Character Connection: Mary Hightower aka “Mary, Queen of Snots”

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Mary Hightower is one of the main characters in Everlost by Neal Shusterman. And I think part of the reason I want to write about her is because of that “Queen of Snots” moniker. My inner 12-year-old giggles every time.

Mary is too good to be true, right from the beginning. She’s a ruler in a limbo for children who’ve died but don’t “get where they’re going.” They’re stuck in a shadow of our world that they call Everlost. “Her” children are mostly very young, which is what gets Mary called the Queen of Snots.

Mary rules a skyscraper and she has accumulated a smorgasbord of all the things that children love best. Okay, maybe not all the things, but everything she can get her hands on. There are tvs and video games and jump ropes and other children to play with. She even trades around to get the children real food, an almost-unheard-of luxury in Everlost.

But you can’t help but wonder what’s in it for her. She’s so…regally condescending?… that I was immediately waiting for her true colors to come bursting from behind her mask. No one is that good. No one. And this is coming from a goody two shoes. She is a sort of mother to all her children, even though she’s only 14 or 15 herself. So I was wondering for a while if that was what she got out of it: unconditional love from “her children.” But that doesn’t seem to be it either. In her every scene I found myself inspecting her, trying to find out what her angle is.

Oh, and she loves to write books full of advice for newcomers to Everlost. I wish I could better remember some of the things she writes. She’s totally serious but she comes across as so full of herself and her wisdom that she’s inadvertently funny sometimes. And some of her advice is pretty questionable…

Needless to say, there are a lot of surprising things going on with Mary, but to say any more would be spoiler-y. I’ve only read the first book, so I don’t know how or if she changes, but I found her awfully unsettling for such a benevolent-seeming figure.

I don’t remember anything about how Mary was described, but I pictured her as this princess from The Secret Lives of Princesses by Philippe Lechermeier and Rébecca Dautremer. Maybe because this princess looks so placid but her name is Princess Hot-Head. Who knows? I made some sort of connection between them anyway.

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

Character Connection

Who do ya love?

Or love to hate?

You know you’ve got a lot to say about some larger-than-life characters, and this is the place to say it. Write a straightforward post. Draw a picture. Vlog, write poetry, write fiction, cast the role, be as creative as you want!

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore located in downtown Asheville, NC; and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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1 Comment

  1. I've been meaning to read this one for a while now but haven't quite gotten around to it. I love the nickname "Queen of snots" though – definitely makes me think of the type of insults my siblings and I used to come up with. 😉

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