This is Where it Ends
By: Marieke Nijkamp
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 won a copy of this book for free from The Reading Room (thank you so much).
This was an overall good book. It was emotional and will always have a special place in my heart. BUT….. There are minor problems I found. They were personal opinions, so I won’t mention them in my overall review, but don’t worry, I’ll list them below where I will divide my thoughts into clearer paragraphs. The idea was a great one, as well as heart-wrenching. The subject itself makes a person shiver in discomfort, but it is a subject that needs to be addressed.
Now, for my individual, more in-depth thoughts on This is Where it Ends.
Since this book takes place in the real world, the author didn’t create her own world, but when you’re writing a book, you create your own book version of the world that is already familiar to the common person. Every author has their own creative spin on the web that is already formed around us. I felt like the world building in This is Where it Ends was okay. Alright, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would have liked.
I feel like if this book wasn’t about a school shooting, the world building would have been different. For example: The school would be in walking distance (or at least running distance for ROTC members) to at least a gas station or public park of some sort. The description of the school and roads and everything surrounding (and not surrounding) the characters and events wasn’t clear like I think a book’s world should be. I want to feel like I am looking through a new, fresh out of the box window, not a musty old coca cola bottle. But unfortunately, I found myself re-reading paragraphs, trying my best to understand what is where. This leads me to my next topic.
I didn’t have as large of a problem with the character development as I did with the world building. I do, however, still have a few critical thoughts that keep me from loving and caring for every character that died, suffered, or survived. I teared up during character deaths when I should have been bawling my eyes out. I do have to admit, though, that I don’t cry often whilst reading books. I also found some of the characters motives (ie: the shooter, mainly) unrealistic and they were thrown way out of the ballpark.
Overall, I looked forward to reading this book whenever I picked it up. I found it predicable at times, along with intensely frustrating.
Overall, I enjoyed the plot, but it did seem a bit rushed. There didn’t seem to be an obvious climax, since the entire book is about the boy with the gun pointed at the students in the gym. The plot could’ve used some work, because it is difficult to find.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!