Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review: Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Everlost (Skinjacker, #1)
Neal Shusterman
Series: The Skinjacker Trilogy (Book 1)
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Personal Library

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident...
...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no onger exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.
When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of lost kids, Nick feels like he he's found a home, but allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.
In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.


I picked this up at a used book store in Myrtle Beach back in September when we were there on vacation.  I first looked at the ratings and a couple snippets of reviews to see what people were saying about it.  Like most all books, ratings were all over the place.  So, being the discriminating connoisseur that I am, I bought it.  On the side of the CD case, this is clearly marked as a children’s book—I would say this is much more a middle grade book.  There are some fairly graphic parts right at the beginning, and some very grown up themes running through the whole story on loss, belief, good vs. evil, judging by appearances and actions, etc.  Anytime I read a “children’s” book, I always judge it based on whether I would allow my 8 year-old to read it or not—this is one that I wouldn’t.  She’s not mature enough, and I don’t think that most 8 year-olds would be either.

I really liked this story.  I liked that Shusterman came up with his on in-between with rules that I hadn’t seen in a book before.  This is a hard book to review, because so much of what I want to say about it is kind of crucial to the plot.  So, forgive me if I give something away!

Nick and Allie don’t make it “where they’re going.”  They are thrust together by fate, bad timing, and idiot parents.  Their pairing was tumultuous and strained at times, but they just met, so it’s understandable.  They are so very real that I was immediately drawn into their story.  I was interested from the very opening sentence.  Shusterman held my attention all the way to the end.  They have to learn about the new reality they are in as they go, which leads to so interesting situations.  The rules in Everlost aren’t the same as in the living world, and they learn that the hard way at times.

There are also things that I just don’t like—as with any book.  And the things were so crucial to the story that, well, I don’t want to give them away.  However, they weren’t detrimental to my enjoyment of the book.  So, they’re really just a minor footnote of this review anyway.

I’m saying I’d continue the series (there are two more books in the series), and I enjoyed this one.

If you enjoy interesting takes on the afterlife, check this out.  Just don’t let your 8 year-old read it.

3 Moons: Everlost didn’t leave me lost.


Other book in this series
Everwild (Skinjacker, #2)Everfound (Skinjacker, #3)
Cover will take you to Goodreads page.

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