I've been doing more author interviews/guest blog spots than usualy, especially for my past Dystopian Teen Week, and I feel like I haven't written anything for the blog myself!
Lately I've had a bit of blogger's writer's block (c'est possible?), and it's taken me like 5 days to read this 250 page novel. Christmas, though I love it dearly, puts me into a bit of a rut. Especially working in retail. We get SO busy. Which is great because it's exciting and whirlwind and many people are buying the COOLEST books for the kids in their lives. But all of it makes me a little worn out too. So I'm thinking that most of my reading choices in the next month will be a little closer to my heart; whatever moves me every few days to pick it up, regardless of publication date, or any feeling of "if I write a teen blog, I really SHOULD be reading X and Y".
One such title is Everwild by Neal Shusterman. I think Neal goes beyond the great premise and really works as a detective to unearth (mixed metaphors?) all of the answers the novel as question poses. Like Everlost, the first in The Skinjackers trilogy. Everlost was adventurous and scary, exciting but also very thoughtful. Here you have two kids who collide in a car accident and who wake up basically dead, but not quite where they should have ended up. They are lost in a halfworld, between the living and wherever the dead go. Then, instead of just poking around the plot cul-de-sac of this one premise, Neal takes it so much farther. Okay, now you have some kids who are lost. Are there other kids? If there are, do they congregate? What traits have they kept? Do they start cities or write books? What would you do with sometimes hundreds of years just existing? Do you explore your world? What could you change?
With Neal's books I always enjoy the cerebral fireworks that go on; you always leave with way more questions that when you entered. And it really works for me as a reader. Unwind was awesome in this regard, too.
So Everwild, which I think is available now *checking* ... yep, Simon & Schuster have copies in stock now, is the sequel to Everlost. And I am positively itching to read it.
But I've never read and reviewed a sequel for this blog. And I have a question: How do I review a book which gives spoilers to the first book, properly? I don't want to say "it's good, but read the first book first". But maybe I will have to.
Oh, and Everlost has an author blurb by, get this, Orson Scott Card! Are you kidding me? The man behind Ender's Game read this book and said, "Marvelously inventive...and magically beautiful". If I was an author and Orson read my book AND wrote something very positive about it I would have a happy dance to end all happy dances. I wonder what Neal's happy dance looks like.
I also have Downsiders by Shusterman sitting here too. I must get to that one. Kids living underground in the sewer system, developing a whole lifestyle network. Neal really works well with the Lord of the Flies scenario.
I'm almost finished that hefty 250-pager, so you'll be hearing from me again.