Afterworlds: YA about YA, Girls Falling in Love, and Growing Up

afterworldsI picked up Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld after finding it on a list of books with lesbian/bisexual/queer female protagonists. The descriptions of the book also promised an eighteen-year-old girl learning to navigate adult responsibilities, self-aware YA, and satire poking fun at paranormal teen romance novel. And Afterworlds largely delivers—although without knowing to look for satire, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it, and while the protagonist is a girl who likes girls, it’s unclear if she’s bi or lesbian. However, the main strengths of this book are actually the variety of female characters and all the different relationships between them: it’s populated with girls and women of different ages, including queer women and women of color, who are friends, lovers, siblings, mentors… But I’m getting carried away, so let’s backtrack and proceed in an orderly fashion, shall we?

Spoilers for the book below, obviously.

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Feminism and the Apocalypse

Happy Apocalypse everyone!

So apparently we are all going to die today. Or maybe we were supposed to die earlier? I’m not sure how this whole Mayan prophecy thing is supposed to work. Should we have died at midnight on the 20th, or am I still waiting for midnight tonight on the 21st? Or is it going to happen randomly today?

Whatever the case I don’t think the world will actually come to end. There have been doomsday predictions since almost the dawn of humankind. We seem to really want to die. Morbid, huh?

Well, just in case the world does end, I want to say it has been an honor blogging with you.

And to my fellow women: out of everyone, we should be the most scared of an apocalypse, because things don’t tend to go well for women in post-apocalyptic societies.

If you have been scaring yourself watching those stupid History Channel shows about the apocalypse, you’ll know there are many ways for the world to end. But some of the more interesting shows are the ones that describe how to survive after the apocalypse.

Yes, dear reader, you may survive the apocalypse, but you will then be stuck in a post-apocalyptic world that is far scarier than death, especially, I would argue, for women and other minorities.

Trigger warning for discussion of rape.

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