Tuesday, June 7, 2011
I just finished Everlost in the wee hours of the morning this morning and I am still having mixed feelings about it. I was going to wait and do a collective review of the whole Skinjacker trilogy but I have a feeling if the next two books are anything like the first I am going to feel the need to discuss each one individually. This one took me by surprise and to be honest I am stuck in that limbo stage of not knowing if I actually enjoyed it or not. Kind of fitting to the plot of this book right?
Let's see...where to start...
Quick summary of what the story is about I guess. I will try and do this without any spoilers. The book starts with one of the best opening lines I've read in a long time:
"On a hairpin turn, above the dead forest, on no day in particular, a white Toyota crashed into a black Mercedes, for a moment blending into a blur of gray."
Awesome right? I feel like that sentence captures the feeling of the book. Beautiful imagery and syntax leaves you curious and enthralled. A great opening to the story in my opinion, good one Shusterman. So obviously the book starts with a car crash in which two strangers collide into each other as they are on their way to the light at the end of the tunnel and fall out into a limbo/Purgatory type world known as Everlost. These two strangers are a teenage girl and boy named Allie and Nick, and together they try to figure out what happened to them and where to go from there. We soon meet Lief, a boy who happened to be in that "dead forest" and we find out he has been waiting for other kids to arrive and keep him company. He explains where they are and starts to show them the ropes of being an "Afterlight," a term used to describe what these kids are. As the story progresses we meet more and more Afterlights and learn about the world Nick and Allie now reside in.
The characters are fantastic and you become attached to them steadily through the book, even the bad ones you feel pity for. The great imagery continues through the whole book, and it is packed with some of the best metaphors. With some pop culture and modern day references, the story is kept in perspective of the "in between" fantasy world Shusterman has created and contemporary fiction. The entire time I was reading it, it felt very dreamlike which in the end is what the whole story is supposed to be so again, good one Shusterman.
I do have to say though, I went into this book with high expectations after reading Unwind, and it did not quite live up to them. It was not as face-paced and intense so at times I did find it hard to sit down and get myself to read it. But he created a whole new world, with a whole new feel to it and I think like he achieved that new feel very well with Everlost. I like when authors come out with entirely different writing styles for each book; it keeps the reader guessing what the next book is going to be like.
Rating: I would have to say 4 stars, not based off of how enthralling the story was but mainly from the trance-like feel Shusterman created with his writing which matches the story very well. And I would say middle of the bookshelf because I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to that many people, but it is one of the few books that I feel like teen boys would love and there aren't many of those.
On to Everwild...