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.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 boxes
Target Audience: Younger teens
High point: Uniqueness of plot
Low point: Aimed at younger readers than expected, storyline is fairly simple
Reader maturity: 10+
Everlost is a story about a boy and girl who don't survive a car accident but also don't make it to the great beyond. I had heard great things about the book and couldn't wait to dive in after I bought it. Initially, I was disappointed. The first half of the book is rather simple, both in plot and in character. I guessed at the identity of the Everlost monster and turned out to be right. All the Everlost children were so...childish; only 1 of them ever matured emotionally. The two new kids, Allie and Nick, were much smarter and adult than the other Everlost children.
About halfway through the book though, to my relief, the story picked up. Suddenly, there was action and adventure and a serious crisis, and I was hooked. Allie proved to be more than a sassy little girl and became a clever and willful protagonist. Even Nick redeemed his status as a follower and found a purpose. I don't know if I will be picking up Everwild because these books seemed aimed at younger readers, but I would definitely recommend Everlost to someone in middle school or early high school.
Author: Neal Shusterman
Book Source: Purchased