Everlost by Neal Shusterman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
For starters, let me say that 1) I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nick Podehl (whose voice acted as a great soporific as I was trying to drive across the US with my family - thankfully the rock we took in the windshield outside of Denver kept me awake) and 2) I'm not the biggest fan of children's books, and this is definitely a children's book.
I found the central conceit intriguing: Those who die, but don't get "where they're going" find themselves in limbo. The rules are different here. Pain doesn't exist, adults are nowhere to be seen, and fortune cookies *always* tell the truth with 100% accuracy.
The execution (pardon the pun), however, I found lacking. The book was slow at the start. Too slow, with too many stops and asides to explain the setting and the rules of Everlost. I really didn't feel strongly about the characters, except for a minor character by the name of Pinhead, who seemed the most "layered" character of the bunch. Frankly, I'd love to hear a story set in Everlost from Pinhead's POV.
I wanted perspective, so I asked two of my kids, age 16 and 13, what they would give it on a 5 point scale and was asked if they could use a 10 point scale. "Sure," I said. My 13 year old gave it a 7. Not a ringing endorsement from him (he's more of a biblioholic than I am!). My 16 year old declined to give it a score, but said "It's pretty funny, but I can't tell if it was trying to be funny or not."
". . from the mouths of babes . . ."
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