Everlost by Neal Shusterman
Guest post from Amanda Smith:
I woke up, the air was quiet and sounds grew still. Colors were faded and blurred like a wet painting someone tried to get clean. The colors swirled around me like a mocking dance, the colors moved quickly but I could not make out any thing. I didn’t know where I was. I tried to remember when I went to sleep; this must be a dream. I closed my eyes and focused, hard until a faint memory started to form. To my horror it was not of when and where I went to sleep but rather how I died. I opened my eyes to same swirling colors. I wanted to cry but didn’t. Instead I screamed; screamed until my voice went hoarse, until my throat can’t take it. That was when I realized my throat wouldn’t get tired or sore. I stopped screaming and once I did I was hit with another realization, that this whole time I never once took a breath. I opened my mouth to breath but instead rocks and dirt filled it. No, not filled it, but went through it. I had been sinking this whole time. Quickly I try to claw for the surface but that only made me sink faster. I yelled out but no one could hear. My whole head was submerged in the earth’s layer and I cried. I knew that I was not going to get where I was going, at least not yet.
To get where they are going is a term in Everlost which means one of two things, heaven or hell. Everlost is a place that children find themselves after they die. Everlost, in other words is limbo, in between life and death. That place is where Allie and Nick find themselves. They wake up in a forest that they can’t sink in; those places are called dead spots, with another kid waiting there (they call him Leif because he lives in the forest). Dead spots are created when someone died there. Anything can find its way into everlost, it just had to be loved enough. In the book, the twin towers in New York were a safe haven for children of all ages. The towers are ran by a girl named Mary who has many experiences with Everlost so she writes many books. Allie and Nick go there and find out that everything isn’t what it seems; Mary is keeping information to herself that could change their fate. Allie and Nick go on an adventure to discover those answers with Leif alongside, even if it means getting help from the McGill. The McGill is a scary creature who sails a scary ghostship and preys on spirit children or afterlights.
In our book club meeting, we spent a good portion of our time discussing what we would do if we found ourselves in Everlost. If it is true what they say in Everlost then I wouldn’t find myself there because I’m older than the required age for Everlost, but I answered. I said that I wouldn’t know how I would react, which is true. I wouldn’t. I never really know what I would do until it happens and then I said I would probably haunt people but do weird- not- so- scary-things or trying to injure myself (which is impossible to do since you are an afterlight, in other words a ghost). I would try my hardest not to get stuck in a rut. When I said that I would haunt, the room exploded with different ideas that all mixed with people trying to make their voice heard. It was great. We all came to the same conclusion, however. In order to do the things we wanted in Everlost we must have the ability that very few people have in Everlost, that only the Haunter and Allie (from what we know from the book) possess. The likeliness that any or all of us would have it is slim, but the likeliness that I would find myself in Everlost is even slimmer.
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I have had a few jobs in my life that I didn't enjoy: detassling corn, working in a small motor parts factory, framing pictures, serving food, and rejecting bad eggs in an egg factory. Today, I take part in a book club for teens and I love every minute of it.