Everlost (Skinjacker, #1)

By Neal Shusterman

30,837 ratings - 3.96* vote

Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident... ...but their souls don't exactly get where they're supposed to get either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with all the things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bands of lost children r Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident... ...but their souls don't exactly get where

... more

Book details

Hardcover, 320 pages
October 1st 2006 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Original Title
0689872372 (ISBN13: 9780689872372)
Edition Language

Community Reviews

Will M.

I honestly don't have the luxury of time to read novels as much as I want to because pre-med is draining the life out of me. That being said, I carefully choose the novels that I read because a bad novel would make me avoid reading even more. Everlost is one of those novels that destroys the reading slump. It also makes you want to read despite the draining day you've just had. My trust in the YA genre is slowly growing again.

Everlost is about being in a state of limbo. The catch though is that it only works on kids. Anyone above the age of fifteen would just continue on in their journey to wherever they are destined to go. It may sound interesting, but Everlost is not a nice place to live in. There are rules that you need to follow if you don't want to end up falling, or being stuffed in a pickle barrel. There are people you need to avoid messing with, or your already miserable life will become even worse. It's a matter of survival and finding a way to escape the place.

Allie and Nick are the main characters in the novel. They are not related, but they did arrive at Everlost at the same time. For every person there is a different personality. One of the two is a hard headed kid who would stop at nothing for answers, and the other is a easy-go-lucky kid who'd rather follow the rules. It's interesting how different the two of them are but I still learned to like them both.

The characters in the novel are pretty good. You wouldn't expect such developed characters in a YA novel, but Everlost managed to deliver what it promised. Even the villains are interesting, and the usual corny ones.

The plot itself is also great. I liked the flow of the story and how the first book ended. it's a trilogy so it's normal to have a slight cliffhanger coming from the first book. Everything wrapped up nicely though, and the author managed to fill in the plot holes in this novel. Most would wrap things up in the last book, but Shusterman knows how to write.

I saw reviews stating that this book is far too similar to some other YA books. Luckily for me, everything seemed new to me, and nothing felt like something I've read before.

4.5/5 stars. One of the best YA novels I've read ever. Highly recommended if you want a short but great read. Can't wait to read the second novel.


Everlost reminded me of several books I felt rather lukewarm about - Elsewhere, Lord of the Flies and Gone. It deals with afterlife (specifically, the limbo between life and death) and kids behaving badly when left on their own.

I can see why fans of Unwind would be underwhelmed by Everlost. I was too, a little. It is a good book, but it is clearly a children's book. There are no adults in it, the characters are all under 15. Even when the story handles very serious matters (that scared and creeped me out BTW), it does so in a manner suitable for children - the villains, the torture devices (a pickle barrel?) and violence are of a milder type.

Even though I knew from the get-go Everlost would never be one of my favorite books, once I made a decision to stick with the story anyway, I came to like it a lot and even developed a good amount of affection for its characters. Shusterman's vision of mid-existence struck my imagination. The boredom, uneventfulness, the obliteration of one's identity - DEPRESSING! If this is what being stuck in a limbo would be, I don't see how it is better than hell.

For those who dropped the book early on asked me if it gets better, here is my answer - it doesn't really. But I eventually got interested enough in the story to want to read the sequels and to see how it all ends. I just wish this series was written with an older set of characters and gorier details to go along with already sufficiently disturbing and mature concept.

Kelly (and the Book Boar)

Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

Let me begin by saying that . . . .

Nope. When I saw Will’s review and that Everlost was written by Shusterman I was all in. Unfortunately I was still floating on an Unwind high and failed to pay attention to the fact that this wasn’t quite going to push the envelope like that one did.

What we have here is an unfortunate meet and greet between Nick and Allie . . .

When they “wake up” they discover something new about themselves . . .

They’re also left with the question of whether or not they made it to heaven . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Okay, not really, but it is a state of limbo. The remainder of the story is a quest to find others like themselves and a way to possibly make it back home.

As I said before, Everlost was extremely tame compared to my previous Shusterman experience. However, it was still a pretty decent read. If you or your children enjoyed Miss Peregrine, this might be a selection for you.


I swear on my dog's life that Neal Shusterman's Everlost is pure awesomeness.

Kids who die go to a sort of place but not a place existing between life and death called Everlost. If they stay there instead of passing on, they have to stay in areas called "dead spots", where a significant death has happened. (Main kids Allie and Nick's car accident took place by a forest that has burned down. Sometimes a spot is massive, such as the entire city of Atlanta (seen in the second in the Skinjacker trilogy, Everwild). These spots are what is still real to the kids, and the "live" spots they will sink right through if they stay there for any time. [I loved the details, like Shusterman thought of everything.] Food passes through if it had some special meaning to a person, like birthday cakes. That doesn't happen often. Fortune cookies are everywhere (there's more to this I shall say nothing about, lest I become too spoilerific), however. (Shusterman put a lot of thought into realizing the world of Everlost. The detail is half the fun.) Kids who have made their er living in Everlost trade in a black market (there's no law but it still feels black market all the same. Probably 'cause the trading gets dirty) of rare goods such as food, or vehicles that have passed through (one character drives the Hindenburg. I must say I enjoyed the way he played with disasters from the past).

Every kid has a coin on them (representing the payment to pass on). If they have no unfinished business, their coin will take them back. An older kid Mary Hightower (her name comes from her dominion of the world trade center) thinks she knows what is best for everyone else, and it is in her best interest to keep kids from passing on. She loves to be needed. One way she does this is ensure that kids forget themselves by installing them in meaningless routines (she'd get along great with The Terrible Trivium from The Phantom Tollbooth). The coins? Mary Her High and mighty Highness has them throw away in a wishing well. (Evil isn't she.)

Mary Hightower is one of my favorite villains of ya fiction. She means well, but lord is she infuriating. Mary Hightower publishes manifestos to lead lost kiddos to her cause. Her propaganda is far reaching.

The lost kiddos have to remind themselves constantly of themselves. Most cannot remember their old names for long, let alone what they really looked like. They become what they feel like they look like, and that can lead to becoming something of a darker nature. If they can't remember themselves, they'll be in Everlost forever (under that hoity toity Mary Hightower? Yikes!). The other baddie of the book is the monster McGill, another Everlost legend, with a decidedly less than friendly reputation than that of Mary Hightower. There is more to Everlost than the inhabitants will have Nick and Allie believe. (It's a bit like prison in that the worst part is the other inhabitants. The whole black market thing put me immediately in mind of prison. Something might be wrong with my mind.) I enjoyed their story in this bizarre little death world.

Nick is determined to stop Mary Hightower (too bad he's also in love with her). Allie wants to see her family again, and is still stuck to her old life. Their friend Leif from the forest is something like one of Peter Pan's Lost Boys.

I wouldn't lie where this little guy is concerned. (Even if he is a ventriloquist pooter. The crafty little devil blames me for all his farts, from silent but deadly to the musical variety.)

Neil (or bleed)

“But we can't choose what we forget. The more we try to forget something, the more we end up remembering it.”

I should've read Everlost before. Even I idolized and worshipped Neal Shusterman, I stalled myself to read this book because I thought I will not enjoy an afterlife novel. Guess, I was wrong. I really did enjoy reading this one.

Everlost is a limbo between life and death. It's where the dead children go. No adults. Just children up to the age of 14. It's like the afterlife but it is not?

As a novel, Everlost is a fun but haunting one. Fun because there's a great adventure and mysteries to solve. Haunting because it reminds us about the complexity of life and death and everything in-between.

It looks like a book about children playing and doing stuff but it's actually a dark one that convey lessons and realization about existing and not existing. Seriously when I think about it, I got scared of what is waiting for me in the other side or is there really a destination after all of these? What is the feeling of being stucked in a miserable place? Yep, I got scared with those thoughts.

Anyway, I liked how the characters had grown into me, major or minor. Their characterization had been developed so well, I ended up liking them all and very much anticipating what they will do in the sequel. The world-building were superb also. I pictured it fine in my mind and found it truly interesting and disturbing. Shusterman described the Everlost like it was real. But, he left some mysteries to be pondered upon. There are still holes to fill and questions to answer about this bizarre world of the dead children.

As a whole, Everlost is an engrossing read. It captures the child in me and makes me appreciate the fun, adventure, dread, hopes, dreams and worry and everything else experienced by the characters. It lures me to an intriguing and haunting world without having me oriented to what I will stumble upon. And it makes me think about life and death and to what will happen next.


Well there's one lesson I learned from this book, never teach your kids to stay put when they get lost. This book taught me the importance of trying to find your way to where you're going no matter what the challenges or obstacles you're faced with. I picked up Everlost because I was captivated by Shusterman's book Unwind. It's good, just not Unwind's caliber of great.

This story is about two souls, Allie and Nick, that are in a fatal car accident. Upon their death and on their way to the 'light' they collide and lose course, ending up in an intermittent state of existence, a land called Everlost. Through their adventure in Everlost they come across other souls, as well as monsters, haunters and all things slightly bizarre. Their journey to get where they need to go is one of struggle, frustration, and ultimately accomplishment. I rooted for the two main characters all the way through to the end.

This book had the feel of a dead man's version of Peter Pan and The Lost Boys. I enjoyed it, but it was a little too young for my reading preference. There are some great lessons though that anyone can pull from the book including, the responsibility of power, what is truly important in life, what happens after death and the meaning of friendship, loyalty and choices. If you enjoy adventure, fantasy, with a sprinkle of science fiction, you'll enjoy this book. If I had the option to give it three and a half stars, I would. It's a good book, just maybe for a younger crowd.


I'm having a hard time trying to determine how I feel about Everlost. After reading and greatly enjoying "Unwind", I was eager to read another book Shusterman had written.

On the one hand, as an adult reading it, I definitely found the writing style geared for juvenile readers around the age of 10-13 (which is who the book is marketed for). On the other hand, I also continually wondered at the appeal to these same readers based on the way Shusterman presented his ideas on the afterlife of dead children.

Personally, I would have been disturbed at that age to read about dead children wandering around in another dimension and not being "where they were supposed to be". Even as an adult, I was creeped out by some of the visuals and ideas that this book forced me to explore regarding the afterlife. Books on death for young adults aren't necessarily a bad thing at all, I'm just on the fence as to whether Everlost is one of the better examples a kid in that age range could read.

I think that I would have had less ambivalence about Everlost had it been written for an older juvenile reading audience and contained an older group of characters in the book.

Little lost dead kids are just...wrong, somehow.


"There's no easy way to tell new arrivals to Everlost that, technically, they are no longer alive."

If you like ghost stories and chocolate, you will love this book.

First, I'll say that I love the cover. It's simple, different and I just adore it.

Now, Everlost had me hooked from the first chapter. It was an amazing attention getter. Two children die in a car accident. Yes. And the story was just so intriguing and crazy. The whole premise of this book is about children dying, and the world they get lost in; the world between Earth and heaven/hell, Everlost.

So, Nick and Allie are stuck in Everlost and just want to find a way home. The book follows their trials and errors in trying to do so.

It was pretty easy reading, but the plot was intricate. I just felt like it was slow in places and I think some more action would have helped a lot.

This wasn't as thought-provoking and gripping as Unwind but it does challenge a little.

3.5 stars

Ashley Marie

3-3.5 stars

Similar to Neal Shusterman's other books, this one has a very unique and thought-provoking concept. Unfortunately, this one put me at a bit of a disadvantage as a reader due to my own personal reasons. Not long after picking up Everlost, I had a moment of pure, terrible clarity in facing my biggest fear: death. It still terrifies the wits out of me to think about for too long, but after that I couldn't pick this up for several weeks. So already partway into the book, I was battling with my own thoughts as I read. It got distracting and I often had to set the book aside in favor of something that wouldn't leave me shaking.

Several months later, I'm proud to say I've finished the book. It turned out to be not as good as I'd hoped, but not quite what I had expected either. For that, it gets a middle-ground rating. I honestly don't know if it would have gotten a higher rating had I not had that episode early on. By the end of the book things really picked up and we finally got some answers in this hazy, purgatory-like world. I'll probably finish the trilogy, but it's not a huge priority right now. As it is, I'm glad to be finishing 2015 with a read I'm proud I got through.


Everlost is a book that is written about the in-between stage of life and death. Not all souls leave the living world and head straight to heaven or hell. Some get stuck in this world known as Everlost and these souls that are trapped here are known as Afterlights.

I found the book captivating in the beginning portions and the plot was magnificent. I liked the excerpts that were written at the ends of each chapter. It gave more details on the Everlost world. The Everlost world is a place that is jam-packed with mystery and the depth of unknown is unimaginable. Even those who claim to be experts in the world take refuge and hide out in their own safe haven; avoiding the dangers that lurk in Everlost. Everlost is filled with Monsters, Haunters, Finders and Gangs. Everyone who is trapped in Everlost wander aimlessly in search of a purpose or safety.

The story follows the main characters Allie and Nick who are Greensouls; new souls that have arrived in Everlost. Being Greensouls, they're unaware of the dangers that lurk in Everlost. They find another Afterlight named Lief and they seek out to find out more about the new world that they're in. This adventure leads them in meeting monsters, haunters, finders and also brings them to find true love.

The adventures in the book were rather thrilling at points but after a certain point it just got repetitive for me. The same sinking to the centre of the earth ordeal, the same routines that they carried out and the whole pickle barrel torture thing was just....... I don't have any words for that. Seriously, you're a ghost that is also skilled with some magic and you torture your victims by locking them up in a pickle barrel? Ghosts can't feel pain and they can't die. I was just confused by it.

I also wished for mature characters. I could not relate to the main characters in any way as all the characters in this book were of ages 15 and below. Why don't any adults make it to Everlost? The whole love that bloomed in the book also was a little shrilling. I just don't like it when my mind processes the thought of 14 year olds kissing. I just feel a disgusted when I do that.

Other than these few flaws, I found the book enjoyable and the creativity displayed in this book is brilliant. Creating an entire new world and having it being written with such poise is truly outstanding. Everlost is a scary place to end up in if you're unsure of any of the dangers that lurk. I will definitely read up the following books in the skinjacker series as I am curious in reading their new adventures.