Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Review: Everfound by Neal Shusterman

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2011

While Mary lies in a glass coffin aboard a ghost train heading west, her minions are awaiting her re-awakening by bringing lots of new souls into Everlost to serve her. Meanwhile Jackin’ Jill has met Jix, a fur-jacker—a skin jacker who can take over the bodies of animals, most notably jaguars. Jix serves a Mayan god who collects Everlost coins, and has his own agenda. In the concluding volume of The Skinjacker Trilogy, Neal Shusterman reveals new sides of the characters of Everlost, who are pitted against each other in a battle that may destroy all life on Earth.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

I will start this review off by saying that if you have not read the first two books this series (The Skinjackers Trilogy), then you really MUST.  This is the third and final book, and if you try to read it without reading the first two (Everlost and Everwild), you will not only be doing yourself a disservice, but you will be totally lost.  Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I can move on to my gush-fest...

This was in my my top five most anticipated books of 2011 (and those five are not in any order because I anticipated them equally).   I loved the first two books and I LOVE Neal Shusterman.  He is hands-down, my favorite YA author.  His books are phenomenal, and Everfound is a close second favorite behind the incredibly brilliant, (not enough) award-winning Unwind.  When I read Everlost (book #1) I was blown away; it was smart, action-packed, and almost plausible.  I eagerly moved right on to Everwild, it's sequel, and liked it even better.  Then I had to wait.  Seven long months of agony...

At least I was confident when I picked up Everfound that it wouldn't fall flat.  Shusterman's writing is so reliable, and his storytelling ability so solid, that I had no doubt whatsoever that this book would top the first two.  I was NOT wrong.  This book topped the other two (no easy feat) and then some.  If I could give it more stars, I would.  

There are so many reasons I loved this book...  As always, the world building is amazing.  Shusterman really does take you there.  The character development is great.  I liked how he was able to draw his development out over the three books, but still manage to keep it all straight.  His style of character development kept me on my toes; it was like real life where people change and grow a little with every interaction they have.  Every character had flaws and weaknesses, strengths and positive traits.  Even the characters I was rooting against had their redeeming qualities and understandable motivations.  Shusterman managed to make you empathize with even the villains, showing that there are two sides to every coin (no pun intended if you've read the books).  There were so many characters, side stories, and different settings in this book that it could very well have been a disaster had it been written by anyone else, but in the end Shusterman not only weaves the stories together, but does it in a way that makes you say, "Aha!  I finally get it and this man is a genius! It was totally worth the wait!".

All in all, an amazing ending to an epic series.  If you've not read any of these books, do so.  They progressively improve (from a 5-star rating), and I wasn't disappointed in any way with how things turned out.

My Rating: ★★ ★ ★ ★++ 

Grade Level Recommendation:  I think this entire series is wholly appropriate for grades 4 and up (ages 9+). There are romantic sentiments, but absolutely nothing beyond innocent kissing and hand-holding.  Some with strong religious beliefs might take issue with its setting in a place between living and the afterlife, but I think most people understand that it's fiction.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, a 5 star ++ rating? I will have to give Shusterman a try. I keep seeing great reviews for Unwind. But his covers sure are creepy!


Thanks for visiting my blog! I adore comments since they make me feel special and loved, just please don't spam me. I'm not interested in vacation offers, millions of dollars from Nigeria, or anything not book related!

Also, this is an award-free blog. As flattered as I am, I just don't have time. I'm happy if I have time to post all of my reviews on time, and am a momma of three to boot, but I appreciate the thoughts! XO