This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Reading Level: Young Adult
Released: January 5, 2016
Review Source: Sourcebooks Fire
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.
This Is Where It Ends takes us on a horrifying 54 minute journey through the eyes of several students from Opportunity High School. A school shooting is occurring… Need I say more?
This Is Where It Ends is an emotionally exhausting book to read. In the best way, of course. Although fast paced, it never feels like it. We go into four student's journeys throughout the school shooting that is happening to them and around them. At first, I couldn't connect with any of the characters. But, really who could unless you've experience something like this yourself. Everything was so raw though, that I felt scared, hopeful, defeat, and sad while reading.
As we know, this is no light subject. I feel Nijkamp did the subject justice, though, in a brilliant way. I recently lost a close friend of mine and there is a certain part in the book that hit me like a ton of bricks:
"You can't always keep your loved ones with you. You can't always settle your life in one place. The world was made to change. But as long as you cherish the memories and make new ones along the way, no matter where you are, you'll always be at home." I had to take a minute to let that sink in. I cried for the last fourth of the book. Ugly cried. Even though this is a work of fiction I couldn't help but put myself in the situation, or remember past shootings that have happened across the country recently.
I would only recommend this book to someone looking for "that different" YA read. It is a 100% real, and 100% terrifying read. Marieke Nijkamp deserves all the best praise for a brilliant piece of work.