Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book 18 (2011): Everlost

Everlost, a young adult novel by Neal Shusterman, is pretty awesome. As a newly minted librarian in a high school library, I'm diving into teen fiction slowly. I'm thrilled to have stumbled on this novel along the way.

Don't let the fact that I called it a teen novel throw you off because it's worth reading, regardless of your age.

In this story, people die and don't get to heaven. On their journey from the moment of death outward the light, the stumble and end up in a place called Everlost.

Nick and Allie don't survive their respective car crashes and now their souls are stuck between life and death. They have to figure out how to survive in this world, that's only populated by dead children.

It's a place full of magic but also scary and dangerous. They meet a young (Dead) woman who's anointed herself the leader of the dead children and calls herself Mary HighTower. Is she good or is she evil?

There's a ruthless ogre who tries to control Everlost and he's known as The McGill.

I'm amazed at the fascinating take on this idea of ghosts among us, and a ghost/ soul survivors community, how they live, how the move, the rules about haunting. The twists and turns of this story, the use of history to blend in the tale of Allie trying to get back to her family is just amazing.

I don't feel I've done a good job of making this sound enticing to read. I don't want to give away some of the best secrets of the book, so I'm trying to be vague. It's not dreary and morbid as it sounds. It's a unique and super creative twist on the concept of ghosts here on Earth.

My only drawback is that the ending is most certainly left open for a sequel. I hope if Shusterman goes that route, he makes is a trilogy and stops, rather than turning it into a series.(377 pages)