Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: January 5, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQIA (Lesbian MCs)
Source: ARC from my TBTB Secret Santa
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.
As a teacher, books about school shooting are endlessly horrifying but fascinating to me. They’re always really difficult for me to read, but I’ll read any that I can get my hands on. This one was different from others I read because it was told from the POV of multiple students, all experiencing the shooting in a different way, including a sister of the shooter. There were POC and queer main characters, a disabled side character, and talk of mental illness (and the author is ace!). Yay diversity! I love that more and more books are showing what our communities actually look like in 2016.
I really enjoyed the writing and the fast pace of this book. I read it in one sitting. This is one of the few multi-POV books I’ve read that didn’t confuse me. The four characters who tell the story were so distinct that it was really easy to tell them apart. However, I was really frustrated with the lack of backstory, motive, and overall voice of the shooter. All we know about him is through the eyes of the victims of the shooting. I kept waiting and waiting for his motive to be unveiled, but it never was. I felt like we were supposed to just believe he was “evil” and accept that as enough reason for what he did. Nothing is that black and white. I wanted psychology behind what happened. What past events and emotions led the shooter to do this? I just wanted more explanation of why this tragic event happened.
About the Author
Marieke is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and wants to grow up to be a time traveler.