Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

November 21, 2014 1 star, Book Review 21

Review: Afterworlds by Scott WesterfeldAfterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
Published by Simon Pulse on September 23, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 599
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

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.


TRUTH: Afterworlds is like watching a crappy home-made documentary (and not the awesome kind like I Know that Voice or the ones about serial killers like Aileen Wuornos). It’s about the publishing business. This is a bad case of i-shouldn’t-have-watched-that- documentary-on-slaughtering-meat because now I don’t want any. Except it’s i-shouldn’t-have-read-that-book -about-publishing because now I don’t want to ever hear about it again.

Only that it’s so unrealistic! So much so that it gives me an extreme feeling of headdesk at every given moment. I could write a book on why this book was terrible, but I won’t because I don’t have the time or patience. And truth be told, it could just be me, seeing as how several of my wonderful friends really loved and enjoyed this one. What I normally do when I don’t like something?? I basically half-ass review it, so here ya go…

DARE: I dare you to go into this book knowing that it’s actually two books in one each with less detail, less connection, meh writing, and boring storylines.

TRUTH: What’s more important? Living or Writing?
My answer: How can you do one without the other?
MC answer: “The important thing right now isn’t saving money. It’s making my books as good as I can”

DARE: I dare you to look for some sort of frustration or struggles that Darcy goes through as a writer. Can’t find any? Well damn man, here’s another dare.

DARE: I dare you to pinpoint where Darcy gets rejected…I mean all writers face rejection at some point right? After all every great writer faces rejection at the hands of multiple publishers. What, you say? 18-year-old Darcy writes a paranormal romance in one month (her very first novel, might I add) and gets CHOSEN by a publisher who wants to publish her book?? I CALL BULL.

TRUTH: Is it insulting that someone who’s not famous, can’t write for shit (I know because I’ve read her book which is entwined with her story), and suddenly finds her book being published AMONGST THE THOUSANDS insulting to other hard working writers that constantly struggle with a) rejection, b) motivation and writer’s block, and c) having to make ends meet financially??
My answer: Heck. Yes.
MC answer: “My agent says it was the first chapter. She says the buyers from big chains only have time to read one chapter. So if a book’s got a killer opening and an awesome cover, it’ll be in all the stores”

The only problem she ever faced was her deadline and boy did she complain about that for a while.

DARE: I dare you to make 6 figures on the very first novel you write. Drop school and work, move to New York, and try to make it as a writer until all that money turns to dust because you’re a naive little brat that luck seems to follow around for some reason.

TRUTH: Have you kissed a girl and liked it? What about instakissing, does that happen? It’s when you kiss someone and you’re instantly in love with them. No growth in relationships, just BAM, you love that person.
My answer: Heck. No.
MC answer: “But now she was certain–about Imogen at least, if not about girls and boys in general–and it was a relief and a revelation. She felt as though she’d leaped across a thousand pointless crushes and landed someplace real”

DARE: Strip every time Lizzie uses the word beautiful to describe Yamaraj <–this can be done with any typical PNR.

TRUTH: Have you ever thought of doing the laundry while reading?
My answer: Yes, when I read Afterworlds–and I proceeded to do the laundry.
MC answer: Laundry? People actually do that? I wouldn’t know…I’m too busy talking about writing and not actually writing.

DARE: Every time writer’s jargon is used, say, “I smell a bad idea, it’s coming from over there” and point at the wannabe author next to you.

TRUTH: Should you write a novel based on the love of the craft or the publicity, money, and fame (and what people think of you)?
My answer: The love.
MC answer: Everything else.

DARE: Take a shot when Darcy whines about something (her characters, her scenes, her publishers, her deadlines). You’ll end up on a blacktop somewhere with no pants the next morning. And there’s a random condom wrapper there too, whaaaat theee…but she’s a virgin and they’re lesbians??

TRUTH: Did Scott Westerfeld really write this? Seriously…did he? Or did someone slap his name on here?
My answer: Man, I have no idea. I usually like his work and they’re always so original and fleshed out. I have no idea who wrote this.
MC answer: How would I know? I’m just a character writing another character in a book.

DARE: I dare you to read this novel.

In short, there’s a two books to this story that switch from chapter to chapter. Darcy’s life = meeting other authors, talking about ideas, getting with a chick, and making her debut. Afterworlds = a typical ghost PNR. Both are boring. Both have boring characters and storylines and dialogue and everything was just plain boring. AND UNREALISTIC. But again, my own opinion as I seem to be the only one that actually finished this novel and gave it a one star…all the others are 5s or DNFs, so it’s really one way or the other folks.

21 Responses to “Review: Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld”

    • Kat

      You know, it’s been getting mixed feelings all around, so if you’re really into understand the publishing business or you like satire, I’d for it. That aspect just happened to fall flat for me personally.

    • Kat

      Glad I wasn’t the only one putting it off because of the hugeness!! Tabitha insisted that I DNF if I didn’t like it, but hey, I’m still at the point where the last 100 pages can sway me and if it had, I might have gave this a two or a three. Unfortunately it didn’t :/

    • Kat

      Yeeeep. That’s actually one I haven’t read, but I thought Uglies was decent and I did love Peep’s original ideas 🙂

  1. Anya

    HAHA, there have been times when I have thought about laundry while reading books too ;-). I was never really that interested in this one since the blurb just didn’t call to me and clearly my gut choice was wisely made. I’m so sorry you had to suffer D: But I love this style of reviewing 😀
    Anya recently posted…Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}My Profile

    • Kat

      It happens at one time or another, I’m sure 😀 And your gut is a good one. Wish I had me some more of that. Lately, I pick either super meh reads and maybe one or two awesome ones. Guess we have to weed through the bads to get the goods! And thank you!

  2. Danya @ Fine Print

    Yikes…it’s too bad this one was such a stinker for you. I’ve really liked Scott Westerfeld’s other stuff (Uglies and Leviathan, especially) and I own a copy of Afterworlds so I’ll have read it at some point…but I must admit that all the less than stellar reviews of it are making me wary of it.
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: Burn For Me by Ilona AndrewsMy Profile

    • Kat

      Yeah, it really just depends on what you want out of it. If you want meta, here it is. I’ll say that it’s original and not quite like anything I’ve read before. One really has to just judge for themselves. I do happen to really like Westerfeld’s other stuff. This one just didn’t sit right with me.

    • Kat

      Oh wonderful! Power to you for reading something even after reading a negative review. I do that sometimes too! And thank you, I love unconventional reviews and Tabitha has been nicer and nicer about letting my colors shine on the blog.

    • Kat

      I read your review hun 😀 and I’m glad you really like that side of it (actually a lot of my friends happened to love those parts)…some even skipped her whole book together because it was pretty uninteresting and not all that new. And some even said that it was Westerfeld poking fun at the genre. Who knows for sure, but it’s good that this book brings out so many different opinions, I guess?

  3. Molly Mortensen

    Cool idea for a review, it was very entertaining. 🙂

    I agree with everything that you said. I thought it was okay-ish, but I wouldn’t read it again. The fantasy world had a good premise, but I didn’t like the characters or the romance. (or most of the plot) and being the novel in the novel I kept realizing I was reading. I thought my dislike for Darcy’s story was that I don’t like contemporary, I’m glad it wasn’t just me.
    Molly Mortensen recently posted…Indie Book Review: The Empyrean Key By JL TomlinsonMy Profile

    • Kat

      Yeah! I really do enjoy contemporary. I think that it all comes down to certain taste on this one. There’s so many things to like or dislike about it and I just happened to be the one person that disliked everything, lol.

    • Kat

      Yeah, I think that some people either get the satire or they don’t or in my case they just don’t like it. I mean it peeked through, but honestly wasn’t worth it in my read :/

  4. Saralisa H.

    Wow. I was kind of interested in this book, but not fully committed to buying it yet. If it’s all about publishing and satire, then it most likely isn’t the book for me. Thanks for the heads up! P.S. I really like the “truth/dare” thing! So creative! 🙂