Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

January 5, 2016 Advanced Readers Copy, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Book Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on January 5th 2016
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Pages: 292
Source: NetGalley
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10:00 a.m.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.
10:02 a.m.The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05Someone 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.


My thoughts

Reading the synopsis I thought this would be done in a time to time frame so at every moment the reader would know when the shooting started and how much time has passed. Sadly, that is not the case here. There are some texts but otherwise there is no way to know how much time has passed.

The story starts off very quickly. Some students are digging around in the principal’s office looking for a clue on another student. It takes a few chapters to figure out why they care about this other student and who they are. Partially because the POV keeps changing. At the beginning of every chapter is another person to get to know and understand. This makes the book slower than it probably would have been had there only been one pov.

The reader gets to see the scenario play out from within the school, from within the auditorium, and from outside the school. Each of these places also has multiple perspectives so getting a handle on who is who and what they mean to the story takes a lot of time and effort.

That said, once I got into the story it went rather fast. The shooting starts and there is a lot of commotion (obviously!) but it is more than that. The pace of the plot feels lifted, even with the multiple points of view.

There is also a lot of back and forth within the story. So, you have the day of the shooting but you also have prior to, when the shooter was affected by his classmates. They all have the feeling that they should have known, or done something differently, to stop him. Some of these back stories really added to what was happening, but not all of them did. It does help to build his character and why people would not believe, and then would believe that he would hurt others.

It’s an intriguing story but started really slow. I would have preferred a more linear story line from one point of view but by the end I did get into each character enough to feel for them.

Politics do not make a play (for or against gun control) in this. I think that is very interesting. It also opens up the chance for each reader to decide what they think is best for the characters and this plot. Well done!

Rating Report
3 / 5
Character Development
3.5 / 5
Writing Style
3 / 5
Personal enjoyment
3 / 5
4 / 5
Overall: 3.3 / 5
The Author


arieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies.

Her debut YA novel THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS will be out from Sourcebooks Fire in 2016.

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