4 Jul 2018

#Review: NEVERWORLD WAKE by Marisha Pessl


Author: Marisha Pessl
Series: N/A
Source: Indigo
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her six best friends were the cool kids, the beautiful ones. Then the shocking death of Jim—their creative genius and Beatrice's boyfriend—changed everything.

One year after graduation, Beatrice is returning to Wincroft—the seaside estate where they spent so many nights sharing secrets, crushes, plans to change the world—hoping she'll get to the bottom of the dark questions gnawing at her about Jim’s death. But as the night plays out in a haze of stilted jokes and unfathomable silence, Beatrice senses she’s never going to know what really happened.

Then a mysterious man knocks on the door. Blithely, he announces the impossible: time for them has become stuck, snagged on a splinter that can only be removed if the former friends make the harshest of decisions. Now Beatrice has one last shot at answers... and at life.

And so begins the Neverworld Wake.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of this from Indigo and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion. 

There were some really good parts to this and others (around how mental health was dealt with) that left me wanting more and/or a sensitivity reader. But this was still interesting. I think if you want something like IF I STAY by Gayle Forman, this is a good book for you.

I liked the set up to this one. I think it made sense as to how we got to the Neverworld Wake portion of this story. The plot for that was good too. I am glad the teens didn't believe our storyteller and ambiguous overseer right away because I probably wouldn't have either.

I wasn't 100% sold on the way this worked out though. I thought there was nothing leading up to the "twist" ending which made me kinda roll my eyes at the end. I would have liked a bit more red herrings - and while I know it tried to play it off like "oh there were signs!!!" none of those signs pointed to anything of the sort to me?

I will say though that as much as I liked the group dynamics, I hated all the characters. It wasn't even that they were "unlikeable" or had some sort of redeeming qualities. They were just terrible people and didn't apologize for it at all basically. Sometimes I don't mind characters I hate if I feel like they learn something by the end of the book but these characters learned nothing. They spent their unending time doing terrible things and generally being terrible people.

But I did actually enjoy reading this one. I liked seeing how things came about and the idea of the Neverworld Wake. It had a cool concept and I would like to see more books set in this type of universe! I like when authors blend genres together and I think this was a really well done version of contemporary and science fiction.

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