Friday, May 6, 2011

Review: ‘Everlost’ by Neal Shusterman

Nick and Allie were complete strangers until their parent’s cars collided, killing them both.  On their way into the light, they bumped into each other, knocking them off course and into Everlost, a parallel dimension on earth where spirits end up when they can’t get “where they are going.”  The world of Everlost is filled with new rules that Nick and Allie must learn to live by.  No one in Everlost is over the age of sixteen, if they step off of land that hasn’t crossed over, they will sink like quicksand to the middle of the Earth and fortune cookies always come true. 
The first friend they meet in Everlost is a boy whom they name Leaf, because he lives in a forest.  Together, the three of them set off to Nick and Allie’s homes so they can see whether their families survived the accident.  Along the way, they get attacked by bullies, meet Mary Hightower (dubbed Mary Queen of Snots) who rules over hundreds of kids from her perch at the top of the World Trade Center and get captured by the evil creature, the McGill. 
The world of Everlost is fascinating.  Objects and buildings that were well loved in life cross into Everlost when they are destroyed.  Because of this, the kids hang out in places like the Twin towers, old Penn Station and take rides on the Hindenburg (minus the Nazi emblems on the tail, of course).  Their physical appearances are determined by their memories of themselves, which fade or distort over time.  For this reason, some of the children look a little goofy with too many teeth in their mouths, giant hands on the ends of skinny arms and one boy whose head was too small for his body. 
Schusterman sprinkles the book with humor and adventure.  The villains are as multi-dimensional as the heroes, giving the reader a dilemma on who to root for.  The excepts from books written by Mary and later Allie frame the chapters nicely.  
Overall, I give Everlost
Plot - 4 bookmarks
Character development - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Fantasy elements - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Villains - 4 1/2 bookmarks
Humor - 4 bookmarks
Dream cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) - Elle Fanning (Allie), BooBoo Stewart (Nick), Ivana Baquero (Mary Hightower), Miles Heizer (The McGill), Chandler Canterbury (Leaf)

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