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This is Where it Ends

Review

This is Where it Ends

Marieke Nijkamp’s debut novel, THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS, tells a remarkable story of a school shooting from the perspectives of four different students --- Claire Morgan, Thomas Morales, Autumn Brown, and Sylvia Morales.

Nothing interesting really happens in Opportunity, Alabama. There’s the occasional robbery and a few years ago a car fire, but nothing serious. Every semester, Principal Trenton gives her usual “start-of-semester” speech in the Auditorium, and then, when she’s finished, the students return to class. The only thing different this year is that when Principal Trenton finishes her speech, all the exit doors are locked. A few moments later, a masked stranger enters holding a gun, locking the school down for a dreadful 54 minutes.

"I was happy that Niijkamp was able to write an excellent, realistic novel on such a serious and sensitive topic."

 I appreciated that Claire, Thomas, Autumn and Sylvia were each connected to the school shooter, Tyler Browne, in some way --- it helped build the plot. However, it would’ve been interesting to see how Tyler appeared through the eyes of someone who had no idea who he was.

I feel as though authors and people in general often dance around the issue of school shootings to avoid provoking negative feelings, and I was happy that Niijkamp was able to write an excellent, realistic novel on such a serious and sensitive topic.  I recommend THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS to those who enjoyed READ BETWEEN THE LINES by Jo Knowles and MY HEART AND OTHER BLACK HOLES by Jasmine Warga since this book does includes elements of suspense and drama. This book is a great read that’ll be impossible to put down; I know it was for me.

Reviewed by Asia H., Teen Board member on January 5, 2016

This is Where it Ends
by Marieke Nijkamp

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
  • ISBN-10: 149262246X
  • ISBN-13: 9781492622468