Neverworld Wake

Narrated by: Phoebe Strole
Length: 8 hrs and 47 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (365 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"A 'clear your calendar' kind of one-day read." (Melissa Albert, New York Times best-selling author of The Hazel World)

Five friends. Only one can survive the Neverworld Wake. Who would you choose?

From the acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of Special Topics in Calamity Physics and Night Film comes an absorbing psychological suspense thriller in which fears are physical and memories come alive.

"A thriller that will grip readers from the start." (Hypable)  

Once upon a time, back at Darrow-Harker School, Beatrice Hartley and her five 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 be removed only 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.  

A Chicago Public Library best book of the year.

"Beautifully creepy." (The New York Times)

"You wont be able to stop reading until the mystery is unraveled." (Refinery29)

"A dark and twisty tale brimming with psychological suspense." (Bustle

©2018 Marisha Pessl (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Neverworld Wake is a shape-shifting binge read.... It's a 'clear your calendar' kind of one-day read, singular as both a psychological thriller and a new addition to Pessl's uncategorizable canon." (Melissa Albert, New York Times best-selling author of The Hazel World

"[A]sophisticated novel...similar to Libba Bray's acclaimed Going Bovine." (VOYA

"Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics) adeptly creates a compelling nightmare world while maintaining a foothold in realism. Thought-provoking and suspenseful." (Publishers Weekly

What listeners say about Neverworld Wake

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful, engaging, and thought provoking

Marisha Pessl, business as usual. Everything I wanted and more. Every book she writes asks curious questions, lays out thought provoking observations, and always adds the perfect amount of mystery and intrigue in her genre blending story. Pessl has become a favorite author and she exceeded my expectations with this one. Not as outlandish as Special Topics and not as complex as Night Film, but thoroughly enjoyable with dynamic characters, fascinating plot twists and concepts, and a story about life and death and the relationships within them. The narrator does a wonderful job. Well done all around.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • AS
  • 06-11-18

Haunting, addicting yarn that will keep you up all night

Could press stop. Groundhog Day meets Veronica Mars, intended in the best way possible. A great teen mystery, with a Groundhog Day twist that gives the characters a huge canvass on which to grow and figure out their complicated lives and the complications of life. Don’t be turned off by the YA designation, while this book would be great for teen readers (I imagine devouring this book as a kid again and again), a terrific, meaty and suspenseful tale with Pessl’s unique voice and trademark wit and turn of phrase. It may be PG-13, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable or compelling. Great performance, too, if you can (and should) forgive the narrator’s lamentable genteel southern accent. Get past it, and you’ll be rewarded!

4 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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And again....

I thought Pessl could do no wrong, but I was wrong. This is a young adult novel, so perhaps they will like it better than I. Pessl's trademark wordplay was absent from this book, so that was a disappointment, but also it was just plain boring. Sheesh. It was a sort of interesting idea, not totally original, but a unique take. (To explain it would be spoilers.) Though not a long book, it felt endless. The first half was essentially the same day lived over and over again and not in an interesting way. Unfortunately, I chose this as a "long car ride" book, so we kept at it. I did want to find out what happened. The second half was definitely more interesting than the first, but in such a basic way - the good guy isn't really good, the mean girl isn't really a mean girl and she's doing it all for you, etc. The mystery, once solved, was overly complex. Just was not good. (The narrator, however, was great.)

3 people found this helpful

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Good book, but not her greatest work.

I enjoyed this book. It deals with the afterlife and has several interesting ideas about what goes on after we die. I realize that this book is intended for a young adult audience but some parts of it felt a bit flat or unbelievable to me. I LOVE Marisha Peel's other books, especially Night Film, and this one just didn't quite reach that level for me but it was still an enjoyable read.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved this story!!

So different than anything I have read recently. Unique story with a great life message!!

1 person found this helpful

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Would recommend to everyone.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “‘It’s almost gone, look around’. If only someone had told me that before, about life…” This is perfect. I had mixed feelings going into the end of the book, but I genuinely enjoyed it. The characters were hard to relate to, and Kip… Kip drove me nuts. But this book was exactly what it needed to be. And I love it for that. I love Marisha Pessl’s work, and this book was no exception. In the beginning I thought Jim’s death was a veiled side story, one that may not ever be talked about properly, but it wasn’t that at all. Realistically it was the reason for it all. All in all, I enjoyed this book, and though it had some points I didn’t love. I still rate it well and would recommend it to everyone. Side note: I can’t help but wonder how good it could have been if it hadn’t been YA. Nothing against YA, I love it dearly. But I just wonder what dark spin could have gone on, and how much deeper the characters could have been, had it been geared more towards adults. Just a thought!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really good YA novel

The story is compelling and interesting, well written, but has much more of a YA feel than I had expected. I loved Night Film by the same author, and would highly recommend it!

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Well, it's no "Night Film. "

I gave it a try because I was really taken with "Night Film." This one didn't work for me.

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Brilliant, bingeable, character-driven excellence

I downloaded this book after falling in love with Pessl’s prose and style in Night Film. I was at first wary of the sci-fI elements in the summary of Neverworld, preferring generally more traditional mysteries, thrillers, and crime novels, but I was happily surprised! Neverworld is a master class in world building and dynamic character development per the closed circle mystery genre, but is also fast paced like a good psychological thriller. TLDR: Riveting, absolutely would recommend. Kept me entertained during quarantine!

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Neverworld Mess

You know what kind of story this is going to be when you have names like Whitley, Kipling and Cannon. Kids who sit around writing song lyrics all day long. The pretentiousness is off the charts. A big problem with this story is that the author seems to keep changing the rules of The Neverworld to suit the plot. Around the half-way point, she decides this book is now going to be a murder mystery. Then she needs to figure out a way they can branch out of the time loop they are trapped in, so the author comes up with some weird ideas that sound made-up-as-she-went-along. Then she keeps mentioning the vote that nobody seemed to have cared about to begin with. If nobody wanted to vote for anyone but themselves, then why are these characters so worried about it? The writing is very immature and cliche. Too many throw-away metaphors and similes and very little real description of who the characters are. Kipling was the most annoying with the stereotypical Louisiana gay kid who talks like he's 60 years old. The hacker who wears hoodies and the deep guy everyone loves who is obsessed with writing song lyrics. Its like the author watched too many teen flicks from the 80s and 90s. The worst part is that this mystery could have been solved so much sooner if it wasn't for some bad explanation of why they couldn't do something that they ended up doing at the end anyways. It also made it feel like the author had no plan and had know idea about the solution to the mystery until she got to the end. Too many characters acting suspicious for no reason at all. The best part of this book was the reader. She did a great job for what she was given. Other than that, this is bad, even for YA fiction.