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Publisher's Summary

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 truly eerie reading experience." (Nylon)

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

©2018 Marisha Pessl (P)2018 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

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

"This novel has ambition to spare, and teens looking for something odd, atmospheric, and twisty will likely be enthralled."" (Booklist

"Pessl manages to keep her first-person narrative moving forward while her characters are stuck in time. An eloquent and haunting tale." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • 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!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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!

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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!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

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.)

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A rare talent

The third novel from Marisha Pessl is as transcendent as her first two. Wonderful. Thankfully the narration is as excellent as the text. Well done to all involved.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

I was quickly drawn in! A great story: it was really inventive! I couldn't stop listening!

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  • Kryptography
  • West Sacramento CA, CA, United States
  • 06-05-18

for YA fans only

tedious rich children with issues. if that's your thing, this is that, if not skip.

5 of 12 people found this review helpful