Nick and Allie have died in a car accident. On their way through the tunnel through the light, they bump into each other, hurtling them out of the tunnel, into the limbo state of Everlost: The world between the living and the dead. They are determined to find their way home to check on their family, but things are not as they seem in this new world. Though it appears to be like the normal world, the children of Everlost, or Afterlights, can sink in the ground, ending up all in a mass in the center of the Earth, waiting for the end of the world. Only a few places, Dead Spots, are like solid ground. Some of these places are where people have died, and others are cherished places destined to be immortal. Nick and Allie journey to New York, where they meet a girl named Mary Hightower, a leader for Afterlights. Nick is content to stay here with Mary, but Allie thinks that Mary's beliefs are twisted and wrong. When Allie, Nick, and their friend Leif venture out to find answers, Nick and Leif are captured by the terrible monster known as the McGill, and it is up to Allie to find a way to beat the terrible beast and retrieve her friends.
When I first started reading this book, I thought it may be kind of dull, but since I loved Shusterman's Unwind, I kept going, hoping a change was going to happen. sure enough, it did, and this book was extremely suspenseful. The characters in Everlost are defined by their emotions and thoughts about themselves. Most obviously, the way you picture yourself is actually the way you look. If you thought you had three arms, you would grow a third. Also, people's emotions seem to take them over and turn them into something else or define them. Mary and McGill are perfect examples of this. Mary's actions may have been similar in the real world, but the reality of Everlost amplifies her emotions to protect others, at least from my viewpoint. The book does not really end in a cliffhanger, but I did immediately put a hold on the sequel, Everwild, from my local library because I wanted more. Overall, a great book!
Questions for Thought:
1. Do you think that children should stay in Everlost, like Mary says, or should they use their coin to "get where they were going"?
2. What would your "rut" be in Everlost? Would you let yourself fall into routine, would you be a finder, or just rebel like Allie?
3. Do you think that fortune cookies should be read, as McGill does, or do you side with Mary on this subject?
Please leave your comments and answers!
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