Everlost by Neal Shusterman

Everlost by  Neal Shusterman

You’re born, you live, and you die.

This is the cycle of the human life that we’re all brought up to believe.

But what if it wasn’t true?

What if there was a world that coexisted with the living?

What if there were “ghosts”?

Everlost is a world composed of the spirits of deceased children.

When adults die, their lives are already fulfilled, therefore they go into “the light”; literally.

A bright tunnel opens up, and the spirit is sent to their eternal life. And the spirit of a child in Everlost is ready,  the tunnel opens before them, and they are greeted with an understanding and their final destination.

But, because children have yet to accomplish many things, most are bound to live in Everlost for eternity, looking exactly as they were when they died.

14-year-olds Allie and Nick wake up from a 9 month slumber after their vehicles collided, resulting in the end of their lives.

Confused, and a little in shock, they soon realize that they’re in a world where they are ageless, tireless,have no hunger or thirst, and cannot change their appearance.

Allie was lucky to be cast into Everlost wearing jeans and a t-shirt, Nick on the other hand was eating a chocolate bar as he died, and when the crash hit, he gained a smudge on his cheek that would forever reside on his face.

Because the dead aren’t able to live with the living, they sink into the ground if they stand in the same place too long. Sinking to the center of the earth is the worst thing that can happen in Everlost, considering you cannot cause pain while being there.

Only dead spots are solid ground for Afterlights because they’re places where loved buildings/places once stood. Allie and Nick are soon accompanied by another Afterlight who kindly tells them what to expect while being in Everlost.

He tells them more about the sinking issues with the ground, the McGill (a dreaded monster who sails a scary ship) and Mary Hightower; the “mother” of Everlost.

After Allie and Nick are introduced to Mary, Nick begins to have feelings for her however, Allie is not quite content with the way Mary runs things in Everlost.

She takes in hundreds of children to live with her in the world trade center (it has crossed into Everlost) but they end up repeating the same tasks every day.

The same card games, telling the same jokes, or playing the exact same round of tag.

This is because the longer you’re in Everlost and the less you keep reminding yourself of who you are, you become less aware of things, you become a slave of the rhythm of doing any specific thing and become completely detached from reality.

Mary seems content with this, and this soon troubles Allie.

Allie also figures out she has a special skill–skinjacking. Skinjacking is a way for Afterlights to possess the living, control their actions, and read their thoughts if they want.

Only certain Afterlights can do this. She also uses her powers to help Nick when he becomes a captive to another villain of Everlost.

After several more exciting conflicts, Allie is eventually held prisoner aboard the Sulphur Queen, the ship the McGill sails. This leads to her soon finding out some very interesting facts about the McGill and his relationship with Miss Mary Hightower.

This book is filled with many characters we love and love to hate. The concept of a world between the living and the dead from the amazing imagination of Neal Shusterman has created a thrilling and engaging book to read with two fantastic sequels that follow to end this great trilogy.