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Last Bus to Everland

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Last Bus to Everland is Sophie Cameron's gorgeous follow up to her acclaimed debut Out of the Blue , introducing an addictive magical place where you do you. Brody Fair has had enough of real life. Enough of the bullies on his block, of being second best to his genius brother, and of not fitting in at school or at home. Then one day he meets Nico. Colourful, confident and flamboyant, he promises to take Brody to Everland, a diverse magical place. A place where he can be himself, where there are no rules, time doesn't pass, and the party never ends. The only catch? It's a place so good, you could lose yourself and forget what's real.

288 pages, Paperback

First published May 14, 2019

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About the author

Sophie Cameron

4 books129 followers
Sophie Cameron is a MG & YA author from the Black Isle, Scotland. Her debut novel OUT OF THE BLUE was nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2019 and her books have featured in Kirkus' Best YA of the Year and the ALA Rainbow Book List, among others. She lives in Spain with her wife and their twin boys and likes cats and learning languages.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 249 reviews
Profile Image for anna (½ of readsrainbow).
596 reviews1,842 followers
June 4, 2021
rep: gay mc, gay li, gay, pan & lesbian side characters, hijabi side character, side character in wheelchair, side character with agoraphobia

such a wholesome little book!! not to be that guy, but this is what u get when basically all ur characters are gay

also i love kasia kowalewska, my btfl polish lesbian daughter
Profile Image for kate.
1,225 reviews949 followers
May 16, 2019
A quietly magic, truly lovely story.

Despite it’s fantasy elements, this wonderful book felt so incredibly real. It brilliantly explores an array of topics, from sexuality to mental illness to poverty to academic pressures and features a wonderfully diverse cast (the MC is gay and poor with a father who is living with PTSD and agoraphobia. The love interest is Spanish and gay. There’s also a Polish lesbian side character, a hijabi SC, a Japanese SC, a latinx bi SC, a SC with an eating disorder, a gay SC with anxiety and a pansexual SC who uses a wheelchair.)

I loved that each character had their own story and were allowed to, not only have flaws, but to grow and learn from their own mistakes and those of others, whilst having their growth received with compassion, rather than irreconcilable fall outs. Whether it be familial, romantic or platonic, I thought the various relationship dynamics explored were also really interesting to follow.

As someone who adores fairy tale retellings (especially those of the Disney variety) but is regularly let down but them, I’m so happy to be able to say I loved this contemporary spin on Peter Pan. I thought the plot was perfectly balanced between the two settings and the twist on Neverland (with a little Narnia thrown in for good measure) was a fun and unique take on the original story.

From the lovable characters and easy following writing style, to the casual Studio Ghibli, Disney and Yuri on Ice references (I saw them and loved them) and a plot that brilliantly encapsulated the escape so many teens (and adults) dream of, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish.

TW: Homophobia, ableism, eating disorder, agoraphobia, panic attacks, discussion of suicide.
Profile Image for charlotte,.
3,227 reviews873 followers
March 15, 2019
I’m starting to feel like I could disappear, and they wouldn’t even notice.

On my blog.

Rep: gay mc, gay li, gay/pan/lesbian side characters, hijabi side character, side character in wheelchair, side character with agoraphobia

Galley provided by publisher

I sat down to write this review of Last Bus to Everland, but then I realised that I had no words to offer, only tears. So, I went away for a bit, thought it over, came back and I… still have no words, only tears. But we’re gonna give writing this a go anyhow.

Last Bus to Everland is the story of Brody Fair, a gay teen in Edinburgh, the middle child of three, who feels out of place in the world. He’s bullied at school, feels like no one cares at home, but then he meets Nico. Nico takes him to Everland, a magical place that opens up every Thursday at 11:21pm. There, Brody finds a place for himself, but soon things start going wrong in Everland, and he has to make a decision to stay there forever or go and never come back.

The thing I loved most about this book was the family relationships. There’s a found family relationship, yes, but also the most lovely biological family relationship. Even when Brody thinks no one cares for him, you as the reader know that his family would stand behind him whatever. I think my favourite part of that was the relationship between Brody and his brother Jake. It was perfectly angsty and I probably almost cried multiple times reading the scenes they had together. Particularly the big heart-to-heart at the end.

I also loved that the romance was kind of incidental to this family relationship. The plot wasn’t that Nico saved Brody or vice versa, but more that meeting Nico and everyone in Everland helped Brody become comfortable with himself. Because the most beautiful thing in LGBT books is the characters getting to be happy and content with themselves and finding their place in the world, and that will never not make me cry.

And even if the ending did make me sad (though hopeful? In a way), there was nothing I didn’t like about this book. It was so soft and just… healing I guess would be the word. It’s just got that rawness and authenticity that comes with an LGBT author.

So, really, I don’t know what else to say to convince you to read this. Just that it’s one you’re not going to want to miss.
Profile Image for Lea (drumsofautumn).
622 reviews625 followers
June 18, 2019
Video Review

Last Bus to Everland is a novel that, while it includes a portal fantasy world, is much more Contemporary than Fantasy and deals with a lot of friendship and family dynamics, that are all incredibly complex and well done.

“There's bravery in surviving this world when your mind can only focus on the bad in it.”

Everland, the portal fantasy world, is something that the characters consciously decide to go back to every week, mostly to escape the real world. The existence in this story is mostly a tool for story telling and character development. Through their time in Everland, the characters learn a lot about themselves and their life and that is a huge theme throughout the book.
It also deals with escapism in general and looks at it from all kinds of different angles. Is it good or bad, when does it become a problem and can it be addicting? This is all reflected in different character's decisions and shows the nuance of it.

Sadly, because this book focuses so heavily on the real world effects of Everland, I thought that this book did not have enough world building. I didn't need an explanation for this world but I wanted it to be much more described, to have some lush writing, so that I as a reader felt more like I was in this place and never wanted to leave too, but I didn't get that at all. Everland itself fell completely flat for me.

The family dynamics were super well done and tackled a lot of issues all at the same time. I loved seeing a family with three kids, as I feel like this is rather rare in YA and it was great to see the two very different relationships that Brody has with his brother and his sister and especially how much those relationships are influenced by their parents and the way they treat them too. Brody's brother is the "smart kid" and gets favoured by their parents in a lot of ways, which obviously leads to tension. But there was great development and seeing them both figure their relationship out, basically seperate from how their parents treat them, was so nice.

There is also the very complex relationships that Brody has with his dad. He served in the army and has developed PTSD from it and after an attack on the streets eventually became agoraphobic. I can't speak for the representation of that itself but I thought that the relationship between Brody and his dad was handled with care. It was very clearly stated that this is a disability like any other and nothing that you should tell people to just "get over".
At the same time, it doesn't ignore the fact that it can be hard to have a parent with a mental illness. I liked that we saw Brody being angry or upset at his dad but always knowing that it is totally irrational. Basically Brody called himself out whenever he had those thoughts and I liked this balanced portrayal.
Very much connected to that, this also brought up the topic of children having to carry the burden of the parents going through financial struggles and how that can affect the relationship between all members of the family because of how different activities get treated as "more important".

I also enjoyed the different friendship dynamics. I liked all the characters that Brody would hang out with in Everland, although I definitely wish that we had gotten to know them a little bit better. A lot of them felt like they were purely there to help Brody develop as a character, instead of being really fleshed out characters. It fit with the theme of Everland though, so I didn't mind too much.
We also saw Brody's relationship to his best friend from school change because of the time he spends in Everland. It was interesting to see their dynamic change and I liked the emphasis on not liking every single aspect of someone just because you're friends with them.

“The shakiness wears off, but it takes a while for the nervous feeling to fade. Nothing about tonight has been quite right. I feel like I've seen something I shouldn't have seen. A monster baring its teeth.”

This book also had a wonderful theme of finding your identity, especially as a queer teen, in the way you represent your sexuality or gender and to not be afraid of the stereotypes or feeling like you need to subvert them.
And I loved showing how coming out can be vastly different for everyone, even when they are in the same societal environment.
The main character himself identifies as gay and there is lesbian, bi and pan rep on page! We also have several people of colour and a side character that uses a wheelchair.

Finally, another one of my gripes with this novel was the romantic relationship, that was sadly not very well done and therefore seemed kinda unnecessary. I think with all of the themes in this book, there was just not enough time to develop the romantic feelings between the main character and the love interest and while you could tell who would be Brody's love interest immediately, it still seemed liked the romantic feelings came out of nowhere because it happens from 0 to 100!
A friendship between the two would've been much more believable and still could've had the same effect on the character's decisions and actions.

I will say there was a theme of how romantic relationships might influence what you decide to do with your future and making potentially irreversible decisions because of your romantic partner. This definitely would not have stood out as much without it being a romantic relationship but at the end of the day, I just still don't think the romance was necessary.

Overall, even with its flaws, this book is a really interesting look at portal fantasy worlds and something I would definitely recommend, if you are not too particular about your lush world building.

Trigger and content warnings for agoraphobia, PTSD (after being in the army), love ones being in a coma, panic attacks, bullying, eating disorder, drug dealing and death by overdosing, suicidal thoughts.

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I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Kit (Metaphors and Moonlight).
903 reviews126 followers
August 22, 2019
3.5 Stars

*I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. This has not influenced my review.*

I loved how this book felt so realistic and genuine in terms of the characters' struggles and imperfections. They were a bunch of teens dealing with real teen problems---fitting in, figuring themselves out, being bullied, feeling upstaged by siblings, not being understood by parents, needing breaks from all the pressure, struggling with mental illness, having financial problems, having difficulties with school, not knowing what to do with their futures, etc.

They were also a bunch of teens who were good people---maybe not perfect, but not judgmental or mean either. The main character was a relatable one, especially for LGBT+ teens. But honestly, I think a lot of people could find something to relate to in this book. Wouldn't everyone who's ever felt misunderstood or judged or like an outsider love to find a place like Everland where you can just be yourself and have time and space to work through your thoughts and feelings away from the struggles of real life? This book was all about figuring out who you are, learning to accept yourself even if some people never will, coping with life's difficulties, and realizing that even people whose lives look perfect have their own struggles you don't even know about.

This was also just an easy book to sink into. There was tension and a bit of an ominous feel as the story went on, and I wanted to know what was going to happen, both in Brody's personal life and with Everland.

This book was more contemporary YA than fantasy, which is not something I normally read, but it had relatable and diverse characters, a story that kept me reading, some great messages, and some touching, bittersweet moments that made me tear up a bit. I enjoyed this, and I think it would be especially great for teens.

Recommended For:
Anyone who likes YA, imperfect but good characters, and books that deal with life's difficulties in a poignant way.

Original Review @ Metaphors and Moonlight
Profile Image for Denise.
6,594 reviews109 followers
December 8, 2019
You know those books you pick up pretty much at random, entirely unsuspecting, and then they just sneak up and hit you right in the feels? This was one of those for me. At once sad and beautiful, depressing and uplifting, a bittersweet and utterly lovely tale full of quiet magic, friendship and love, with complex characters that feel utterly real.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,467 reviews351 followers
March 3, 2020
I'm also a book blogger: Vee_Bookish

Last Bus To Everland is an incredible LGBT, Gay coming-of-age novel featuring my new obsession - doors that take you to magical worlds where anything is possible. Everland gives the people that find it a chance to escape the everyday life they're trapped in, with no time passing when they return. For some, it becomes an obsession.

I loved that every character had their unique thing they were escaping from, strict parents, an overworked violin prodigy, a muslim girl who is a full time carer for her mother. And drum player Ollie, who feels like he's drifting in life with no direction, unable to admit to his parents that he's gay.

I did have a few issues with this book - I really wanted a knock-your-socks-off gay romance, especially as I shipped Nico and Brody so, so much. But this book isn't about that, it's about coming to terms with growing up. There was also some major stuff going down in Everland that was not explained, which left me hoping for a sequel that might clear that up.

I loved the idea of Everland so much, it would be the exact sort of place that would be difficult to leave if I was a teenager and I think I would have been one of the ones that stayed. There's so much representation in this book, physical and mental disabilities, diverse lgbt characters, I'm just in love with the whole thing.
Profile Image for Solly.
467 reviews30 followers
July 6, 2021
Welp it fucked me up alright.

Last Bus To Everland is about Brody, a Scottish teen who is bad at school stuff, a decent but not genius drummer, and a kid with a creative streak. He lives in Edinburgh with his family (1 agoraphobic dad, 1 overworked mom, 1 genius brother, 1 musicals-obsessed little sister & 1 cat named Tinker Bell), gets bullied by 2 classmates/neighbours, and has one friend, not counting the cat.

One day he meets a (very cute) boy who wears fake fairy wings and invites him to Everland, a magical place that opens every Thursday night and where everything is possible.

(EDIT: forgot to mention but there's a lot of HP references in this, I gave it a pass because it was published a few years ago, but it's still jarring in queer books so be warned)

It was SO good. For the first third, I was like "this is okay, but not a fave by far" but by the end there were tears in my eyes.

This deals with so much stuff. Being from a family with growing financial problems, having a disabled dad and understanding his invisible illness but being frustrated and angry about it sometimes anyway, feeling like the background child compared to a genius sibling, being a mediocre teen who knows he won't go to college or become a musician or anything exceptional.

And at first, I didn't get what Everland brought to the story, not really. The strongest point for me was Brody's family dynamics.

-very vague not-quite-spoilers ahead-

But at some point it clicked with me that Everland could be read as the temptation of a forever escape. And the deeper you go into the story, the closer the conflict about staying to Everland forever can be read as running away, drug use, or even suicidal ideation.

Brody questions his worth, wonders if his family would notice/care if he were to disappear to never come back, dissociates from reality when it gets hard and Everland is an option to escape it.

The whole thing hit my feeling so hard. Being a marginalized teen with complicated family dynamics is so hard. I was a messed-up kids with 'would anyone even care' thoughts. Last Bus To Everland really hit those big teenage with mental health issues feelings for me.

For me, Last Bus To Everland is a book about choosing to stay, even when you kind of wish you didn't have to, because everything is hard, and the future isn't bright or hopeful. I loved it for that.

And that's WITHOUT getting into all the issues brought up by the side characters. How do you deal with being a carer for one of your parents as a teen? What do you do when your one dream falls apart and nothing else is there to keep you going? How do you deal with the pressure of being expected to success academically but you're not sure if your goals align with people's expectations anymore? What happens when getting to live your dream kills your dream? Just. Major feels everywhere!! And wonderfully complex but still supportive sibling and family relationships.
Profile Image for cathy.
216 reviews8 followers
October 4, 2019
Actual rating for this is somewhere between 2-3 stars.

I read Sophie Cameron's Out of the Blue earlier this year and was absolutely blown away by it. It was easily one of my favorite books I read this year, though when I first began it, I didn't think that would happen. Last Bus to Everland, on the other hand, had the opposite effect on me...

The story follows Brody, a British teen in high school who is made fun of by the mean girls in his class for being gay. His father has a mental illness, his family barely has any money, and compared to his genius brother, he feels like a failure. Then he meets a boy, Nico, and Nico's friends, who show him a world called Everland that appears every night on Thursday. This novel is all obviously a big play on Peter Pan (which just so happens to be one of Brody's favorites), but here's the thing: the book has no plot, and it feels like nothing really happens.

Each chapter is just Thursday of Brody in Everland. He goes, he flirts with Nico, he joins a band, and repeat. When Brody is at home, all he does is whine about his life. Which, listen, he has it hard, and some of it I can understand. But really, it's all he does. He even calls himself out on it a few times. But after almost 3o0 pages, it just becomes annoying.

There's no world building with Everland. It changes landscapes all the time, but never enough for any of it to be important. Then Brody has to ask himself this question: should he stay in Everland forever, or not? I won't say what happens and spoil the book, though.

Honestly, a lot of this feels like choppy plot points being thrown together to create a full novel without most of it being touched on. Like, something gets mentioned and then it just really isn't anymore, or it doesn't have a full explanation. And while I give the book kudos for having good queer/mentally ill representation, Brody's and Nico's relationship isn't really anything to write home about. Because, like the rest of the book, it just feels like nothing's there. Overall, it's an okay book, and I'll admit there were times where it made me emotional, but it only had me turning the pages just so I could find out what was really going to happen to Brody and Nico.

I'll definitely read more by Sophie Cameron, and obviously I recommend Out of the Blue. This book, I say give it a chance yourself, but it's just meh to me.
Profile Image for Lauren James.
Author 17 books1,467 followers
April 2, 2020
A fun, inclusive story about lonely, queer teenagers in Edinburgh meeting each night in a magical portal world to party, bond and find a place where they belong. I love Sophie Cameron's writing, and it was especially nice to read a book with locations where I've been.
Profile Image for Sarah Mc.
4 reviews11 followers
May 12, 2019
It has been a very long time since I’ve gobbled a book up so greedily. As I close the cover I can’t help but muse that, once again, a book that I so desperately needed to read fell into my lap at the exact point in my life that I needed to read it.

Sophie Cameron tells the story of a boy who, like the rest of us, is struggling to find his place in the world. Lost in feelings of inadequacy, fear of the future, and stressors of his complicated life, Brody is searching for what all of us have and continue to: himself, his tribe, and a grip on the never ending monkey wrenches that the world tries to beat him down with. But when he finds relief and a piece of himself in the fantastical realm of Everland, his grip on the real world starts to slip away.

I cannot praise the character development enough. I walked right along side Brody and his friends. I know his pains, his confusion, and the hope he lost and reclaimed over the course of his story. And I know you will too. We all have a version of Everland that helps us put one foot in front of the other and find ourselves at some point in our lives. When you read the closing sentence and set this amazing book down, I hope you can remember that moment, that person, or that place too, and smile.

(Received an ARC from Goodreads Giveaway Contest, and thank gosh I did!)
Profile Image for Leigh Collazo.
671 reviews224 followers
July 8, 2019
Last Bus to Everland comes with three starred reviews and a Goodreads rating well over 4.0. I actually kind of hate when this happens. I expect so much from books that get this amount of praise. And yes, Last Bus to Everland was good. But was it GREAT? Meh. Possibly I expected to much; I certainly do that sometimes...

This is a snippet of a longer review from a secondary school librarian. To see the full review, along with content notes and whether I would buy this for my library, please read the full review on the MrsReaderPants blog.
Profile Image for Cay.
64 reviews
September 7, 2022
Loved this book!
It’s such an easy, heartfelt and unique read. There’s no unpredictable plottwists (okay maybe 1, but it felt like a minor twist) but the story is so good, who cares?! Not me for once.

I loved the characters, getting to know ‘Everland’ and seeing Brody’s growth.
Sure, the other characters probably could have used a bit more depth and there were one or two moments a bit of info seemed to be missing, but with the story being so unique, it’s easy to read over that and just fill it in.
Profile Image for Fabie.
67 reviews1 follower
December 22, 2022
Kinda wanna rate it one star because the ending broke me. Blaming only one person for this and its the person who recommended it to me
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
619 reviews77 followers
November 8, 2019
Ignoring the monsters doesn't mean they disappear.

Brody doesn't feel like he truly belongs anywhere in this world. No one gets him: not his overworked parents, not his genius older brother, and especially not the kids at school who make his life miserable. But when Brody meets Nico, his life changes for the better. Nico takes Brody to a "knock-off Narnia" that opens its doors at exactly the same time every Thursday. There, amongst a group of fellow misfits, Brody finally feels at peace. This "knock-off Narnia", they call Everland, is a place where they can finally be themselves, indulging in their deepest desires. But when the doors to Everland start to disappear, Brody must make a decision. Will he leave Everland and Nico behind, or will he risk saying goodbye to his family forever?

A story of escaping reality. A boy shutting the door on pain, only to find it was already inside.

Trigger warning for violence, bullying, depression, homophobia, an eating disorder, and agoraphobia.

An awkward loner, Brody felt lost. Though a victim of the ever common teenage angst, he faced many real life problems like poverty, mental illness, and academic pressure. Waves of happiness and sadness coursed through me as he traversed the endless bounds of Everland, rediscovering joy. Although he felt ostracized from his family, it was clear that he loved them dearly, as he did everything he could to help them. Despite his sadness by the end of the novel, Brody was a new person entirely, ready to repair broken relationships and face the real world.

From the artistic dreamer that was Nico, to the core group of friends he made in Everland, from his best friend in reality, to the girls who tormented him, from his poverty-stricken family to their adorable cat, Tink, Brody touched more peoples' lives than he knew. Unique, every one of the supporting cast was burdened with an emotional backstory that made them even more complex. Not only were the characters themselves beautifully written, but there was amazing representation for the LGBTQ+ community, people of color,and people with mental illness and physical disabilities as well. The tense yet tender relationships between Brody's family were realistically painful. Everyone of Brody's relationships were chock full of feelings and showed just how much of a gaping hole he would leave if he left either of the worlds behind.

What does escape look like for you? Perhaps to it's benefit, Everland was vaguely depicted. Incredibly intriguing, it was easy to see why Brody and his friends became addicted to the place where dreams come alive. A perfect blend of reality with forays into the fantastic, Sophie Cameron's novel was full of relatable trials and tribulations. The way she crafted the cases for both reality and Everland was compelling. As to which place Brody's heart would land was a mystery until the very end. Mental illness was touched upon with the gentlest of hands as it showed how incredibly impactful it is on the whole family. I also loved the novel's reminder that people with mental illness deserve to be treated fairly, just like everyone else. Similar to these gentle souls that never wished to leave Everland, I never wanted this book to end.

It's well worth it to take The Last Bus to Everland, at least for a while.
Profile Image for S.R. Harris.
Author 1 book42 followers
December 12, 2020
I honestly enjoyed this more than I thought I would, although this was not what I was expecting.

I thought I was going to get a book about a boy who is pulled into a magical world and realize he wants to go back to the real world, instead I got a very real story about teenagers finding themselves.

The MC of the story is Brody who is dealing with a lot of real intense problems when he meets Nico and is introduced to Everland. Everland is a cross between wonderland and Narnia. It's a place where people go to escape their problems.

Brody eventually is forced to make a choice and I believe he made the right decision, even if the ending was a bit sad.
Profile Image for Kathy Shin.
151 reviews121 followers
July 8, 2019
Surprises can be a hit or a miss for me. Sometimes it's like sticking my hand in a mystery box and hoping nothing cuts my fingers off.

I came into Everland thinking it'd be a light and quirky story about a boy who goes to a magical world and discovers himself while befriending a band of misfits. Instead, I got something more quiet and poignant: a story about mental health and identity and what happens when life becomes too heavy to bear on your own.

So I think things worked out pretty well with this one. All fingers intact.

If you're looking for a portal fantasy story with an emphasis on "fantasy," this probably isn't for you because Everland is one of the least developed portal fantasy worlds I've come across. That's not entirely a criticism, though, because detailed worldbuilding wouldn't have fit the vibe of the story. It's supposed to be a world that's magical in a vague and scattered kind of way, more like a virtual reality club than an actual fantasy setting--cool things to see (massive libraries, festivals, beaches) and interesting people to meet, but not a whole lot of depth to it all. A place that's different enough from the the real world for it to be an escape.

There were definitely moments where I wished I had something more to chew on, but overall I didn't mind it.

So what makes the book good? First of all, it's a YA contemporay-ish novel that's set in Scotland which already sets it apart from most of its peers. Secondly, Brody's narration is easy and charming (I loved his Scottish brogue) and his empathy pulls your right in. Thirdly, the cast is super diverse--Everland allows people from all over the world to mingle--and they're all interesting characters with their own little backstories.

Fourthly, and most importantly (for me, anyway): the mental health representation. Pretty much every character is struggling with something in their lives. Like Cameron's father, for example, which was a complete surprise for me because we don't often see father figures in media going through mental health issues. Either they're strong and well put-together, or their illness manifests in violent and abusive tendencies. Empathetic portrayals are few and far between.

Well, serious kudos to Cameron because Brody's father has agoraphobia and her portrayal of it is stunningly real and painful.

What I love most about the story, though, is that it explores the invisible hardships that people deal with on a daily basis--depression, anxiety, phobias, eating disorders--and the idea that just because you think someone's life is perfect and untroubled, doesn't mean it actually is.

When I was in undergrad, a friend opened up about how she was going through anxieties and depressive episodes and how uncertain she was about her future. Then she punctuated it by saying that I couldn't possibly understand her feelings because I was happy; I had a loving boyfriend and knew exactly what I wanted to do once I graduated.

And well. Talk about words that make you feel small.

I get why she said it. Often times we can be so wrapped up in our own heads that we don't see past our own darkness. And we can't help but weigh our suffering on a scale and see how it compares to someone else's. See whose life comes out the shittiest. But I think that's a train of thought that only does harm in the long run, breeding resentment in a world that already has its fair share.

Life is hard and people hurt in different ways. Ways that aren't often visible to others. Your rich and successful neighbour might be dealing with panic attacks on a regular basis. Your friend who wears a smile 24/7 might be wrestling with suicidal thoughts. You just don't know sometimes. Your demons don't negate the existence of other people's demons and, conversely, other people's demons don't make yours worth any less. Like it or not, we're all in this together.

And the book addresses all of that in a beautifully candid way. Characters get open and honest about their feelings by the end of the story, and it's touching to see friends and families air their problems and come together in moments of mutual understanding. A lot of "You feel that way? I'm sorry, I didn't know that" and "I know what you mean--I've felt that way too." Some people might call it cheesy; I found it cathartic.

Everland isn't a book that had me bouncing off the walls and wanting to scream from the rooftops, but it is a book that made me feel warm and satisfied and a little wistful. Like waking up smiling from a dream and trying to chase the tail ends of it.

And sometimes that's enough.

Review copy provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Zoe.
282 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2021
Wow. This was... a book. I liked it at first, but then it got really really sad. And not like that fun to read sad, just straight up depressing. I only read it fast because I wanted to be done with it and I was afraid I’d get into a reading slump.
Profile Image for Ross Duffy.
124 reviews
July 14, 2019
Great story with characters who steal your heart. At the beginning I didn’t think this was for me but as I read on, I actually really began to enjoy it. It is so imaginative and I loved its concept!
Profile Image for Beth.
227 reviews10 followers
May 9, 2019
"I found Everland. I found my people." He smiles and gives my shoulder a little push. "And now you have, too."

When I started reading Last Bus to Everland I wasn't sure what I expected, maybe a light read about a boy who discovers a secret world where he can escape all of his real-life problems, and while at its heart that's what Last Bus to Everland was there were a lot of deeper parts to this book as well. Brody had a lot he was struggling with, but so did his family and his friends. We see them all grow in this books and the representation and character development were all incredible.

Full review available on my blog Reading Every Night
Profile Image for Rory.
558 reviews9 followers
June 13, 2021
Voilà ce que l’on obtient avec un casting de perso divers et pas mal queer (sans concentrer l’histoire sur l’homophobie et le coming out). Franchement j’ai beaucoup aimé ce livre. Une belle surprise touchante et addictive. Je me suis laissée transporter au fil des pages en imaginant ce monde parfait, ce monde magnifique. Et aussi quelle décision j’aurais prise à la place des personnages… je pense qu’elle aurait changé en fonction de mon âge et période de ma vie.

Des personnages attachants et un plume légère, bien que des sujets importants soient abordés. En bref, je veux une suite svp!

Rep: Pp gay, Ps gay/lesbienne/pan, Ps asiatique, Os musulman, Ps handicapés (fauteuil roulant, agoraphobie), Ps japonaise
Tw: Harcèlement, Homophobie, Crise d’angoisse, TCA, mention Harry Potter
Profile Image for Rebecca Crunden.
Author 20 books529 followers
January 30, 2022
There's bravery in surviving this world when your mind can only focus on the bad in it.

This was a lot more ... real than I expected. Like, I felt quite melancholy whilst reading it. Overall I did really like it, but I was holding out for a different ending. :(
Profile Image for layan.
159 reviews23 followers
July 16, 2022
definitely a new favorite. i haven’t cried like this in a long long time. i can’t describe this book, please read it.
Profile Image for Amy.
Author 4 books19 followers
March 10, 2021
Having loved Out Of The Blue by Sophie Cameron, I was super excited to read her book. Even though it took me a little longer than anticipated, I had a lovely time in the world of Everland and will continue to Sophie Cameron's work in the future.

Even though the book does have moments that are touching and you can get the warm feeling from many scenes from the book, these are often contrasted with Body's home life. I think that the balance is well done and that both times are given their time to develop. That being said, Sophie Cameron touches on the reality for so many teenagers in the book.

The stress of zero-hour contracts, feeling inadequate compared to a sibling, the feeling of being lost altogether and mental illness, agoraphobia is tackled in the book. While I cannot speak to my own experiences of the book, I do think that their inclusion was important and will help a lot of people.

The book was also really diverse, Brody is gay and so is his brother as well as Everland being a point for a lot of different people globally. All these characters add to the story and give it more weight.

I really did like Everland and while at the beginning, I did think that they were going to stay at Everland for good, I liked the idea that they could come and go more powerful as a story device. I also liked the world that was created and how it could act as this safe space for the characters. I'm sure there are a lot of people who want an Everland.

The characters were really great and I think that Sophie Cameron does a great job making them feel real. I loved Brody as the centre protagonist and seeing his progress throughout the novel was great. I also really liked Nico and saw him as an equal for Brody but also for opposing what he wants. The book also gives us parents who do their best but are trying for there children.

One of the main reasons why I picked this up now was because last year if the pandemic had not happened I wanted to go to Scotland. I loved reading about it, especially Edinburgh and hopefully, I will get to visit when the pandemic is over.

Even though the last twenty per cent does offer a scary turn in the story, I think that this adds to the pacing of the story and adds more weight to the situation and Brody. I don't know how to explain it but I still felt safe in the book and that nothing too bad was going to happen. This is a credit to Sophie Cameron's writing obviously. I also found it really fast-paced as I really wanted to know what happened to my faves.

I really loved the ending as it was so emotional and adds so much to the overall arc of the story. I also was just solely attached to the characters and I feel like all of them got the ending they deserved and needed. Brody especially, I loved that for him. The character development tho.

As you can tell, I really loved The Last Bus To Everland and highly recommend that reads this book if you feel like you just don't fit in.

The Verdict:

The Last Bus To Everland is a book that captures the magic of escape but also finding out where you truly fit in.
Profile Image for astoriasbooks.
260 reviews54 followers
December 22, 2020
Last Bus to Everland est un livre étonnant, qui met en scène un Pays Imaginaire où tout est possible mais dont l'intrigue se déroule principalement dans le monde réel.

Dans ce roman, on suit Brody Fair, un adolescent épuisé de ce que la vie a à lui offrir : il est constamment harcelé par des filles de son ��cole, n'est pas aussi intelligent que son frère aîné, se sent ignoré par ses parents et est obligé de cacher sa sexualité. Alors quand il rencontre Nico, il tombe aussitôt sous le charme de ce garçon aux ailes de fée qui l'emmène à Everland, un endroit magique qui n'est accessible que les jeudis soirs.

J'avoue avoir été assez perturbée par ma lecture. Je m'attendais à lire une réécriture de Peter Pan, mais le Pays Imaginaire, bien qu'il soit une partie importante de la vie de Brody, m'a semblé être très peu développé. Tout ce que l'on sait, c'est que c'est un endroit aux mille merveilles, qui rassemble des gens du monde entier, et qu'on y accède par des portes dissimulées. L'autrice ne s'est pas étendue sur les règles de ce monde parallèle, ce que je trouve dommage. Je peux dire la même chose des personnages. À l'exception de Brody et de sa famille, les amis qu'il s'est fait à Everland ne m'ont pas paru être crédibles. J'oubliais qui ils étaient dès qu'ils n'étaient pas dans la scène.

Je pense que cela s'explique par le fait qu'Everland et ses personnages ne sont pas censés être tangibles, ce n'est qu'un échappatoire à la vie réelle, ce qui est très bien pensé. Malheureusement, cela a eu pour effet de me désintéresser complètement d'Everland : je ne voulais lire que sur la vie de Brody en dehors de ce monde parallèle et de ses problèmes avec sa famille et l'école. Tout ce pan de fantasy introduit par Everland n'a réussi qu'à me sortir de ce livre...
Profile Image for Alexa Blart, Library Cop.
325 reviews9 followers
March 20, 2021
Maybe one day you’ll fall down a rabbit hole or walk through a wardrobe or a door will appear out of nowhere, and I’ll be right there waiting for you.

(Yes hello I would like to set something on fire rn)

All children, except one, grow up. Except when you’re Brody Fair, growing up emphatically sucks: his family is poor, his dad suffers agoraphobia, his relationship with his know-at-all brother is rocky to say the least, and he’s beleaguered by bullies at school—an experience that would be made even worse if they knew he was gay. Till a chance encounter with a boy unlike any Brody’s ever met offers him a glimmer of hope: every Thursday night, a secret door appears on Carlton Hill in his hometown of Edinburgh. A door that only the boy—Nico—and his friends know about. A door that leads to a magical other world they call Everland.

Cameron cleverly crafts a world that gives those who enter exactly what they need—more time to do the things they want, space to be the people they really are, or even just a break from the troubles of their everyday lives. Because everyone who enters Everland is struggling—big struggles and small ones, but all realistic and genuinely conflicting. But just as Brody thinks he’s found his place and his people, the doors slowly start to disappear, and everyone is individually faced with an impossible decision: give up Everland forever—or give up the real world.

I loved how absolutely grounded in reality a story about what essentially amounts to Narnia for queer folks was. Because the problems Brody and his friends are facing aren’t insignificant, and the lure of being able to escape them forever, in a place that makes you feel completely free, is strong. Not everyone chooses right, but right also means different things for different people; and sometimes, even though it’s hard and terrible, choosing to grow up is the right choice after all. I’m never going to stop thinking about this quiet, gritty little fairytale and I am FURIOUS about it.
Profile Image for iz✨.
209 reviews12 followers
June 17, 2023
A generous 2 stars

This was a bit of a mess ngl. I'm all for queer spec fic, but this was all the things I hate about YA contemporary mixed in with all the things I hate about urban fantasy. Everland (which I think was meant to be a metaphor for recreational drug use??? but maybe that was just wishful thinking - either way, I think it's an interesting interpretation so bonus points for that) wasn't explained at all which might have been the point but it a) wasn't made well and b) was annoying so ew. There were too many characters, all of whom were super cliched, and Brody was so. annoying. He just whined and whined and my sympathy levels for Jake, who I was definitely not supposed to be sympathising with, rose with every page I had to read. He treated his bestie so, so badly and then it's suddenly all chill again LIKE MEGAN WHY R U FORGIVING HIM HE HAS BROUGHT U NOTHING BUT PAIN. The central relationship was also so weird and bordering on illegal (16 and 18, occurring just after the 16 yr old's birthday) which absolutely could've been addressed but nono pretty boy who is not like the other girls so we're just going to roll with it. Nico (the bf) was also annoying and not worth it, although the equal levels of annoyingness maybe mean they were meant to end up with each other idk anymore. The ending was also bad! The only reason this isn't one star is because it wasn't as bad as Rock Paper Killers so there must have been some redeeming features (although I'm not quite sure what they were) and it's Pride Month so Sophie Cameron better be very grateful I didn't read this in July. Wouldn't recommend.
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