Review: This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

Posted 12 January, 2016 by Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms in Reviews / 28 Comments

*I received a free copy of This Is Where It Ends from Sourcebooks Fire via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *

Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: This Is Where It Ends – Marieke NijkampThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 5 January 2016
Pages: 292
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

4 Stars

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.

Contemporary - (un)Conventional Bookviews LGBT - (un)Conventional Bookviews

This Is Where It Ends is an intimate account of what happens in a high school in Opportunity when a former student comes back and locks all his friends and teachers in the auditorium before he opens fire.

Review - (un)Conventional Bookviews

In the news, school shootings are far too common, and it becomes like a media circus, both while it is happening, and in the aftermath. This Is Where It Ends manages to tell the story of a school shooting from four different students’ point of view, three of them on the inside of the school, and one just outside, training for track instead of being at the assembly. The fact that the story is told in these different perspectives, each in first person present tense makes everything that unfolds very immediate, and it was easy to be swept into the action, feel the fear, and hope with all my might that things could somehow turn out OK in the end – even when it was very clear that it wouldn’t.

Only two of the four characters sharing the events were inside of the auditorium when they realized they were trapped there.  As soon as the shooter arrives, most of the people in the auditorium recognized him straight away, and even those who thought they knew him well were not exactly relieved. And once he started shooting, not completely at random, the terror increased among students and adults both. What really struck me was that in the midst of all the danger, Autumn came to life, she finally dared to tell Sylvie that she loved her, and that no matter what happened, Sylvie had her heart.

This Is Where It Ends only lasts for 54 minutes in story-time, but the action felt so tense I thought the same as Autumn, this had to take much, much longer. Between the bravery of many, the helplessness of others, I was deeply touched by this inside re-counting of a shooting. While I found the story to be very emotional, I thought it ended rather abruptly, even if the main story had a resolution, I couldn’t help but want to know what would happen to the survivors afterwards.

Fave Quotes - (un)Conventional Bookviews

This is Opportunity, Alabama. Sane people don’t leave their homes when it’s white and frosty outside. We stock up on canned food, drink hot chocolate until we succumb to sugar comas, and pray to be saved from the cold.

Nothing can touch us. Not snow. Not even time.

Far and I both hold our breath. After what feels like forever, the footsteps move on. Whoever it was, they’re not out to get us. Not today.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

About Linda @ (un)Conventional Bookworms

Linda is an English as foreign language teacher and has a Master's degree in English Language and Literature. She's an avid reader, blogger, compulsive one-clicker and a genre omnivore. Ever since she learnt how to read she has been seen with a book or two in her hands everywhere she goes.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,927 other subscribers

28 responses to “Review: This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

  1. I loved this book when I read it, truly. It tackled a tough TOUGH story with sensitivity and it didn’t shy away from doing the tough things in the storyline too. I get so excited that it’s getting such wonderful reviews, I think more people should be reading stories like this.

  2. This book sounds so intense and emotional, Lex, and I just don’t know that I can read it so close to having a scare similar to this at my kids’ school. I appreciate that Nijkamp took on such a scary and relevant topic and did it well though. And I had been really interested in this one when I first saw it (here I believe). Maybe after a little more time and distance I’ll be able to handle it.
    I hope you have beautiful weather today and enjoyed a bike ride to work. 😀 **BIG HUGS**

    • Yeah, I completely understand, Brandee, when something happens in real life, and it really freaks us out, it’s not the first thing we want to read about when we have time for our hobby. Just know that I thought it was well done!
      Not exactly beautiful weather, but I managed to get there and home without being caught in the almost never-ending rain 😀 So another 10 miles of biking today! YAY me 🙂 *BIG HUGS*

  3. I have had an arc of it for a long time but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. I did start it not that long ago but after just a couple of pages I realized that I wasn’t in the mood for a teen book so I read something else. It seems like people either really like or really dislike this book. I am glad to see that you enjoyed this one.

    Carole @ Carole's Random Life recently posted: New Releases - January 11, 2016 #newreleases #newbooks
    • I’m the same way, Carole, I need to be in the right mood for each book I read 🙂 I do hope you’ll pick this up at one point, though… And yes, people seem to either really hate it or enjoy it, I’ve seen so many 1-star reviews.
      Have a terrific Tuesday 🙂

  4. I’m not a fan of abrupt endings, but the story still sounds emotional and intense, and I’d probably give it a go. Also, I got intrigued by the cover, which I find original! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, Lexxie 🙂

    Silvia @ Darkest Sins recently posted: Teaser Tuesday (#66)
    • I think now, after having thought about this book for quite a while, that the abrupt ending actually worked… because for several of the characters inside the high school, it was also an abrupt ending.
      I hope you’ll check it out, Silvia.

  5. I’ve read some reviews by people who said they didn’t like it, others did but only partly, and then some did. I’m torn about the book though. I think the subject matter is tough, and 4 POVs is no easy feat, but I’m curious to see what the author did with it.

  6. It’s not a topic we usually have in books and that’s why I’m also quite curious about it. More than that I keep hearing great things about it.

  7. This is such an important subject and one that definitely needs to be told…but I just don’t think I could read it. I’d be all anxious and then probably upset for days because this sort of thing has become far too common in our current reality and it really sickens me. I’m curious though so maybe I will pick it up one day, in the right mood! Thanks for sharing your thoughts as always Lexxie^^ <3

    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted: Review: Abhorsen
    • It’s definitely a very tough read, Micheline! We are right there with the students who are living (or not) the terror of someone shooting people in their school. And they are closed in, without being able to leave, and with nowhere to hide. I think we need to be in a pretty good place when reading it, that’s for sure.

  8. Still not sure if I want to read this book, as it sounds so emotional and sad. But it definitely sounds like an original well writteg book and it’s interesting the author decided to write about that topic. It’s ad that shootigns like that are so common.
    The style how it’s told form four different point of views and in only 54 minutes sounds interesting and it makes me curious how the author pulls that off. There aren’t many books which take place in such a short time frame and with multiple point of view. It sounds very itense and emotional and it would be interesting to see how the survivors do after the actual event. Great review!

    • It’s a tough, dark story, so I completely understand that you might want to wait a bit, Lola. I think it was genius to tell the story from four different points of views, and in the 54 minutes the shooting lasted, I think I felt something similar to the same sense of both terror and rush that the characters felt, and it made the story more realistic to me.

  9. Braine

    Wow, this is going to be a difficult read for a lot of people. Too bad the ending wasn’t flawless, with a book this heavy, the closure should be complete and satisfying

    • You know, Braine, I have thought about this afterwards, and I think a perfect, all tied up ending wouldn’t have really gone with the story here. And for some of the people, the end happened inside of the school, you know? Abrupt, and that’s it.

  10. Xxertz

    I can’t imagine how heavy this book weighs on its’ readers’ hearts. It’s a dark story to tell, haunting really, but one that we are familiar with on the outside by the news. It’s unfortunate that the ending doesn’t not follow the students after the event, making it unresolved. I’ve been wondering about this book, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Xxertz recently posted: Top Ten Tuesday, #5
  11. I am looking forward to reading this. The short time frame and the heavier subject content is what has drawn me to want to know more. I love fast paced, although I am wondering how much of the emotional connection I will feel when so much is covered in such a short amount of time. I appreciate your review. This is the second positive review I have seen over the last couple of days.

    SDCB Steph recently posted: The Girl with All the Gifts by M.R. Carey
    • I managed to feel as if I was inside of the school, Steph. Not necessarily all that connected with the characters, but a part of the story, and the terror somehow. I know there are both positive and negative reviews for this, but to me, this story unfolded in a way that made it realistic to me.

    • Yeah, it would be awful. I think the aftermath is important, but the actual happening is too – and the way it was done in this novel was that nobody knew everything about the perpetrator, but several people knew some things about him… That is one thing that made it very realistic to me.

  12. I really liked this book too, which sounds so bad considering the contact. I guess I shouldn’t say I “liked” it, per say… but I was hooked from page 1. It was super intense and I felt it was pretty chilling as well. The one issue I had with it was the lack of background concerning the main characters. I just wish I understood them a bit more. But overall I thought it was a great book. Glad to see you enjoyed it as well! 🙂

    • I was hooked from the start, too. I didn’t really mind not getting all the background information on the characters, because if I had been to that same school, but not in their circle of friends, it would have been the same thing kind of. Thanks for commenting, Lisa!

Thanks for commenting - chat soon!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.