Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publication: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire
Format: Advance Reading Copy
Source: Provided by the publisher via NetGalley
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won’t open.
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
I received a Digital ARC of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. By no means have my review been affected and/or influenced.
This Is Where It Ends‘ plot is as simple as it is. Boy brings a gun to school then starts shooting people. But what the book tells us is beyond what went down in those 54 minutes. It mirrors the reality of school shootings and how it happens in real life.
Never in my life did I wish to experience a horrible thing such as school shootings but I did want to experience this book.
To start off, I honestly felt conflicted with the shifting POVs. I like how it gave some sort of a play by play with what’s going on inside and out the auditorium but it became confusing at times. It wasn’t easy to connect and get familiar with the characters. I honestly had to remind myself which POV I’m reading, or whose brother is who or what’s the name of this character (still can’t remember if it’s Autumn or Summer?). There’s no distinction with the characters voices which made them sound all the same.
Also, I was looking forward to reading from Tyler’s (the shooter) POV. But the only way I was able to somehow see what’s going on inside his head is through the other characters perception of him. But I don’t think his actions alone toward these characters define him. All I learned is that he feels alone and there’s negligence, bullying, and rejection involved. But to why he just snapped and decided to do a killing spree is a mystery. I wanted to know how he planned it, what was he thinking while he was doing the shootings and to feel what he felt.
On the plus side, being inside the head of the 4 narrators added more intensity to the whole atmosphere as I wasn’t aware of what’s going to happen next. Also, I did enjoy the backstory each character had that involves Tyler.
In the end, I didn’t like how things went down in the book. I wanted justice. I wanted to bring those peoples lives back. Just undo everything. But that’s the sad reality that the book was able to grasp and it made me realize that school shootings that happen in real life doesn’t have happy endings either and for me to expect something like that in this book ruins the whole purpose. There are no happy endings in killing people, it’s awful and pointless.
Unputdownable – It’s given that a book with such a premise won’t let you put it down until you’ve finished the whole story and that is what I love about This Is Where It Ends. I downed this book in 8 hours and that’s a record.
Realistic and Diverse – Word.
Book Description and Cover Image from Goodreads