This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

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Young Adult, Contemporary, Literary_Fiction

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.

10:03 The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 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.

5 out of 5 (exceptional)

This book is controversial, there is no doubt about that. You will either love it or hate it, I don't see any space for middle ground. As for me, I loved it. It's a dark book, full of terror, anguish, courage and incredible heartbreak. Told from four different perspectives, you are with the characters as they try to survive, and learn from a series of flashbacks just what might have happened to start this.

This story isn't "perfect", there are things that I would change. For a start, you never hear from Tyler himself. Do you need to? Not really, because things are explained. Would it be necessary? No, because you have enough information given. Would it benefit the story? Possibly. The tweets as well - some of them I could identify and place the characters involved, but some of them, I had no idea who they were. They had an impact on the story, for sure, but just who were they? Jay and Kevin are the ones I'm thinking of here specifically.

That being said, this book gripped me from start to finish. I had to re-read the last 25% because I was ugly-crying and kept missing what was happening.

I don't know if this book is a fair description of what has actually happened at too many schools to mention. I didn't start this book thinking that. I started this book thinking it was a work of fiction, based on events that MIGHT have happened. As a fictional story, it packed a punch to me. I loved it but I can see how it won't be for everyone. I can honestly say that I haven't read anything like it before.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


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Marieke Nijkamp was born and raised in the Netherlands. A lifelong student of stories, language, and ideas, she is more or less proficient in about a dozen languages and holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. She is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. Marieke's debut young adult novel This Is Where It Ends, a contemporary thriller that follows four teens over the course of the fifty-four minutes of a school shooting, will be published by Sourcebooks Fire in January 2016. Visit her at

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