Book Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

Overall rating: 3/5
Readability rating: 3/5
Character rating: 4/5
Plot rating: 3/5
Cover rating: 4/5
Would I recommend: Yes, if you’re a Young Adult novel fan this would definitely be one to include in your to read list.

Goodread Genres: Young Adult, Mystery, Fantasy

Perfect for: People who love mysteries and otherwordly things. Those who love vibrant characters.

Book Synopsis: “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 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. ” – Goodreads Synopsis

Spoiler-free review:

This book is full of descriptive scenes, out-of-this-word scenarios, and way too many rich kids. The story was compelling. The narrator a little too unreliable, but the story was far too engrossing for me to notice until it was all over. There is a bit of a trigger warning as it is a bit darker. There’s conversations about suicide, drugs, murder, and depression. So be wary of that.

Spoiler review:

Holy descriptors Batman. This was the most descriptive YA novel I’ve read in years. Especially for it being a first person narrative, she goes all in on descriptors which isn’t a bad thing but definitely something to get used to. It could also make scenes seem long winded and overall the story was definitely engrossing.

There was a lot to these characters but once again they were all rich besides the narrator and one other. A fancy boarding school. Rich families and kids. Drugs, etc. I’ve read too many YA novels with this type of fantasy to really care.

But the plot was interesting, it was full of twists and turns that kept you guessing. I loved that for the most part. Except for how unreliable the narrator was.

She was the killer.

She remembered the entire moment by the end of the book.

But she gave no hint.

As someone who wants to try to figure out the murderer in a book, this was disheartening. You weren’t allowed to solve it because she didn’t give you all the information. For a mystery, it hid half of the mystery for you to just magically accept at the end of the novel.

She even mentions that no one would believe she stayed in her dorm all night…because ultimately she hadn’t. She had just forgotten the whole thing and even believed she had. Which was such a gut punch to those who like to unravel the mystery in mystery novels.

Otherwise the story was great. The pacing was good and I love her writing. I would definitely read another one of her novels.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

  1. Nish says:

    I read Night Film by Marisha Pessl and found it brilliant! I should try this one too, it sounds really atmospheric and chilling!

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