Tag archives for Neal Shusterman
BOOK NAME: The Schwa Was Here
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Calvin Schwa, also known as “the Schwa,” is not invisible. He is just easy to overlook. He is a nobody, so much so that he might as well be part of the scenery. Even his own father cannot be particularly sure of his whereabouts. Some call this “The Schwa Effect”, a condition that renders one virtually invisible to all but the extremely observant. It is said that this effect is terminal, eventually causing the person to simply fade away.
Anthony “Antsy” Bonano barely even noticed The Schwa when they first met. Calvin seemed to blend in perfectly with his surroundings, virtually unnoticeable. Moreover, the Schwa had sat next to Antsy in class for a long time without Antsy ever noticing until that fateful day. Antsy decided to befriend his “invisible-ish” classmate and assist him with his unusual predicament. After doing extensive experimentation on the effectiveness of the Schwa Effect, Antsy had the “brilliant” idea to use the Schwa’s stealth as a profit generating opportunity. The two-some completed spying tasks as well as dares for the entertainment of the other students, as well as for cash.
All is not well, however. Antsy and the Schwa may have just accepted one triple-DOG-dare too many. Furthermore, the Schwa is having trouble coming to grips with his Schwa Effect. He feels as if he is fading away, and that one day, possibly in the very near future, he will cease to exist. There will be emotional pain, there will be cold hard truth, and there will be plenty of ferocious dogs…
This book was excellent. My favorite part was the author’s style of writing. The book was full of humorous lines and phrases. Sarcasm, jokes, puns, and idioms were all present in this book. Such sayings as, “He didn’t have a cow, he had a whole herd,” and “It smelled like something had died in there because it had smelled something else that had died in there,” were commonplace. I could not stop chuckling to myself, and some were good enough to read aloud to family members for more laughs. Even the titles of the chapters were funny. Behind all of the humor, the plot was excellent as well. There were many unexpected twists and turns, as well as several shocking events. I will not spoil these, so read the book. I have also read another book in the series, called “Antsy Does Time”, which was similar to this book in many ways. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good story with plenty of laughs thrown in.
Want another opinion? Read Mairen’s review!
BOOK NAME: Everwild
If you liked Everlost, then you’re sure to love Everwild, the sequel and second book in The Skinjacker Trilogy. Everwild came out a while ago, but the third book is coming out this spring so I decided to wait until it was closer to that time to review it. Everwild is the second book in the series, and follows Allie, Nick, Mary, and quite a few other characters in their journeys through Everlost. Nick is dubbed ‘The Chocolate Monster’ by Mary because of the chocolate stain that just won’t go away, and he is trying to get all of the kids in Everlost to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. Meanwhile, Mary Hightower is trying to keep them all in Everlost forever. Allie goes back home to try and find her parents, and runs into some skinjackers. Near the end of the novel, she discovers the real reason why she can skinjack–and that reason will definitely be a big factor in some huge decisions she will have to make in the third book.
I love Neal Shusterman’s writing, and he continues to amaze me with his creative and imaginative stories. I would recommend this book to pretty much all kids who aren’t freaked out by the concept of ‘ghosts.’ For more information about the series, read my review of Everlost, the first book, to see if this is for you. My favorite character was actually a new character named Zinnia (although everyone called her Zin). She had a great personality and I was constantly laughing out loud at her antics. Overall, this is yet another hit that I encourage everyone to read (but not before you read the first book).
BOOK NAME: Dread Locks: Dark Fusion #1
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Parker lives in a luxurious neighborhood with his family and siblings and the empty mansion next door. The mansion won’t be empty for long, though: Parker’s problem of boredom is solved quickly when a strange girl moves in. She goes to his high school, and is kind of … weird. She always wears dark sunglasses, and her hair sometimes seems alive. Her name is Tara.
Tara sees no problem in taking things that aren’t hers. She seems smart, and has a certain power over other people. The people she is friends with start developing weird behaviors, and Parker’s own brother is overtaken by the disease-like affliction. Her victims begin to drink tons of milk, eat dirt, and become very sedentary and weak all of the time. Will Parker be able to figure out what is going on and save his friends?
This was a very good book. It wasn’t one of Neal Shusterman’s best, but it was good. I personally liked it because of the references to Greek mythology. I won’t tell you what they are (you’ll have to read to find out), but if you like the Percy Jackson books, you’ll love this one. It’s a short read, which is also nice–I don’t have to spend hours poring over it. Sometimes it’s good to get a quick little book to read. It gets a little bit scary, so I would recommend it to kids in 6th grade and up. It’s certainly spooky!
BOOK NAME: The Schwa Was Here
AUTHOR: Neal Shusterman
Anthony Bonano is just a normal kid – well, look beyond his weird nickname “Antsy” and he is. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and goes to school like any other teenager his age. But one day, his life changes when he and his two best friends, Howie and Ira, meet a boy named Calvin Schwa. Calvin, or “The Schwa” as he is known to most people, isn’t a normal kid. Not a lot of people notice him–that is, he seems to fade into the background a lot, and some people can’t even tell he is there. Antsy and his friends begin to document the “Schwa Effect,” to help Calvin stay in existence (he is worried that once no one notices him, he’ll just cease to exist). On one of their missions to prove the Schwa Effect, Calvin is challenged to sneak in to the neighborhood curmudgeon’s house and steal a dog bowl. The grumpy old man, Mr. Crawley, has 14 different Afghan hounds, and while Calvin is trying to take a bowl, he is caught. Antsy and Calvin have to work for Mr. Crawley to stop him from calling the police, and they have to walk the dogs every day as their punishment.
Just in case this wasn’t too much, Mr. Crawley’s granddaughter is coming to visit, and he has offered to pay Antsy to spend time with her. Antsy figures that there must be something horribly wrong with her – but there really isn’t: she’s just blind. Her quick wit and lovable attitude bring both Antsy and the Schwa to fall in love with her, which causes tension between the two.
My favorite part of this book was the Schwa’s collection of paperclips. He has a huge collection of different paperclips from different worldwide occurrences, and at one point in the story, he shows Antsy. Some people might think that it is weird, but I think it’s quite cool. He even has one from the Titanic! Anyway, this is a heartwarming and unique story that I would recommend to all readers. Neal Shusterman really did a great job with this novel.
BOOK NAME: Everlost
When a person dies, they go towards the light at the end of the tunnel. Well, what if you died and were going through the tunnel, but were such a klutz that you tripped on the way to the light? What would happen to you? Where would you go? A potential answer lies in Neal Shusterman’s novel Everlost.
In the story, two teenagers, Nick and Allie, die in a car crash. They bump into each other on the way to the light, and fall out into a place called Everlost. They wake up in a forest and meet another kid who fell out of the tunnel when he died. He’s an Afterlight like them, but is different in many other ways. For example, he can’t remember his real name and looks like he came from the year 1900! As Nick and Allie set off to find out more about their new life (or non-life), the boy follows them and they decide to call him Lief.
Lief, Nick, and Allie soon discover the many wondrous and sinister parts of Everlost as they travel to New York and beyond. They have run-ins with dead spots, Mary Hightower, other dead children, and an eerie monster called the McGill.
Neal Shusterman is one of my favorite authors, and really made the world of Everlost come to life with his vibrant, innovative, and funny writing style. He really did a good job of making his characters seem real, which is one thing I liked about it–I could relate to the characters. Despite what it might sound like, it’s not really a scary book. It’s more of an adventure story! This book is one that you can read over and over again without getting tired of it, and it really makes you think. My favorite parts of the book were the ones with Lief after he had come out of the barrel and the ones with Hammerhead because they really made me laugh. I really liked the whole concept of Everlost, and would recommend this book to late elementary and middle school-aged kids.