This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre/Themes: YA Fiction, Contemporary
Release Date: January 5th 2016
Audible Audio Length: 6 hrs 18 mins
Format: Audible Audiobook
I remember not too long ago, This Is Where It Ends was highly talked about in the booktube community. The topic definitely intrigued me, and the countless amazing reviews sealed the deal. I decided to pick up the audiobook version and I think that I made the right decision. From the second I hit play, this book had me hooked.
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.
What I Liked
The reality of the story. Marieke Nijkamp does not hold back in this novel whatsoever. It is aggressive and at times very hard to read. There were moments where I was genuinely shocked by what I was reading. Nijkamp didn’t try to censor anything or turn this into a light story by any means.
The audio. I listened to this book as an audiobook through Audible and I loved it. I really enjoyed the use of different narrators for each character perspective. There were moments that maybe would have been better to read visually, such as the twitter conversations and the way that the story was broken down by time frames, but overall, I really enjoyed listening to this novel.
The diversity. While it wasn’t the most diverse book I have ever read, This Is Where It Ends had quite a few diverse characters. There were different races and sexualities, so I really appreciated that aspect.
What I Didn’t Like
Again, The reality of the story. How terrible is it that stories like these are so realistic. That they aren’t a far stretch from reality? It makes me so upset that there hasn’t been any form of a solve for situations like these…especially in the United States of America. I’m not going to pull the “I’m Canadian so this doesn’t happen to us” card, because it does, but it does definitely happen a lot less often. Something more still needs to be done.
The lack of one perspective. While this book explores many different perspectives of a few students within the school during the time of the shooting, I think it was missing one key point of view. That of the shooter himself. I would have liked to know why he was doing what he was doing. I know that his reasoning is explained throughout the novel, but it would have been interesting to hear it from him, to know what made him snap from his perspective.
This Is Where It Ends is one of those books that you need to read. The content is, sadly, very relevant and important. It definitely opened up my eyes to these tragedies that happen more often than we realize.
About The Author
Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek.
Marieke’s debut young adult novel, This Is Where It Ends, follows four teens during the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting. The book is available in hardcover and ebook from Sourcebooks Fire in the US and the UK. The audio book is available from Brilliance Audio.