Book Review: Everlost, by Neal Shusterman

everlost_coverEverlost is a fantasy book, the first in the Skinjacker trilogy, that takes place in a dimension between life and death, populated by spirits of dead children and teenagers who failed to cross over to the true afterlife.

Main characters Nick and Allie meet when they die in the same car crash, and befriend a long-dead younger boy named Lief. The three of them travel the country and learn the rules of Everlost: they can no longer be seen by the living, objects with sentimental value can cross over to their plane, and anyone who stands still for too long will sink to the center of the earth. Allie learns the criminal practices of moving objects and possessing the living, intending to go home and visit her family, but when her friends are kidnapped aboard a ghost ship, her plans are derailed by a rescue mission.

The major strength of this book is the author’s creative ideas regarding the properties of ghosts. Spirits in Everlost are never older than fifteen or so, because adults are too focused to get lost on the way to the afterlife. Dead children arrive in Everlost wearing the clothes they died in, but after months in ghost form, their appearances can change as they forget what they looked like in life. They can easily get locked into a pattern of doing the same activity over and over until the end of time, especially if encouraged that this is their natural destiny.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes imaginative worldbuilding, adventure, and a focus on friendships rather than romance.

-Miranda C., 12th grade

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