Monday, August 17, 2009

Everlost ~ Neal Shusterman review

Simon Pulse
November 6, 2007
384 Pages

Nick and Allie are, separately, on their way somewhere with their families when there's an accident. Suddenly they find themselves falling through a tunnel towards a bright light. Only they trip over each other and never quite make it to that light.

Instead, they end up in Everlost. Everlost, the desaturated world that's not living but not quite finished/all the way to dead either is a place of all new rules, people and ideas. If you don't do things right you could disappear into nothingness....or you could get caught up by the Everlost monster, the McGill--or something even worse as Allie and Nick find out later.

When they first land in Everlost they're in a forest with Lief a boy who died years and years ago. The only reason they can stay in the forest and touch everything is because the forest is dead as well and has past into Everlost, too--as certain very loved things do. But Allie wants to go home-even if it's against the rules-and soon they set out on an adventure like they've never experienced before.

Like a lot of my reviews' summaries I'm leaving out a good bit of the book (but only because I think that you don't need to know stuff that doesn't even hint at happening until 1/5 of the way in...and beyond. But if you're not as picky as me about spoliers: Amazon summary).

I read Everlost because I enjoyed Unwind so much and wanted to see what else Neal Shusterman had to offer. This book isn't as thought provoking as Unwind but that's most likely a given due to the subject matter of the two books. There is more to it than most sci-fi-ish books because it deals with kids (only kids/young teens enter Everlost) and death and what happens with different ones and how they deal with it.

In regards to the characters, I thought there were a lot of similarities between Nick, Allie and Lief and Connor, Risa, and Lev (even, kind of, look at the names?). It wasn't that they were carbon copies of each other, I just saw something in them that reminded me of the characters from Unwind. It was most true with Lief & Lev, probably.

I really liked the different elements of history that were pulled into the book and which items crossed into Everlost. That and that Everlost was as well developed as it was--both the world and the book. It wasn't just a not-exactly-purgatory with muted colors for children and tweens; it was truly well thought out and a world of its own that existed within the actual world and yet outside of it at the same time.

I think there's going to be a sequel to this book and I think that's great because I think there's a lot more to explore with both the characters and the subject-though I do think this book was resolved nicely, too.



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