Scott Westerfeld is pretty accomplished in YA Fiction – I’ve read a few of his other books and always enjoyed them but nothing quite prepared me for this. It was a right book and the right time moment.
At 500 pages, this is longer than your average YA fiction, mainly because it tells two stories. The first is of Darcy Patel, and 18-year-old signed to a publishing house for a novel she wrote in a month in her bedroom. Every even numbered chapter is the story that she wrote – Afterworlds, about a young girl who crosses over during a terrorist attack and is forever changed by her experiences in the land of the dead.
To me, Darcy’s narrative was the most compelling. It had terrific insight into the publishing industry and life as a writer. Darcy moves to New York to edit her manuscript and write the follow up, making new friends and finding out things about herself as she goes. But the novel itself has some intriguing moments, and it’s very interesting to watch the interplay between Darcy’s real life and the changes she makes to her novel.
Often absorbing and more perceptive than some of its contemporaries.