This month’s FYA Book Club selection is Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl. Check out the discussion questions below! (Slight spoilers ahead.)
P.S. If you’ve already read the book, feel free to add any other discussion questions of your own in the comments!
The contents of Neverworld are created by its inhabitants. As Martha puts it, “The closer you study the Neverworld, the more of yourself you’ll find. Your darkest secrets. Your worst nightmares. Your fears and dreams.” But not all of the contents are dark–some aspects are inspired by achievements (the blue pond in Cannon’s Birdcage) and passions (Martha’s obsession with Dark House at Elsewhere Bend). If you were in Neverworld, what’s an element you would contribute?
1. The main characters in the book make for an eccentric yet entitled bunch. Did you have a favorite, or did you feel that they were all terrible people? Did you find any of them to be more sympathetic after their backstories were explored?
2. What did you think of Beatrice as a protagonist? Was she worth rooting for? Did she deserve to be the lone survivor?
3. Whitley Lansing is such a Regina George, inspiring admiration, fear and hatred in those around her. Which camp did you fall into?
4. Do you think Jim ever truly loved Beatrice?
5. What did you think about the whole concept of Neverworld? Did Marisha Pessl develop enough of the concept to make you buy into it? Or did you wish for more of an explanation for how and why it exists? Did the rules make sense to you?
6. There are several major reveals in the book, including Martha’s feelings for Beatrice, the identity of the White Rabbit, the Masons’ cover-up of Estella’s death, and Beatrice’s involvement in Jim’s death. Did you see any of them coming?