STARRED REVIEW
June 2018

Five in limbo—only one can live

By Marisha Pessl
Review by

Beatrice Hartley has been unable to find normalcy ever since her boyfriend, Jim, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a quarry outside their elite boarding school. While searching for answers, Beatrice attempts to make amends with four former friends. But a freak accident soon finds the group trapped in the Neverworld, a realm in which the same day repeats endlessly . . . and will continue to do so until the quintet can agree on one member who will return to the world of the living. The others will die.

Share this Article:

Beatrice Hartley has been unable to find normalcy ever since her boyfriend, Jim, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a quarry outside their elite boarding school. While searching for answers, Beatrice attempts to make amends with four former friends. But a freak accident soon finds the group trapped in the Neverworld, a realm in which the same day repeats endlessly . . . and will continue to do so until the quintet can agree on one member who will return to the world of the living. The others will die.

Imagine living the same day an infinite number of times and being trapped for centuries in the moment between life and death. That’s what happens in the Neverworld, where storms rage, strange birds nest in dead trees and black mold lies just below clean-looking surfaces. While some in the group delight in the mayhem, Beatrice remains the stereotypical good girl. But as the friends put aside their differences (and their debauchery) to investigate Jim’s death in earnest, secrets and deceptions begin to multiply. And the Neverworld begins to break down.

Drawing on ideas and imagery reminiscent of The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith, Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer and the movie Inception, Marisha Pessl’s first work of young adult fiction (after her adult novels Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film) is spooky, smart and satisfying. Clear your calendar to read this in one sitting, and then, when it gets under your skin, immediately turn back to the beginning and read it again.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2018 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Trending Reviews

Get the Book

Neverworld Wake

Neverworld Wake

By Marisha Pessl
Delacorte
ISBN 9780399553929

Sign Up

Stay on top of new releases: Sign up for our enewsletters to receive reading recommendations in your favorite genres every Tuesday.