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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Book Review: This Is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Publication.Date  January 5th 2016
Published By:  Sourcebooks Fire
AuthorMarieke Nijkamp

This is Where it Ends on Goodreads
My review copy:Bought
Where to get:;jsessionid=53428FAEB8E6DD59318D5431649F40B8.prodny_store01-atgap01?ean=9781492622468&st=AFF&2sid=Goodreads,%20Inc_2227948_NA&sourceId=AFFGoodreads,%20IncM000004

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

We're more than our mistakes. We're more than what people expect of us.
You can't always keep your loved ones with you. You can't always settle your life in one place. The world was made to change. But as long as you cherish the memories and make new ones along on the way, no matter where you are, you'll always be at home.
I didn't need to die for him to kill me.
You can do far more than you ever imagined.
I never realized that courage was so terrifying.

     I bought this book after watching one of Jesse The Reader's YouTube videos (the one in which he talks about the upcoming releases he's most excited for). I thought it sounded amazing and right up my alley, and so I clicked over to Amazon right away and ordered it without any hesitation. I have no regrets, guys. This book was really good. It was gripping, quietly powerful, very thought-provoking and eye-opening, and most of all, it was so very relevant in so many different ways.

    Told from multiple points of view (four, to be more specific) over the span of 54 minutes, it's essentially a heartbeat-by-heartbeat account of a shooting that takes place at a high school. A shooting that no one saw coming, though many should have. It's a story of death and sacrifice, pain, bravery and loss. And it's pretty intense.

   Through the eyes of four teenagers - some inside the assembly hall, some on the outside but with links to people inside - we witness the horrific events quickly unfold. Most of the students are gathered inside the gym/auditorium where yet another school assembly is taking place. A handful of students - most from the track team - are on the outside. When the assembly is finished, the students try to leave, but they find all the doors locked. They quickly realize that something is wrong and that they are trapped. But they don't know just how bad the situation is until someone comes through one of the doors near the stage and takes out a gun...

    This was a very fast paced novel and I literally breezed through it in one sitting. I remember holding my breath and just racing through to find out who will survive, who will fall and how the story will end. It was definitely a very engaging and stimulating reading experience, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.

    I came away from reading this book feeling cold and numb. This book made me worried. It made me think about my own kid few years from now and how she might end up in a wrong place, at a wrong time, just like the kids in that auditorium. And it seriously terrified me.

    As much as I enjoyed the story, though, I think it was lacking the emotional punch. I was invested in the story for sure, but not in the characters. And it's really no wonder, This is Where It Ends is a pretty short book, and it's told in a way that feels more like a newspaper article or an episode of 20/20, and not a moving contemporary novel. And you know what? That's fine. Not every novel has to leave you in tears. Not every novel has to make you weep for the lost and feel for the survived. This was still a fantastic book that made me think about the dangers lurking around the corner and the importance of good support systems. It was an illuminating and powerful read, and I am so glad I got a chance to experience it.

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