This fantasy/mystery/time-bending novel has some bad language, violence, and sex talk but not a lot of any of it.
A small group of friends who are students at an exclusive high school fall out after the inexplicable death of one of them. A year later they meet up at an old family mansion in an out-of-the-way spot to reconnect. They go out drinking and dancing and on the way home are involved in a car crash. Coming to in the mansion, they don’t remember a lot. A stranger comes to the door and with little preamble announces they are in the Neverworld, a limbo-like place, and they can’t move on until they vote among themselves which one of their number will live (the others then will be dead). They cycle through periods of time called wakes, as many as it takes for them to decide who of their number should be the one to live. Seems the outcome actually hinges on revealing the truth surrounding their friend’s mysterious death.
The mythology of this novel seems to be a mishmash of The Wizard of Oz, the X-Men kids, the Matrix, Groundhog Day, Leo diCaprio’s movie Inception, maybe The Breakfast Club, etc. Cultural references (for instance, to John Lennon and “Kennedy smiles”) seem out-of-date for the presumed reading audience. None of the characters are likeable.
This is not a focused, cohesive story though it’s not really offensive, either. There are better books out there on which to spend your money.