Afterworlds contains both a novel about Darcy Patel, a debutante writer just out of high school who has moved to New York and the novel that she wrote, about a girl named Lizzie who can will herself into the afterlife.
**warning: spoilers ahead**
The thing about having two brilliant novels combined into one is that sometimes it can be a sensory overload. However, I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading. I loved living in both Darcy and Lizzie’s world. Darcy’s story especially stood out to me. Her interactions with the other YA writers and the lessons that she has to learn the hard way (about budgeting, falling in love, being an author versus being a writer) make for the kind of story about a writer that I’ve always wanted to read: a YA writer. The only thing about Darcy’s story that didn’t ring true for me was the romance. While I can totally believe that Darcy would be a little bit obsessive about her first love, I find it hard to believe that she and Imogen would have settled down and moved in together so fast and that they would have repaired their relationship at the end of the novel. It read as a bit unrealistic to me, given that Darcy would have to move and finally become a college student. I can see them more as being exes on friendly terms rather than trying for a relationship again. Also, this is just a side note, but I loved the little sister/accountant Nisha! I loved the dialogue between her and Darcy. Another favorite side character of mine: “Standerson,” who is so obviously based on John Green.
All in all, I really enjoyed this book and thought it was an amazing, unique concept that Westerfeld was (of course) able to pull off with fabulous writing.