Book Review: This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp


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.

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.

Release Date: January 6, 2016
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley
Reviewed By: Kelli


This Is Where It Ends is one of those books that is a hard read emotionally, but still a great read.  I was completely engrossed by the story and read this book in one sitting.

Nijkamp narrates from four different first-person perspectives, and manages to do so without the book feeling choppy.  This style of story-telling is a favorite of mine because it allows the reader to really get to know several different characters.  I love knowing characters' inner thoughts and the best way to get that is from first-person narration.  

This Is Where It Ends spans less than an hour's time; which makes it unique.  I assumed that because the story lasts for only 54 minutes, that it would be all action and not as much character development.  I was wrong!  Nijkamp skillfully includes flashbacks so that the reader can see how the characters have grown and changed over time.  There is also actual growth during the real-time action, which was a little bit of a surprise, but not really when you consider the circumstances the students were under.  

When I think about This Is Where It Ends, the words that come to mind are intense and emotional.  This book was so full of emotion: fear, anger, rage, pain, sadness, joy, love, and acceptance.  My own emotions were up and down with the characters', and I just felt so moved by this story.

I loved that there was an epilogue.  I was glad to get that closure, although I still wish I could see the characters a year from now, or two years from now.  Where did everyone end up?  How did they cope with the events of that terrible day?  Those were my lingering questions after I finished the story.  I hope to see a follow-up novel or novella, but even if that doesn't come to pass, this story is strong enough to stand on its own.

Nijkamp treats a brutal subject with dignity and grace in This Is Where It Ends. This book is not to be missed.

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