YA book reviews, reading and recommending since 2009

Archive for March 20, 2010

Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Everlost by Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: July 6th 2009
Buy it from: Book Depository (free shipping worldwide!)
Gold star (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: 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 longer 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.

Review: Shusterman really impressed me in Everlost. I swear, this book completely blew my mind. I was unsure of what to expect when I started reading the book but at the end, Shusterman exceeded all my expectations with his amazing writing and characterization.

Everlost starts off with Nick and Allie going their own ways, before crashing into each other’s cars. They wake up to find that it has been nine months and they were in the in between. They are not alive nor are they fully dead. We follow the two main characters journey to get back their lives and my eyes would widen every time I come across something fascinating about their world.

The story started getting slow after the first 50 pages and it was a struggle to get through. But Shusterman throws in some exciting elements and things just took off from there. Now it became a struggle to stop reading! Pages were rapidly turned in suspense as the characters struggle to stay safe and encounter all sorts of things along the way. The premise was very imaginative and there was definitely a lot of world-building done. Everything was so wonderfully described. Even the monsters.

I loved the characters. Allie, in particular, was my favorite because she was smart, witty, inquisitive and has a snarky attitude! Allie really proves that not all characters in supernatural books have to be bad and dangerous, she reminds me of Hermione in many ways… yes Hermione as in Hermione Granger. When the characters interacted, the story seemed to come to life. I was amazed that when I looked up from the book I wasn’t in the Everlost. The last fantasy-ish supernatural book I read that had such great characterization and vivid descriptions was Beautiful Creatures so it was a thrill to read this novel.

The story does not end with a cliffhanger but it does make you want to read the next book! Everlost was a fantastic read with clever plot twists which kept me entertained for hours. I highly recommend it and it’s ok for boys to read it too! Percy Jackson, The Maze Runner and Gone fans will enjoy this book with the skillful blend of magic and ordinary life. You will be in for a treat!