In Rewind, Sleator takes a seemingly simple idea—that people get second chances to save their lives after they die—and turns it into psychological examination of a young man who is under a great deal of stress as he makes the transition from childhood to adulthood. Saving his own life is not easy because he can be his own worst enemy— even when he is certain his actions will kill him again, he gives in to childish emotions and duplicates his fatal behavior. While under the pressure of his impending death, Peter also must deal with a large athlete who wants too much of his attention; his best friend, Eloise, who is unimpressed, even alienated, by his first couple of attempts to save himself; and his parents, who regard him as impractical and a "sissy." Though there is much suspense as Peter reorders his life time and again in an effort to escape his seemingly inevitable doom, Rewind is not a novel of action. Instead, it is a work of fiction that engages the mind as Peter works out important issues.