Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publication: January 5th 2016, Sourcebooks Fire
Format: e-ARC, 288 pages
Source: Netgalley (Thanks to the publisher!)
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Bookstore / Fully Booked (PH)
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've been severely excited for this book since Book Expo America. Talk about a long time and when I got the chance to review it, I was stoked. I wanted to review it earlier but stuff happened. You know the drill. But I really was clamoring for the need of it and then I got to read it.
This Is Where It Ends is not the type of book you should be reading if you are prone to heart attacks or get shocked too easily. I think that's the power of this novel: complete and total paralysis because of the shock value. A lot of the tension is built up pretty well and at some point you're actually quite scared to turn the next page.
While I did love the characters, there were moments in which I felt like reading too much into their backstory was information overload. It's as if realistically, there's only 54 minutes of the action and horror going around. I wouldn't get into a full on story about what happened before and whatnot. I know that everything that has happened to you flashes before your eyes, especially if in a dire situation but it's as if some of the flashbacks got lost in itself and I got a little bored. I did love the diverse mix of people and different perspectives since the story is narrated through 4 people's point of view. And even with all the character perspectives and information being fed to me, every bit of emotion from the characters helped me empathize with them to some degree.
Though the book is short, it took me a while to read it. Reasons include: too heavy for my heart to handle and some of the things are kind of repetitive or is it just me? Like with Autumn or Sylv? Maybe it's just me. The pacing was also quite slow though and I thought I'd lose interest but the characters indeed helped bring life into this book and of course, Tyler's madness, I would say, was the one that kept me reading.
I did quite enjoy it, not because I'm a psychopath who enjoys murder but because the theme was handled well, at least for me. I hear and see news about school shootings and how these things pan out but I never exactly know what to feel about them and this book somehow helped me picture a horrifying and gut-wrenching image that I hope I never have to go through or anyone for that matter.
There was tons of riveting and tense scenes that got me caught up in it, and it felt like I was somehow there too. I also liked how the Twitter conversations were played out. I feel like people use social media a little too loosely. I'm afraid I'm one of those people. But I would be fast enough to do something about a situation then just tweet about it without really showing any hint of concern. The internet conversations are something I've seen in real life happen and it was downright accurate.
Marieke Nijkamp's debut novel is a great testament of her skill as a storyteller. Her style is modern and I think it would definitely attract a more younger and aware type of reader. I would say that it could've been less heavy handed in some parts. It was definitely beautiful in its own, dark, twisted and possibly courageous way.
This Is Where It Ends is a sad telling of a reality that we all hope we can always avoid and never hear from. It's not for everyone especially for those who find the theme hard to take in, However, it is in it's on way, honest and terrifying. I would still recommend it to anyone looking for an eye-opening book.
About The Author: