Hi there and welcome back!
I recently listened to the audiobook of Everlost by Neal Shusterman.
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.
I was so excited to hear that Neal Shusterman was going to be holding a reading and signing in Orlando earlier this fall! Young adult authors rarely visit Orlando so I went even though I’d never read any of his books. I left the event super excited to read his books! My media center’s copy of Unwind was checked out (actually it still hasn’t been returned, but that’s a whole other story…) so I couldn’t read that one. Some of my students recommended I picked up Everlost.
The premise of Everlost is incredibly intriguing. Two teens die in a car crash and end up in this purgatory-like world where they have to fend for themselves and solve the mysteries of Everlost. Shusterman is obviously a very creative storyteller and the world he has surrounded Nick and Allie in is disturbing and creepy, yet also fun which makes me think of Everlost is like a more sinister version of Peter Pan’s Neverland.
I did feel a little bored at times, as there wasn’t much character development until pretty much the very end of the novel. In fact, I was pretty set on not reading the rest of the trilogy, until the ending. Now, I feel like I might possibly continue the books. Not necessarily because I wasn’t super connected to any characters, although I like both Nick and Ally and was glad to see some change in them. I even liked the McGill, but what made me want to find out what happens in the end is Mary. I’m not a fan of Mary at all, which is actually how I think I was supposed to feel, but I do want to know if and or how she is defeated!
This was an interesting read, and my students (especially my boys) really like it a lot. The audiobook narrator was pretty good, but I wasn’t a fan of all of his voices all the time. I admit that I didn’t LOVE this book, but it was entertaining and I think that middle school readers who are looking for a different sort of story that’s kind of a mix between fantasy, sci-fi, and supernatural fiction will enjoy Everlost!