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Welcome to my book review of “This Is Where It Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp.
I went into this book without reading the description (or the quote under the title) so I went in blind. Goodreads was having their Good Award 2016 and “This Is Where It Ends” was up for vote in the Young Adult Fiction category. I loved the cover and the name intrigued me, so I decided to read it. This book is controversial, so please know this when going in. It’s a heart wrenching 54 minutes about a school shooting.
I give “This Is Where It Ends” a 5 star rating. The author brought in several perspective including through Twitter chats and tweets. she did an amazing job. The entire flow of the book amazed me. The book is a quick read and I cannot believe she fit so many details in such a “short” amount of time. In a crisis, time feels like it stops and I think she did just that. There were times that I felt like the incident should have already been stopped and then I realized that the entire book was only 54 minutes long. She captured so much emotion in that 54 minutes and I believe she did it well, even though others thought it lacked. If anything, give the book a shot and let me know your opinions.
Something I loved but didn’t love at the same time was how much diversity there was in characters. I loved that it wasn’t an all white character set but I didn’t like it because it seemed like a forced set up; lesbians, disabled, Muslim, Hispanic, etc. It was almost like when you watch a movie and you see a cast that’s so diverse and you know it’s just for ratings. However, even though it’s a small town, there’s no telling how big the school is so it’s fine that she chose those characters.
Even though I didn’t find much personal connection with characters, there was so much emotion throughout the entire book. There was apathy from the shooter, Tyler. He was cold hearted with the shooting but also just had so much pain with other targets that he actually wanted. There was love between characters such as Autumn and Sylv, but also past love between Claire and Tyler. There was fear and blame from Claire thinking it was all her fault. Thinking why didn’t she notice? But also, why didn’t she tell anyone about the abuse from his father?
I can’t believe Matt got shot. And then Tyler’s suicide! I know that’s not unusual in shootings but still, it was heart wrenching after everything.
There was so much emotion from Autumn as well. She’s this “in the closet” lesbian that is dating Sylvia … She’s Tyler’s sister. She wants to be a dancer just like her mother. Then in the end Tyler shoots her …
Most of all, I loved the town’s name being “Opportunity” and then the line, “… but this is where we leave Opportunity behind” because it has so much meaning in so many different ways. Since I listened to the audiobook, I’m not sure if it was capitalized or not, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t.
Overall, the shooting wasn’t good … 39 dead, 25 in the hospital and it ended with Autumn in surgery and we don’t know if she’ll ever dance again.
Let me know your thoughts on this heart wrenching book! I thought “This Is Where It Ends” was really emotional and devastating even though it can be seen as a controversial read.
In the mean time, keep calm and stay epic,