It’s not unusual for me to judge a book by its cover. I know that you’re not supposed to do it, but I can’t help it. Sometimes you just see an astonishing or cool cover, and you HAVE to buy it. That’s what happened with me for Neverworld Wake. It just seemed so intriguing! This book is pretty mysterious, so there’s not much I can say. Basically this book follows Beatrice, a college student who gets stuck in an impossible time loop with her (ex)bestfriends. This book is suitable for mature high school students, but probably not someone who typically picks up middle grade. Trigger Warnings: Suicide.
I found this book to be extremely engaging, but in the way that you find Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars engaging. It wasn’t super complex, but it knew how to hook you with the romance and the angst (not to mention it had a little sci-fi twist in there). I liked it, but there were a few issues I found myself having as I went through the novel.
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
The plot of this book was interesting, but I felt like there was something missing. The pacing rushed the events, making it harder to process information before another thing was thrown at you. I felt like that aspect made me miss some of the depth. A positive thing about the fast pacing, though, was that I never had to be guessing for too long, and all the reveals were shocking (no matter how dramatic).
I felt that the characters were simultaneously one of the strongest and weakest aspects of this book. On one hand, we had the supporting characters. Nearly all of them were electric, riding on perfect in their own distinct ways. I loved reading about them. On the other hand, we were taken through the story by Beatrice who I didn’t entirely care for. She had a singular obscure hobby, but other than that, she felt almost like a fill-in to drive us through the story.
I enjoyed Pessl’s writing style. Although, there were a few metaphors/similes that just made me confused. Being Marisha Pessl’s first YA novel, I completely understand that it was probably difficult to find her groove in a different genre, so I’m intrigued to see how her writing progresses in her future YA work.