This is Where it Ends
Page Count: 292
Published: January 5th, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Thank you to Netgalley and SourceBooks Fire for providing me with an ARC :) >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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."
Just based off the synopsis I knew this was going to be a dark book. I'm honestly not sure how a book about a school shooting wouldn't be. I deeply admire Marieke for writing about such a sensitive topic, not everyone would go for it but she did and I have to at least give her props for that. However, I didn't really enjoy reading the book.
For me, books are an escape from all the crap that happens in our society. This is Where it Ends was no escape, in fact, it was just another reminder of our sad reality. About halfway through the book I was ready to be done with it, which usually isn't a good feeling to have while reading. I felt like it took me a millennia just to get through a book that takes place over the course of 54 minutes. (When in reality it only took me a few days.)
This book is actually told from multiple POVs, and by multiple I mean like 5 POVs. I don't know about anyone else but that's a lot of different perspectives for me to keep up with. For the first 20% of the book I was straight up confused. I was having a lot of trouble visualizing the character's appearances, which was mostly my only problem with the multiple POVs.
You know how sometimes when there are multiple POVs you tend to favor one over the other (at least that's what I tend to do.) There was none of that in TIWIE but that was more due to the fact that I didn't particularly like any of the characters.
Throughout the book there are several flashbacks. Some involving the shooter, Tyler, and some just being being family moments. I assume the flashbacks were there to help move the story along as well as give you a reason to be attached to these characters, since you barely see them. However, I just didn't feel anything for them. Of course I felt bad when someone died or when someone lost a love one but it wasn't because I liked that character it was more because that's my nature, being the human that I am.
It felt as if the story got slightly repetitive in some places. After the third time of someone saying "I need to go protect ...." I was just done. Going along with the "I need to protect..." I thought that some of the characters were just being straight-out stupid. The shooters sister, Autumn, repeatedly tries to go confront her brother and every single time he shames her and threatens her life. You can't reason with someone who is INSANE. Some people believed they were being brave by standing up to the shooter, and maybe that's true, but it was also a pretty stupid thing to do.
Looking back, if things wouldn't have gone the way they did then the ending wouldn't have been what it was. (If that makes any sense xD) I guess I could understand some of the characters actions but that wasn't always the case.
Since this book is focused on a sad, modern occurrence it wasn't hard to predict the ending. As soon as you read the synopsis you theorize about how it will end, and let me just tell you it ends exactly how you think it will. There are no plot twists or betrayals just a crazy teen with a gun that decides to go kill innocents.
There was a particular spot in the book that bothered me, don't worry it's not a spoiler, where one of the characters (Tomas) sees a pretty girl that he wants to ask out. Keep in mind everyones life is being threatened at this very moment. He thinks to himself that if he saves her maybe she'll finally notice him and he can take her on a date, so he goes and saves her. This really irks me because it just seems like such an inappropriate thing to put in a book about a massacre. (Sorry just had to get that out)
One thing I loved about this book was the modern twist it had. There was a use of Twitter messages throughout towards the ends of the chapters. You get to see the media trying to interact with these high school kids. I got pissed off as soon as the reporters started going on Twitter and attempted to try and interview these kids. They are locked in a room while being shot at and all you care about is getting answers to stupid questions?!?! (Only slightly ironic because that's something a modern day reporter would do.)
I thought this book was okay overall. It didn't particularly blow me away and when I was done reading I felt like I needed to see cute animal GIFs.
One of my favorite quotes was:
"I never realized courage was so terrifying."
I'd recommend this book to: People who like contemporaries about more serious subject matter.
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!