Thursday, November 12, 2009

I'm Excited About *Everwild* by Neal Shusterman

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.

Mandy

12 comments:

celi.a said...

Super cool. I'm STILL thinking about Unwind and trying to decide whether I like it or not. Shusterman's got a gift to make you think. I'll have to check out these ones.

Maria said...

WOW sounds really good.

http://fantasysink.blogspot.com/

Mandy (Edge of Seventeen) said...

Celi.a: Yeah, I remember your review of Unwind; it's cool that you're still interested in possibly reading other books by the author.

Maria: yes, I hope Everwild is JUST as good!

Thanks for the visit, ladies!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mandy (Edge of Seventeen) said...

Wow, I am getting a lot of SPAM in my comments...

Lawral the Librarian said...

The Skinjackers trilogy looks so interesting!

I hear you on the Christmas season slump! Just remember that work will soon become the kind of fever-pitch that can make everything really exhausting and horrible or really ridiculously funny. Go with the laughing.

And remember that it could be worse. You could be making hundreds of eggnog lattes a day (like I've spent my last few Christmases) instead of selling books. Coming home smelling like burnt 'nog can take the fun out of anything. :)

Mandy (Edge of Seventeen) said...

Lawral: Okay, you got me; making billions of Lattes would be worse. And I'm sorry to all those Baristas out there because I am the one who asks for Eggnog Lattes at Christmas...I'm one of those people. :( They are so tasty, you see.
I will try for ridiculously funny, thanks!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

I loved Everlost and was super excited when I saw there was a sequel. I didn't know there was one planned. Can't wait to read it.

Becky said...

We jost got this at the library. I'm sad to say I've never read any Neal Shusterman though. I think I definitely need to!

You won an award over at my blog! Yay because you're awesome!

-Becky

Amy said...

I know this is late compared to the other comments but I just discovered your blog today :) And I'm overjoyed to see you've read Everlost because almost none of the other blogs I visit have reviewed it.

And I've already read Everwild and I'll just say it was freakin' mindblowing awesome. I thought Everlost was wonderful, but man, Everwild just blew it out of the water. A sequel that was better than the first. IMO :) But nevertheless, I don't know if you're read it yet, so if not, please read soon and review! I would love to read your thoughts on this book! :D

-Amy

Mandy (Edge of Seventeen) said...

Amy: I keep an eye on all my comments! Thanks for taking the time to respond. I really can't wait to read Everwild, now! Thanks.
I have a few things on my plate reading-wise but I will definately get to Everwild soon and I'll totally post my review here.

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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