Monday, November 30, 2015

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.

Hardcover, 292 pages

Expected publication: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire 
arc via netgalley
If you are regular follower of this blog then you most likely will realize that this genre is not one that I visit often.  It was an impulse request on netgalley, but I will say that it has a couple things that attracted me - a debut author (love them) and YA (always a favorite).  I spend so much time in the past and thought something current was in order.

I really, really hope that I don't give too much of the story away here, I have lots on my mind about this book.  First off, this book left me emotionally drained - read the synopsis and you'll understand why.  Adding the fact that I was right in the middle of it when the recent events in Paris took place, I actually had to set it aside for a week.  So hats off to the author for writing a book that can draw that kind of emotion in a reader.

Now that being said I did struggle at times.  Taking place over 54 minutes, with the flashbacks it did seem longer and I couldn't help wondering where and when help would arrive.  The scenario and how things played out didn't resonate well with me, basically because it didn't seem plausible.  Some books it's easy to suspend you disbelief but I had trouble here, just for the simple fact I struggled with how events played out.  This is a small town school with a large student body and everyone is in the gym?  (well except those few running the track). 

I found it hard at times to separate the various characters, they just sounded the same and what I really found lacking was an in-depth look at the killer and getting into his mind so that I could understand his motives better.  Yea we are given his story but in a superficial way - I needed to know more.  What really blew it for me was his second to last act, it wasn't necessary and just downright mean - not that his prior actions weren't but I think you would have to read the book to know what I am getting at here.

I am giving this book 3 stars because of the way the author made me feel when I finished.  Though it had flaws, it stayed with me for days afterwards.


Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at 

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