The main characters are Allie, Nick, and Lief. Allie and Nick die in a car crash when they are thrown out of the car. Nine months later, they wake up in a forest where they meet Lief. He tells them they are in Everlost, a place where children go when they die.
The conflict is that the McGill is holding Nick and Lief captive in his chiming chamber. Allie wants to set them free, but in order to do that she has to teach the McGill to skinjack, a task only she and the Haunter can do. She has to outsmart and fool him until her friends are released.
The evil McGill, a monster of Everlost, is keeping Allie from getting what she wants. He refuses to let any of his hostages go, even if it is for a good cause.
Eventually, Allie tricks the McGill into setting her friends go. They escape him (Allie is rescued by him so she stays) and find good ways to live their sentence. Lief is taken to where he was going, Nic helps the other kids get there, and Allie is his companion.