Author: Neal Shusterman
Allie and Nick only met after the car crash that killed them both. Now they’re ghosts, or Afterlights, stuck in Everlost--a place that’s neither life nor the afterlife, but somewhere in between. They’re not alone, either. Hundreds, even thousands of other children inhabit Everlost, knocked off course on their way to where they were going at the time of their deaths.
Allie and Nick make their way to New York City and to Mary, who oversees hundreds of children living in the ghosts of the Twin Towers. It’s tempting to spend forever under Mary’s protection, playing Pac-Man or jumping rope, safe from the monstrous McGill or the roving gangs of bullies outside. But neither Allie nor Nick can quite shake the feeling that there’s more to Everlost than this . . .
I’ve read some other Neal Schusterman books, but I’m blogging this one because, boy, can the man bring the world-building. Everlost isn’t just a pale copy of the living world, or a blissful heaven knock-off. It has its own dangers and rules, with swift and terrible consequences for those who make missteps. It's your childhood nightmare and dream in one, Neverland on crack.
Besides the world-building, I loved the characterization. Schusterman never forgets that his characters are children, although they’ve been nine or twelve or fifteen for a long, long time. Even characters who've been in Everlost for centuries are still fundamentally children, not wise old souls in young shapes.
This book is as much an adventure fantasy as it is anything else, with Allie and Nick newcomers to a strange and rather terrifying new world. And just like the best adventure fantasies, they end up changing their new world in unexpected ways. Try this book for an experience you won't forget in a hurry.