Find Adventure in EVERLOST by Neal Shusterman

Cover art for "Everlost"When Allie and Nick are killed in a head-on collision, they bump into each other on their way to the light that is literally at the end of the tunnel. They wake in a strange reality, a land dubbed Everlost. There are no adults, just kids who got sidetracked on the way to that light.

Existence in Everlost requires a crash course in survival. Although they can’t die again, they can suffer, and if they don’t avoid sinking into the ground or running into the wrong people, suffer they will. Together, with a wild child they call Lief, Allie and Nick go in search of answers to questions they could never have imagined when they were alive.

Everlost is an imaginative rendering of the afterlife. Shusterman’s work is reminiscent of Lord of the Flies, perhaps deliberately so. This occurs on a far more grand scale, with no hope of outside rescue. Classic themes, such as bullies, opportunistic scheming, and the struggle between good and evil are strongly represented. Readers will sympathize with the characters’ dilemmas. Very little is straight forward, like in real life. Without adult guidance, kids are left to their own devices in this world. Shusterman handles this situation in a masterful stroke. No one character is perfect, and their actions have believable consequences.

I recommend this novel for teens and more mature preteens. Parents who like dark fantasy may enjoy this novel, too. Everlost is a novel that can be shared between parents and teens, leading to discussions about the world, the characters’ choices, and life and death in general.


4.5 Books
Everlost by Neal Shusterman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
ISBN-13 978-1-4169-9749-8

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Paper Towns… by John Green

Paper Towns
by John Green

Published By: Dutton Books: A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-0525478188


This Paper Burns with Soul
Reviewed by Christina Wantz Fixemer
on 09/20/2008

Margo Roth Spiegelman is a name you say in one breath. Just ask Quentin. Q has watched her grow up, the literal girl next door. When she shows up at his window late one night, he’s swept through the next few hours on an adventure such as he’s never experienced. Still in the thrall of overnight hijinks, he goes to school to learn that Margo has disappeared.

With his friends Ben and Radar, Q desperately works to solve the mystery that is Margo Roth Spiegelman. Her cryptic trail of clues has Q crisscrossing central Florida. His friends say she’ll show up at graduation, but he’s not so sure. He doesn’t care about prom or graduation. He just wants to find Margo before it’s too late.

Author John Green knows how to see into the souls of teens on the cusp of adulthood. There is a lot of Young Adult fiction that sees teens just as kids who need to be entertained. Green sees beyond the surface and creates situations that delve into readers hearts—whether they are eighteen years old or thirty or fifty.

Green waxes philosophical fairly often, but it works. There is enough “normal” teen behavior to balance the spurts of deep thinking. Besides the intellect behind the book, Green does a great job of setting each scene. Readers will find each of their senses engaged, pulling them into Q’s life.

Lest readers think I’m all aglow about PAPER TOWNS, it is worth noting that there is a lot of swearing and frequent references to sex and teen drinking. This novel could be used as one of those “teaching moments” professionals like to talk about. Quite frankly, a lot of the behavior in this book is common, so it would be a good chance to talk about it and let kids and parents air out how they feel about these issues, as well as the overall plot of the book.

This is one that will make people see others around them with fresh eyes. I highly recommend this novel for older teens and up.

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