I love Neal Shusterman’s books, I really do. I’ve only read Unwind, Bruiser and Everwild so far, but I love all of them. He’s just such an amazing author. And this book is definitely no exception.
It’s the first book in the skinjacker trilogy (Everlost, Everwild, Everfound). And let me just get this out there. THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I wouldn’t say that it’s as good as Unwind, just because Unwind was one of those mind-blowing books where you get so sad that it’s ending that you don’t want to keep reading, but you have to. And then it ends and you’re left with that empty feeling inside of you, that only a sequel will fill. But that’s for a different review.
Ok. Everlost. This is basically how I sum it up to people who ask: “It’s a book about dead children.” But that’s not a very happy way of putting it, so let’s retry.
Nick and Allie are both in the same car accident, and they don’t make it. But instead of going into the light, they end up in Everlost, a kind of strange afterlife for children. Except it’s not really, because they’re caught in between life and death, kind of like purgatory. And this is the setting of our awesome book. Because, yes, it’s totally awesome. There are twists and turns, and it’s just all so awesome.
This is probably the tiniest con I have with the book. I keep imagining Lief as Lev from Unwind. It just seemed a bit similar to me, both small boys who seem extremely strange. But they’re development was entirely different towards the end of the book. I won’t explain it to not ruin it, but if you’ve read both, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It’s just that every time I tried to picture Lief I kept thinking of Lev. Maybe it’s because their names are so similar.
This is also really a non-existent con. Just something that surprised me slightly. The love between Nick and Mary. They both kept saying how they were head-over-heels in love with each other, even though there wasn’t much in the book to show this, apart from Nick thought Mary was pretty and Mary said that Nick made her feel different. I thought it was more of a crush, but apparently it really was love. It wasn’t bad at all, I just didn’t expect it. The only reason I have a problem with it is probably because I love Nick but I really hate Mary.
Now, both those cons were basically nothing. I was just being picky because there was nothing else bad to say about it. Now let’s get onto the Pros.
I love the aspects of Everlost and how interesting it was. I love all the plot twists which were never obvious but weren’t like “Well, that was random and out of nowhere”. From the first sentence you are sucked into the book:
“On a hairpin turn, above the dead forest, on no day in particular, a white Toyota crashed into a black Mercedes, for a moment blending into a blur of gray.”
The characters were awesome. Allie, Nick and Lief were all great characters. I even liked the McGill. Though I did hate Mary. I hated Mary so much, even though she wasn’t necessarily an evil character. She was just so snotty, stubborn and believed everything she said was right. And I did not like Speedo either (yes, there’s a kid named Speedo in it). He was really annoying, but in a good way. Because I’m pretty sure Neal Shusterman wanted us to hate the characters, and I did. I understood that they had good qualities, that they weren’t 2 dimensional, but I also knew I hated them. Which I think is great. The author really did do his job well.
I loved that there were loads of different weird powers in Everlost. Like skinjacking. That could be abused in so many ways, it scares me. Oh, and the Haunter. Creepy dude.
Also. THAT ENDING!
Geez, that ending was amazing. And horrible at the same time. It was a cliffhanger, but such a good one at the same time. But it didn’t feel like the book didn’t resolve itself as well. I thought it was a great way to end a book, because it left it so open that when the reader’s done with it, they can’t help but keep thinking about all the different ways the story could go. It was a brilliant ending, but also a very frustrating one.
- “Maybe we’re standing like coins on the edge?”
Allie considered this. “Meaning?”
“Meaning, we might be able to shake things up a little, and find a way to come up heads.”
“Or tails,” suggested Allie.
“What are you talking about?” said Lief.
“Life and death.”
- “think of it this way,” he said “It took nine months to get you born, so doesn’t it figure it would take nine months to get you dead?”
The whole book was just amazing. Amazing amazing amazing.
I wouldn’t expect any less from Neal Shusterman.
So, 5 shuriken stars, definitely.