A novel by Neal Shusterman. The first novel of The Skinjacker Trilogy.Nick and Allie don't survive the car accident, but their souls don't exactly get to where they're supposed to either. Instead, they're caught halfway between life and death, in a sort of limbo known as Everlost: a shadow of the living world, filled with things and places that no longer exist. It's a magical, yet dangerous place where bandits of lost children run wild and anyone who stands in the same place too long sinks to the center of the Earth.When they find Mary, the self-proclaimed queen of the lost kids, Nick feels like he's found a home, but Allie isn't satisfied spending eternity between worlds. Against all warnings, Allie begins learning the "Criminal Art" of haunting, and ventures into dangerous territory, where a monster called the McGill threatens all the souls of Everlost.In this imaginative novel, Neal Shusterman explores questions of life, death, and what just might lie in between.Has a Character Sheet.
Batman Gambit: Allie and the McGill on each other.Throughout Allie's Scheherezade Gambit and Blatant Lies, she knows she has some sort of power over the McGill and enjoys it, which causes her to have some Conflicting Loyalty because while she strongly desires to rescue Nick and Lief, she feels a little sympathetic towards the McGill. Meanwhile, the McGill develops a strong case of Lima Syndrome for Allie, which is troubling for him because he knows Allie will abandon him and escape with her friends, if given the chance. However, because of the McGill's Blackmail over Allie, he also knows that she would do what he wants for the sake of her friends.
Allie: "Don't try to charm me. The 'Beauty and the Beast' thing doesn't work with me, okay?"
Becoming the Mask: According to Nick, Allie likes it with the McGill and having power over him (since her big plan has been taking quite a number of weeks to accomplish). After this accusation, when Allie growls at Nick for making a plan of his own, she doesn't want to admit her growl even sounds like the McGill's growl.
Beware of Hitchhiking Ghosts: When Allie body surfs into a nineteen year old jogger, and they fight for control of the girl's body while Allie's driving. They crash into a guard rail along the road. The jogger ends up frightened and bruised but all right, but Allie literally falls out of the body and almost sinks in the water below. Mikey McGill saves her.
Big "NO!": The McGill when Mary shows him a picture of who he really is - Mary's brother, Michael Edward McGill, which changes him back from an Eldritch Abomination to the fifteen year old boy he once was.
The Dog Bites Back: When the kids who the McGill/Mikey McGill chimed create an angry mob and beat him up. Mikey McGill escapes them thanks to his Cool Horse to chase after Allie, who he wants to "bite back" for betraying him.
Allie after the McGill catches her opening his fortune cookies, thanks to a fortune cookie predicting forgiveness.
Within a couple of hours of chasing Allie for betraying him, Mikey McGill has a change of heart from vengeance to admiration towards Allie for being a Worthy Opponent. This is probably why he rescues her.
Hesitation Equals Dishonesty: When the McGill catches Allie opening his fortune cookies (see Foreshadowing) in a Look Behind You moment and demands an explanation, Allie opens her mouth and hesitates answering, so the McGill automatically assumes she will lie (and if she does he won't be able to control his temper any longer). When Allie finally answers him, it smells of honesty, but the McGill opens a fortune cookie with Allie to see what to do. It reads, "Forgiveness keeps destiny on track," so Allie is then Easily Forgiven by the McGill. Because of this, Allie does a Pet the Dog moment by saying that forgiveness is the fifth step to skinjacking.
Home Sweet Home: Initially Nick's and especially Allie's goal in the beginning of the story.
Interrupted Suicide: Subverted. When the McGill sees Allie staring off at the horizon from the deck and approaches her, Allie was actually looking at the horizon in hopes of finding the New Jersey shore. She senses the McGill's concern and accuses him of trying to pull a Beast and Beauty. The McGill actually thought Allie was going to jump and wanted to make sure she wasn't going to.
Rescue Romance: Quite possibly between Mikey McGill and Allie when he rescues her after he makes a Heel-Face Turn because she is a Worthy Opponent. Because Mikey does like Allie, this is one-sided at best... so far.
The Reveal: The McGill is Michael "Mikey" Edward McGill, Mary's younger brother.
That coin you have with you when you first enter Everlost? It's your ticket to going to the light. And Mary knew that all along.
The reason why the McGill never goes to Atlantic City is because that is where he suffered his first defeat at the hands of the Twin Pier Maradaurs, who captured him. One of the members of the Maradaurs later turned traitor and set the McGill free. Pinhead, the McGill's chief associate, knows of this crucial information because he was the traitorous Maradaur who set the McGill free.
Shotgun Wedding: Lampshaded and averted. The McGill suggests for Allie to search in his treasure trove for nicer clothes to wear, even though Allie literally has a Limited Wardrobe and cannot take off the clothes she died in, but the McGill reminds her she could always wear the new clothes over it. The McGill finds a wedding dress in a cabinet. Allie gasps and the McGill turns, thinking she gasped because of the wedding dress - it's really because Nick is hiding behind the wedding dress.