by Scott Westerfeld
Age Range: 14+
Grade Level: 8th
Publisher: Simon Pulse
This is two stories in one book. The first is about a girl, Darcy, who just finished high school, and instead of moving on to college, she is becoming a published author. It takes you through her journey through publishing, rewrites, and living on her own for the first time ever. The second book is the book that the young author is writing. It is about a girl, Lizzie, who is a surviver of a terrorist attack, and during the attack she is transported to the Afterworld which is the place where the dead reside. She has to come to terms with being a psychopomp, and learn to live both in the over and the after worlds.
Okay. This is going to be a weird review. I am going to do my normal format, but I am going to review both of the stories separately, so I will end up with 2 goods, and 2 bads. Also, I will have a section for my thoughts on the overall novel, and a review for both of the stories and the over all book.
The Good- Darcy's Story:
- I loved the diversity that was put into her part of the story. The main character was both attracted to girls and Indian. You don't see many not white people in YA lit, so this book was very refreshing.
- Seeing the ins and outs of publishing was very interesting. Scott Westerfeld is an author with many books, so he knows how publishing works, so I knew that this was an accurate description of the publishing world.
- The characters were real. I don't care what you say, they were real people, and they actually existed. What I'm trying to say is that the characters were so well crafted that they seemed like some that could actually exist. Each had their own backstory and troubles.
- Having the love interest be a writer too was fascination. I loved the scenes where they would write together. They were some of my favorites.
The Bad- Darcy's Story:
- I did not find it particularly interesting. The characters were good, the publishing aspects were interesting, but it seemed to be lacking plot-wise. The story never seems to drag because it was not that much of her story, but what was given was never that intriguing.
- The romance seemed boring. It was well done, and all, but it just wasn't for me. I honestly couldn't care less that they were a gay couple, but I just didn't like how it was done.
The Rating- Darcy's Story:
The Good- Lizzie's Story:
- The world in this was fantastic. I adored when Lizzie would go into the Afterworld, and her descriptions of things would make me feel like they were actually happening.
- The descriptions were spot on. I loved everything that was described whether is be a car or a kiss, it was perfect.
- The romance was adorable. I loved their relationship. And they best part is that it was a diverse relationship since Lizzie was white and the love interest was not.
- You could really tell that Scott Westerfeld took a huge amount of time making the voice in this story sound different than the one in Darcy's. I really appreciated that.
The Bad- Lizzie's Story:
- Don't even get me started on the random ghosts that added nothing to the story.
- Sometimes killing off a characters doesn't help anything. It wasn't emotional because they weren't big enough of a character, but it still annoyed me.
The Rating- Lizzie's Story:
My Overall Thoughts on the Book:
I liked this book. The best parts were when you saw how the things going on in Darcy's life affects the events in Lizzie's. And the ending that Darcy was stressing over for half of the book was perfectly bittersweet.
The Overall Rating:
The Language: If language really bothers you, DON'T READ THIS BOOK! Literally every page has at least three curse words. I didn't mind it, but if you're at all sensitive to it, find a better book for you.
The Sex: Kissing. Some kissing between two girls, and if thats a problem for you then you need to grow up.
The Violence: Some violence. Mostly in Lizzie's story because she is a grim reaper. Also, there is one murder, but I won't say whose.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review, and honestly it would be more difficult to make a dishonest review than a truthful one.