Thursday 26 May 2016

Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

24529123Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marijke Nijkamp
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: January 5th 2016
Pages: 285 (hardcover)
Source: Netgalley

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.

This Is Where It Ends has left me really conflicted. On one hand I really like the concept of this book, it is something that needed to be addressed, but on the other hand it did not feel realistic to me for multiple reasons.

The book is told in different perspectives, which was one of the interesting things about this book. We got to see how everyone reacted differently to the events and how it was experienced by people who were inside when the shooting occurred and the ones who were locked outside and had no way to help the ones inside.

The first hundred pages or so I was really into the story. The plotline spoke to me a lot. Where I grew up, in Belgium, there has never been a school shooting (at least not that I know of). But it is something we hear about on the news or read about in the newspapers and I could just never wrap my mind around it. So I wanted to see how the author would address this issue. In the beginning I could understand how the characters were feeling and why exactly they were feeling it. But after a while somethings just did not make sense to me anymore. Some of the characters undertook some unbelievable actions. Another reason why I started to like the book less was because the characters were underdeveloped.  The different narrators tell their own stories; none of them basically have a good life. They are clearly portrayed as the victims and in the end they but a school shooting has so much more to it.

To be honest I was hoping that we would get a better insight into why the shooter decided to do such a thing in the first place. This is not a decision a person makes overnight and I had hoped that the author would let us see the different events that led up to making such a decision. Or that she at least would have given us a better background story of the shooter. Now he was portrayed as the guy that has never been really good. Maybe he should have been one of the narrators as well, in my opinion that might have helped the book a lot.

This Is Where It Ends was not what I had hoped for and I believe that it could have been so much more. But I am still glad that someone tried to address this topic since most people try to steer clear from it since that it is so controversial. 


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