scott Westerfeld. Like, so much. He's one of my favorite authors in the world and I recommend his books to people constantly. I love Uglies and Midnighters and goodness gracious I adore the Leviathan books and couldn't wait to see what Scott Westerfeld would do next. So naturally, I was excited for this book and I was ecstatic to receive an ARC––but honestly, it didn't live u
Darth J
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Darcy is a YA novelist, fresh out of high school and deferring college (indefinitely?) because she sold her first novel to a publisher within a few weeks of sending a query. So this is clearly a work of fiction.

I didn’t care much for her book, with the premise being a girl who can see ghosts and falls in love with a Hindu death god. The passages where we see chapters from the book are dull, to be honest but I can see how they would have sold big in the book market (at least the way it was a few
Jun 17, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a big, fascinating, ambitious book, and if anyone could pull something like this off you'd think it would be Westerfeld. But . . . I was really a little shocked at the things that just didn't work for me. I wondered if it was just me, but a quick scan of other readers shows similar reactions.

So, back up, let me explain.

This is not one book, it's two.

The odd-numbered chapters are about a girl named Darcy Patel who wrote a book for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, which is Novemb
Dec 30, 2014 rated it did not like it
Just a note, because I wish someone had told me before I began this book, it has a lesbian romance. That isn't the reason it got one star. Plenty of other reasons for that. Still. I wish I'd known going in.

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld dripped with potential. At least initially. I'm a big fan of the Leviathan trilogy. I liked Midnighters. The idea of a book intertwining a young author in New York City with corresponding chapters of her debut paranormal novel sounded like a must read.
And init
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: vine, ya, nyc, fantasy
I love this times infinity. I already love YA in general and Scott Westerfeld in particular (his Uglies series got me back into reading YA as an adult), but this book I love the most. I love that he wrote something so chancy and cheeky (and META!), and I love that someone published it. Basically I think it's brilliant and couldn't love it more, but I don't think everyone is going to feel that way.

Here's some of what I love and some of what sets this book apart, if you want to know if it's for y
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

I don’t know where to start with this book but I will say this, Scott Westerfeld is a genius. I love him to bits and pieces and this book reminds me why. When I first heard he had a new book coming out, I was over the moon, to the point where I didn’t pay much attention to the blurb just because I believed I’d love it and love it I did. This may not be his best work, and the novel may seem a little fluffy but there is so much more to it. It
Ashley Daviau
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had a pretty good feeling I'd enjoy this book because I've very much enjoyed every other book by Westerfeld that I've read. But I didn't expect to fall head over heels in love with this book like I did! From the very beginning I was totally hooked and it only got better as it went on!

The concept and the way it's written is SO original and I really couldn't have enjoyed it more! I'm a huge YA fan so when I saw where this was going, I was so excited. Getting to read about Darcy going through th
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 25, 2014 marked it as unfinished
Shelves: romance, young-adult
I think this is just a personality mismatch and since I realized that relatively early on (and quit reading), I'll refrain from assigning a star-score. The book is heavier than some textbooks I had in college and that made the reading awkward. I couldn't quite buy a new YA author making a six-figure advance on her first book, either. But the real roadblock to getting into the book was the two heroines. They both felt so passive, each waiting for things to happen to them, and/or what actions they ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC courtesy of NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Pretty interesting premise, but in the end I found the execution wanting, and the stories not that interesting, unfortunately.

I really liked the beginning: Darcy having to navigate her way in New York, meeting published authors as well as other "debs" like her (people whose book was to be published in the upcoming months), having to take editing and rewriting tasks into account... The first pages of Lizzie's story were grippi
catherine ♡
Mar 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Actual Rating: 3.5

I've read Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series, but it hadn't been as good as I had expected with all the hype around it. Now, Afterworlds didn't have nearly as much exposure, but I loved it a lot better.

It is written from two perspectives:
Darcy is an eighteen-year-old debut novelist who is waiting for her book Afterworlds to be published. She moves to New York to find a place where she can write, but there there, she finds love - and a little bit of herself.
Our second story is the
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
Kyla Harris
Plot - 14/20
Characters - 11/20
Creativity - 16/20
Writing - 12/20
Pace - 7/10
Ending - 8/10
66/100 = C-
2/5 stars

Okay I didn't hate this book. But it defiantly wasn't my cup of tea. I had trouble caring about any of the charaters and the fantasy part started as my favorite then ended very weird and confusing. The writing at times over did itself, esipecally in metaphors.This book had a ton of creativity and potential the way it was plot out is really new and interesting but the way it came together
Robin Henry
May 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: spoiler-alert
I have been a Westerfeld fan since before he was famous, so it was with great anticipation that I downloaded the e-galley and began reading his latest offering, Afterworlds. It was with great disappointment that I forced myself to finish reading it. Unlike earlier efforts such as the Uglies series or his steampunk series, Leviathan, or even the Midnighters, Afterworlds was a huge let down. It could be because my expectations were high. After all, Westerfeld had trained me to expect interesting s ...more
Jul 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Afterworlds is 2 stories.
The 1st story is about Darcy, who in her senior year of high school took the month of November to write a novel titled Afterworlds (sound familiar?).
She gets a 2-novel book deal with a huge advance, and persuades her family to let her live in New York while she edits Afterworlds and writes the 2nd novel.

The 2nd story is Afterworlds, the novel Darcy has written.
Afterworlds is a supernatural thriller about Lizzie, who discovers that she can slip into the space between life

Three and a quarter stars? Three and a half?

Darcy Patel has won the writing jackpot: $300,000 for a two-book contract for her NaNoWriMo novel, Afterworlds, written during her senior year of high school. So instead of going to college, upon graduation she moves to New York, determined to live the glamorous lifestyle of the full-time author.

Lizzie Scofield nearly dies during a terrorist attack at the Denver airport -- and discovers that she is a psychopomp, someone who can lead newly-dead souls
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every lover of YA, publishing nerd, and... okay, EVERYONE needs to read this book. It's fantastic and cute and smart and wonderful and thought-provoking. I've only read one other Scott Westerfield book (one in the Midnighters series), but I've heard great things about his writing. I went into this book with that level of expectations and it was met with two wonderful stories.

Also, I'm pretty sure Guinness beer represents wanting to look like you know your beer when you have no idea. At least in
❀ Lily ❀
Jun 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Watch my video review here:
May 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: physical-arc, arc, bea14
Nose Graze — Book reviews & blogging tips

Let's clarify some terms

Before we begin, I need to set down some terminology for my review. As you probably know, the book Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld is two books in one, told in alternating chapters. One story is that of Darcy, a soon-to-be-published YA author. The story is about her selling her book, doing rewrites, and drafting the next book in the series. The other story is about Darcy's book. We actually get to read it. However, just to co
I remember I was quite excited when I first heard about this book. I've enjoyed everything by Scott Westerfeld that I've read, and the concept for Afterworlds sounded ... different, and potentially very interesting indeed.

And then, when I had the book, I just... kept putting it off. It didn't feel right. I'm very much a mood reader, and I know myself well enough by now that if I'm in the wrong mood for a book, I'll end up not enjoying it in the least. So I kept putting it off, week after week.

I am so, so curious who the intended audience was for this book. On the one hand, you have a wholly contemporary storyline about a YA writer who gets a huge book deal and moves to Manhattan (which is one of those things I'll never understand - why do people think they need to move to NYC to write? I live here and I don't get this) and falls in love with another YA writer. Then you have the other POV, which is wholly paranormal.

So, take me for instance. I am an author. I am a contemp YA and NA l
Elle (ellexamines)
3 stars. Afterworlds is about Darcy Patel, an author in New York. The other half is narrated by her debut novel's main character, Lizzie.

Darcy's chapters are undoubtedly the strength of this novel. I love how meta this book is. Darcy's character arc is solid and believable. Getting into the world of writing was entertaining as well. Her relationship with a fellow author was especially sweet.

In contrast, Lizzie wasn't a great character. She's flat and underdeveloped. Her romance plot is full of
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've never met a Scott Westerfeld novel I didn't like. Interesting premise that offers two unique, but interconnected experiences. Readers will love the insider glimpses into the YA lit world and Darcy's fantasy novel, Afterworlds is compelling. ...more
Oct 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2016
The main reason I picked up this book was because it's always listed as having asexual (specifically demisexual) representation. As someone who identifies as asexual (and has considered being demisexual), I figured I should read it. So I did. But I didn't actually know the plot of the book going into it...then again...I often just forget to read summaries going into books. Oops.

Anyways, while I really enjoyed a lot of this book, I had a lot of problems with it too. My main issue was Lizzie's sto
Jill Williamson
Aug 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was really excited to read this book. I’m a big fan of Scott Westerfeld’s work. In Afterworlds we read two stories in one. The first is Darcy’s story. She is an eighteen-year-old girl who sold her first book to a New York publisher for a ton of money. And we follow her life in New York as she attends parties and tries to write the sequel. The second is Lizzie’s story. She is the protagonist of Darcy’s novel. She survives a terrorist attack and gains the ability to see the dead and travel to th ...more
Kara Babcock
This is a very charming and endearing book, which is good, because it is also implausible and silly and so otherwise it would be terrible. Afterworlds is a very tongue-in-cheek novel about writing and publishing novels, with a novel within the novel, because yo dawg, I heard you like novels in your novels so I novelled a novel novel for you. Novel novel novel….

Darcy Patel is an eighteen-year-old high school graduate whose NaNoWriMo novel gets accepted for publication. She moves to New York (pare
Jessica (The Psychotic Nerd)
This was such an interestingly told book and even though I only gave it 3/5, I know it will stick with me.

This book is a brick at 600 due to the fact that this book is two books in one. There's Darcy, who wrote her book Afterworlds during NaNoWriMo (it was never mentioned as NaNoWriMo, but it was written in 30 days in the month of November, so I'm assuming). Her book gets sold to a publisher in a two-book deal and she decides to put off college for a year and move to New York to m
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Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He is best known for the Uglies and Leviathan series. His current series, IMPOSTORS, returns to the world of Uglies.

The next book in that series, MIRROR'S EDGE, comes out April 6, 2021.

Articles featuring this book

The creator of the Uglies and Leviathan series answers your questions about his writing rituals, gives NaNoWriMo tips, and talks about Afterworlds,...
44 likes · 8 comments
“What did a happy ending even mean in real life, anyway? In stories you simply said, 'They lived happily ever after,' and that was it. But in real life people had to keep on living, day after day, year after year.” 71 likes
“Being an author sucks, doesn't it? It's like telling a joke and nobody laughs for two years.” 30 likes
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