Everwild is the second book in the Skinjacker trilogy and I think it is even better than the first. In Everlost we are introduced to Ali and Nick. We learn about their new world (afterlife) through their own experiences. It is slow going, but necessary. In Everwild, the readers and characters have learned the ropes and have drawn the lines in the sand. Allie the Outcast finds herself with her traveling companion, Mikey (once the feared McGil), while Nick finds himself labeled by his beloved Mary as the Chocolate Ogre and is attempting to free each child Mary enslaves. Both Allie and Nick must travel into the Everwild and discover just how far they will go for those who they protect.
Allie and Mikey are on a mission to find Allie’s parents, spreading tales of Ali the Outcast and attempting to give more humanity to Mikey the farther they go. Allie is developing feelings for him, and longs to be with her parents yet never leave Everlost and Mikey’s side. Nick is having a worse time, I would say, since now that Everlost has taken over half of his body constantly drips chocolate. He is on Mary’s trail with a small band of followers including a newly acquired “ripper.” The problem, though, lies with Mary Hightower, who at her base wants to save the children and become a sort of mother figure. In doing so she robs them of the ability to go home or to the light. In Everwild she becomes more manipulative and deranged. Shusterman also does a fantastic job of playing off the monster theme. Who is the monster? The carefully cultivated beautiful and caring Mary? Or the frightening chocolate ogre who no longer looks like a human let alone trustworthy boy? There are back stories and under currents at work.
As usual, Neal Shusterman has done a fantastic job. This “middle book” is darker and harder than Everlost and builds up to a cliff hanger that makes me glad I picked up this trilogy when all three books had been published. The plotline continues onward and never hits a speed bump or snag.The characterization of humanity and monsters will have adults as well as teens enjoying the book’s themes. Mary will scare you, Allie will at times disgust you, Nick will make you look in the mirror wondering what other people see, and Mikey will have you agreeing that sometimes it is easier to be a monster than human. Enjoy!
- Reading level: Young Adult
- Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (November 2, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1416958649
- ISBN-13: 978-1416958642
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