Top critical review
I was disappointed
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2012
What if your light at the end of the tunnel burned out? What if your train to Nirvana derailed? How about your reincarnation stopped by Depo?
If any of these things stopped you from moving on, you may end up in Everlost, as Allie and Nick found out after a fatal car crash left them in a luscious forest. As this pair get acquainted with their new afterlife, they stumble across an assortment of villains, horrors, and a bibliophile. Or maybe you could call the bibliophile the "Life After Death for Dummies" superstar author.
The characters in this book really fell flat. For someone we spend the majority of the book with (Allie), we really don't get a good feel for her or really step into her character much - and the person who really seems to turn the book around (Nick), we see very little of and don't know him much by the time the book ends. The one character I feel we connected most with, that had the most real emotions coming through were Mary and Vari. We got to see more of their personality instead of being told what it was.
The villain in the book seemed... for lack of a better term, nonthreatening. Ugly, very much so. Rude. UH-HUH. Evil?? Nope.
It was an easy read, the story moved along, but at times, it really didn't feel like we were doing much. It almost seemed like scenes were put in there just to fill the time. The plot isn't deep, the ending is pretty predictable, and there isn't much to the suspense. I know this is labeled for a younger reader, but I still believe that this could have had a few subplots woven in for the enjoyment of older readers, especially given Shusterman's fan base.
One thing that really and truly upset me were the amount of errors found in the book. This is a book put out by one of the biggest publishing houses out there. There is no reason to have as many errors as there are in this book. Self-published authors get slammed on a daily basis because of their lack of editing, and the big houses are putting out books that are entertaining, yes - but also riddled with blatant errors. There were instances of two characters speaking in the same paragraph, commas missing from the end of dialogue, "id" being used instead of "is" and the list goes on.
I feel that, especially in a book that is aimed at younger readers, our goal is to show them how English SHOULD be written, not by throwing a popular author's book out there full of errors because the publishing house knows it will sell.
I'm giving this book a three-star rating because the storyline was interesting, I was able to finish it, and I wasn't bored to death. However, I will say that I am getting increasingly more angry at the large publishing houses for their lax editing and formatting on their eBooks.
As a whole, I am not interested enough in the series to pick up book two. I will, however, be reading book two of his Unwind series (which I thought was brilliant). Everlost is the second book of Shusterman's that I have read, and while I'm not thrilled with it, I haven't given up on him as an author. I want to see what else he has in store for me in his other books. :)