Jennifer Wardrip's Reviews > Everlost

Everlost by Neal Shusterman
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's review
May 04, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: trt-posted-reviews

Reviewed by Karin Perry for

Nick and Allie never would have met had their parents' cars not collided on a hairpin turn one day. If only Nick's parents had not hit a piece of steel lying in the road which caused them to blow a tire and head into the oncoming lane of traffic directly in the path of Allie's father. The accident happened so fast that neither felt any pain. The only recollection they have is of landing on the ground in the woods and feeling very tired.

What happens to children when they get knocked off track on their "way to where they are going?" Neal Shusterman has created the Everlost. A place where children end up if they get thrown off track on their way through the tunnel of light. When Nick and Allie landed in Everlost they slept for nine months before waking up. They were greeted by an eleven-year-old boy named Lief. Lief had been in the forest for a very long time; so long, in fact, he didn't actually remember his name. He made one up when the two asked him what it was.

When you are in Everlost, you are considered an Afterlight. You have a slight glow about you all the time and you have to be very careful where you walk. You are only safe on things or places that have crossed over to Everlost. Otherwise the Afterlight will sink into the ground and go straight to the middle of the Earth and wait there until the end of time. Nick and Allie had to learn the tricks to living in Everlost pretty quickly if they wanted to stay aboveground. They had to get used to walking amongst the living and the feeling of things passing through them.

Not knowing what else to do, Allie and Nick decided to go home and Lief decided to go with them since he hadn't left the forest in about a hundred years. They fashioned "snow shoes" to make it easier to walk on the ground so they wouldn't sink. When they got as far as New York, they found quite a surprise. Standing in the distance, glowing with the radiance of an Afterlight, stood the Twin Towers. They would forever stand in the Everlost because of the terrible tragedy that took place on 9-11-2001. There they met a large group of children living there and being cared for by a young lady named Mary Hightower.

Mary Hightower considered herself the authority of all things in Everlost. She authored many books on different subjects in order to assist new Afterlights in making the transition from the living world. Nick and Allie had different opinions of Mary. Nick almost immediately fell in love with her; Allie considered most of the things she said malarkey. Eventually, Allie decided to go her own way and convinced Nick and Lief to come with her. It didn't turn out to be a very good idea. While they were searching for someone they thought might be able to teach them new skills to use, they met with some mean people. Nick and Lief were sealed in old pickle barrels that were still filled with the brine and then taken prisoner by the monster of Everlost, the McGill.

After some clever thinking on Allie's part and Mary showing up in the Hindenburg, the McGill is overthrown and many Afterlights are rescued. Everyone plans to go back to the Twin Towers until Nick makes a very important discovery. He thinks he knows how to "get people to where they are going." This doesn't sit well with Mary. She likes her role as caretaker of the lost souls and doesn't want them leaving. This puts Nick and Mary on the opposite ends of the issue. Meanwhile, Allie is content and the McGill receives redemption.

Neal Shusterman has created a never-before-seen world that includes adventure and fantasy. The reader won't want the story to end. EVERLOST wraps up nicely, yet there could easily be a sequel.
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