Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

EndsThis is Where it Ends
By: Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Release Date: Jan. 5, 2016
Genre: YA


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.



1thoughtsRun if you can. Hide if you have to. Don’t be a target.

This is Where it Ends is a story about a school shooting told by four students. Each one is involved in a different way. Autumn and Sylv are in the auditorium for a mandatory gathering before school starts when the shooter appears.  Each character plays a different role in the story.

This is not an easy story to read. While the author doesn’t go into detail, there are still bodies dropping left and right. This may be too much for some people to read. However, I found myself detached from it all. Between the cover and the synopsis I thought my heart would race throughout the entire story. Instead I just found myself reading. For me, this story lacked that emotional connection to the characters. While it was a sickening story to readprimarily because school shootings and the like have been pretty common latelyI wasn’t as engulfed in the story as I thought I would be. I honestly felt no emotions for the characters and hadn’t developed any attachments to them or whether they survived or not. Perhaps it was because the book jumps between four characters (present tense) while jumping back to previous memories as well. Maybe it was the fact that everyone was sort of one-dimensional and fit perfectly in their predesignated box. I mean, the villain is just the bad guy with no real rhyme or reason. The author tries to get your their backstory with the flashbacks but it just didn’t ever fully connect the dots. In the end I just didn’t have that connection to the characters that I would have liked.

I’m sure I will be in the minority with this one. After all, this was the book I was looking forward to reading from the moment it graced Netgalley many months ago. I thought it would be the book of the year for me, but it didn’t quite make it. I just found it all a bit flat considering what the story is about.


1favequote“We are not better because we survived. We are not brighter or more deserving. We are not stronger. But we are here. We are here, and this day will ever leave s. Nor should it. We will remember the wounded. We will remember the lost.”



5 Thoughts on “Review: This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

  1. I have issues with multiple character (3+) POV in stories, so it doesn’t sound like I’d enjoy this one. Glad you at least tried it, the topic is quite relevant right now.

  2. I think I would have the same concerns going into this book as you mentioned. After reading the synopsis
    I think it would probably prevent me from giving it a try. Although it sounds like an interesting and
    heart racing story. The cover is one of my favourites that I’ve seen recently.

    Its too bad you weren’t able to have an emotional connection with it.
    I enjoyed reading your review and getting more insight on this book.

  3. Too bad it fell flat. A book like this should not be falling flat. How depressing.

  4. Hmm, this is the second review I’ve read that said the flashbacks didn’t work for the story. You’re right, Kristin. I think this is a story that should have grabbed you, should have been highly intense and emotional. That it wasn’t that way for you is too bad. I don’t think this is a book for me as I have 3 teens who were all recently involved in a school lockdown on threat of a student with a gun. So for me, it’d be too much, I think.

    I hope your current read is knocking your socks off! 😉

  5. Sorry it fell flat. I can see why you were expecting big things from this book, it does promises a lot. Too bad it didn’t deliver

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