This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

January 30, 2017

We go through the span of fifty-four bone chilling minutes through the eyes of the four different people - Claire, Autumn, Sylvia & Tomás. Each of them are at different parts of the school when the shooting begins. They were friends, brothers and sisters all living in Opportunity, All of them going to Opportunity High School.

 

While this book is arguably a must read. It is also flawed. There were some things that took away from my experience of reading this book and that is why this book is not five stars.

 

First of all, there were four POVs and the switch between them happened often, sometimes in the middle of a thought or a conversation. This took away from the story and I found myself confused or disoriented. Considering that a book like this should first and foremost help me connect with the all the people in it, and I do not feel like this was accomplished. All four of them started to sound the same. I easily lost focus and zoned in and out while reading the book, partly because the musings of certain characters, their flashbacks, etc, were rather boring.

 

The formula made me angry. While I appreciated the diverse characters I feel the writer was merely checking off characters from checklist. I also feel like that diversity didn’t do much to push the story forward. The characters came out as “by-the-book formulas” than actual people, and there were so many clichés it made my eyes roll a few times.

 

The shooter (Tyler) is shown blandly as a person out for revenge and nothing more. He was almost robotic in the way he went about doing what he did. This really played well but I couldn’t help but think that all of those flash backs could have been replace with him. I would have like to have seen his frame of mind, his emotions, his reasons, and maybe even feel that crazed power he felt.

 

This Is Where It Ends is phenomenal and terrifying. Shootings in schools is a real, terrifying problem, and with something as sensitive as this, I really wish that the shooting wasn’t the soul of the subject matter. Yes, tragedy is riveting and people are drawn to it, but I feel like this book leans too much on being a good book because the subject is taboo, rather than just being a good book.

 

Admittedly, reading this book shook me to my core. This was not an easy read in any way, shape, or form. If you’re a mother, or even just have children in your life. This book is hard and covers a difficult subject matter. It will toy with your emotions to bring you to your breaking point. You will cry.

 

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