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 onger 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.
Shusterman's (Full Tilt) enigmatic novel imagines a purgatory where only children go, with its own vocabulary and body of literature plus a monster named the McGill. After a car accident, teens Allie and Nick awaken 272 days later in Everlost. "It took nine months to get you born, so doesn't it figure it would take nine months to get you dead?" says the boy who discovers them, a nameless, lonely child they call Lief (an "Afterlight" who is 100 years old). In Everlost only the young exist, because adults "never get lost on the way to the light." The World Trade Center is there, too, home to Mary Hightower, a 15-year-old shaman of sorts and author of countless books (e.g., You're Dead-So Now What?). Shusterman uses excerpts from Mary's books (with an increasing sense of menace) to segue from one chapter to the next. Allie's flight from Mary's kingdom of "perfect routines," and her attempt to rescue Nick and Lief from a six-year-old spectral gangster lead her into a conflict with the monstrous McGill (with "sharp, three-fingered talons for hands,... its mismatched eyes wandered of its own accord"). Along the way, Allie learns the art of "skinjacking" (inhabiting the living), and Nick discovers a thing or two about the mechanics of Everlost, much to Mary's dismay. Shusterman's landscapes seem both familiar and ghostly, just the right mix for this fascinating limbo land that readers can only hope will provide the setting for more books to come. Ages 12-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Showing 1-1 of the 1 most recent reviews
1 . Fantastic
Posted July 11, 2010 by Kim , WashingtonIn the beginning, it's a little confusing, but once you get past the first couple of chapters, you cannot put the book down. At least i couldn't. I'd stay up so late until my eyes could barley stay open! Couldn't wait to buy the next book.
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
November 05, 2007
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Excerpt from Everlost by Neal Shusterman
On the Way to the Light...
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.
In the front passenger seat of the Toyota sat Alexandra, Allie to her friends. She was arguing with her father about how loud the radio should be playing. She had just taken off her seat belt to adjust her blouse.
In the center backseat of the Mercedes, dressed for his cousin's wedding, sat Nick, trying to eat a chocolate bar that had been sitting in his pocket for most of the day. His brother and sister, who sandwiched him on either side, kept intentionally jostling his elbows, which caused the molten chocolate to smear all over his face. As it was a car meant for four, and there were five passengers, there was no seat belt for Nick.
Also on the road was a small piece of sharp steel, dropped by a scrap metal truck that had been loaded to the brim. About a dozen cars had avoided it, but the Mercedes wasn't so lucky. It ran over the metal, the front left tire blew, and Nick's father lost control of the car.
As the Mercedes careened over the double yellow line, into oncoming traffic, both Allie and Nick looked up and saw the other's car moving closer very quickly. Their lives didn't quite flash before them; there was no time. It all happened so fast that neither of them thought or felt much of anything. The impact launched them forward, they both felt the punch of inflating air bags -- but at such a high speed, and with no seat belts, the air bags did little to slow their momentum. They felt the windshields against their foreheads, then in an instant, they had each passed through.
The crash of splintering glass became the sound of a rushing wind, and the world went very dark.
Allie didn't know what to make of all this quite yet. As the windshield fell behind her, she felt herself moving through a tunnel, picking up speed, accelerating as the wind grew stronger. There was a point of light at the end of the tunnel, getting larger and brighter as she got closer, and there came a feeling in her heart of calm amazement she could not describe.
But on the way to the light, she hit something that sent her flying off course. She grabbed at it, it grunted, and for an instant she was aware that it was someone else she had bumped -- someone about her size, and who smelled distinctly of chocolate.
Both Allie and Nick went spinning wildly, crashing out of the blacker-than-black walls of the tunnel, and as they flew off course, the light before them disappeared. They hit the ground hard, and the exhaustion of their flight overcame them.