Neverworld WakeNeverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl
My rating: 3/5 cats
One StarOne StarOne Star

hm. yeah, i think i am going to stick with a flat three on this one. it’s a shame, because i was looking forward to this with hearts in my eyes and a quiver in my loins and i even got a sweet signed copy, but while it is a thoroughly enjoyable, medium book, it stays right there in the middle.

in the positive column, pessl makes the transition to YA very well – this is perfectly suited for its audience and the pacing, the themes, the characters, the nonlinear structural juggernaut are all comparable to other YA fiction, reminiscent of One of Us Is Lying, Before I Fall, We Were Liars, etc. and if the characters sometimes speak beyond their years in some utterly romanticized casual bravado vision of young adulthood, saying things like “You have to design your life like it’s a fresh America” &etc, that’s so common in YA lit that it doesn’t feel out of place at all – it’s just part of the territory. there’s definitely crossover appeal here – teens will enjoy it, adults who already read YA will enjoy it, but it’s not going to be the book that opens the door to YA for an exclusively adult-fiction reader, despite the author’s success in that market.

because like each of those books mentioned above, the journey to the mystery is ultimately better than its resolution, and the reveal is pretty straightforward, considering the afterlife limbo/time travel/groundhog day chowder of the bulk of it. there was a moment about 2/3 of the way through when i stopped and squinted at the book and said, “holy shit, did i just figure this out?,” getting this huge brain boner over what i thought was about to become a conceptual masterpiece of a twist on the same level (but different ballpark) of More Than This, but it went a different way and ended up being perfectly satisfying, but not a game-changer that would ruin the next five books by comparison.

but back in the positive column: she controls the story very well, doling out the dripping-clue backstory and “do you know what’s happening?” glee very sparingly, which makes this a real suspenseful page-turner, it’s just not the kind you finish and want to start over from the beginning.

a fast and fun leisure read, but pack two more in your suitcase. (LGM)


probably a 3.5 – lemme think on it…

review TK.


why did no one tell me this took place in rhode island???? they have already mentioned del’s lemonade!!! my HEART!

read my reviews on goodreads

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