Afterworlds

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Sep 23, 2014 - Juvenile Fiction - 599 pages
25 Reviews
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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - annhepburn - LibraryThing

Got an ARC of this from Edelweiss after missing out on a copy at BEA. And maybe it's because I'm a writer and I love reading about the writing process, or maybe it's the surreality of reading a book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - benuathanasia - LibraryThing

So, I definitely came into this with a completely wrong idea. I partially blame the naming of the main characters (Liz and Darcy - you can bet what I thought this would draw parallels to) and somehow ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Section 1
1
Section 2
3
Section 3
10
Section 4
20
Section 5
32
Section 6
33
Section 7
41
Section 8
49
Section 25
286
Section 26
305
Section 27
322
Section 28
338
Section 29
357
Section 30
358
Section 31
375
Section 32
383

Section 9
60
Section 10
77
Section 11
95
Section 12
110
Section 13
127
Section 14
139
Section 15
147
Section 16
160
Section 17
161
Section 18
177
Section 19
194
Section 20
208
Section 21
223
Section 22
241
Section 23
255
Section 24
271
Section 33
395
Section 34
412
Section 35
429
Section 36
444
Section 37
466
Section 38
481
Section 39
496
Section 40
507
Section 41
508
Section 42
523
Section 43
537
Section 44
550
Section 45
564
Section 46
581
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Afterworlds CHAPTER 1
THE MOST IMPORTANT EMAIL THAT Darcy Patel ever wrote was three paragraphs long.

The first was about Darcy herself. It skipped the trifling details, her dyed blue-black hair and the slim gold ring in her left nostril, and began instead with a grim secret that her parents had never told her. When Darcy's mother was eleven years old, her best friend was murdered by a stranger. This discovery, chanced upon during an idle web search, both shocked Darcy and made certain things about her mother clearer. It also inspired her to write.

The second paragraph of the email was about the novel Darcy had just finished. She didn't mention, of course, that all sixty thousand words of Afterworlds had been written in thirty days. The Underbridge Literary Agency hardly needed to know that. Instead, this paragraph described a terrorist attack, a girl who wills herself to die, and the bewitching boy she meets in the afterworld. It promised skulking ghosts and the traumas that haunt families, and little sisters who are more clever than they appear. Using the present tense and short sentences, Darcy set the scene, thumbnailed the characters and their motivations, and teased the conclusion. This was the best of the three paragraphs, she was later told.

The third paragraph was pure flattery, because Darcy wanted very much for the Underbridge Literary Agency to say yes to her. She praised the breadth of their vision and paid tribute to their clients' genius, even while daring to compare herself to those illustrious names. She explained how her novel was different from the other paranormals of the last few years (none of which had a smoldering Vedic psychopomp as its love interest).

This email was not a perfect query letter. But it did its job. Seventeen days after pressing Send, Darcy was signed to Underbridge, a flourishing and respected literary agency, and not long after that she had a two-book deal for an astonishing amount of money.

Only a handful of challenges remained--high school graduation, a perilous decision, and parental approval--before Darcy Patel would be packing her bags for New York City.