I was more than a bit excited when I found Scott Westerfeld's latest YA book available on our library's ebook site. I had picked up the hardcover version while in B&N a few weeks ago. It looked interesting.
Darcy Patel is an 18 year old debut YA author. She writes a book, sends it off, and gets the dream contract, dream agent, and moves to NYC to make good on the six figure advance they give her for a two book deal.
But we don't meet Darcy first. First off we meet Lizzie, the main character of Darcy's book. Lizzie is traveling home from NYC to California when a terrorist attack happens at an airport. Advised by 911 to play dead, she does it so well that she makes it into the "afterworld." Her talent for thinking her way into death thrusts her into a new role: psychopomp, reaper, valkyrie.
The book moves back and forth between these two characters and the lives they are creating for themselves.
Westerfeld is one of the best YA authors out there. He doesn't patronize. He's real. He taps into teenage thoughts, fears, ideas with a knack for avoiding the overblown drama so many YA books serve up as authenticity.
"Afterworlds" is good stuff.