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Either the Beginning or the End of the World

Review

Either the Beginning or the End of the World

Sixteen-year-old Sofie has both Scottish and Cambodian blood in her, but her Cambodian mother has never been a part of her family. Sofie has always lived with her father, but this spring, he has to leave to catch more fish and keep his business running. What will happen to Sofie when she’s forced to live with a mother and grandmother whose thoughts still circle around their past in Cambodia, when the Khmer Rouge were torturing them? What will happen when she meets yet another “ghost” and begins to fall deeply in love with him, even if her parents forbid it?

In Terry Farish’s seventh book EITHER THE BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE WORLD, readers follow the story of a broken family trying to slowly mend itself together and the beginnings of a forbidden love. The story sends so many deep messages while also teaching readers about things that happened to Cambodians when the Khmer Rouges were around. I found that this story reminded me a lot of Taylor Swift’s song “Mine”; both Sofie and Luke, the man that she falls in love with, seem hesitant about their feelings because of their pasts, but really enjoy one another’s presence and try to ignore all future troubles when they’re together.

The story sends so many deep messages while also teaching readers about things that happened to Cambodians when the Khmer Rouges were around.

I found that the pacing of EITHER THE BEGINNING OR THE END OF THE WORLD worked really well. Although it’s a mere 190 pages, Farish sped up specific parts of the plot and slowed down the more important parts. Because of this technique, I was able to receive a lot of the messages she was trying to send through the text.

This novel required a lot of analyzing, something I don’t really enjoy when reading for pleasure, but it was so beautifully written that I honestly didn’t mind it. Farish includes a lot of imagery in her writing and seems to think deeply about which words are used to convey specific feelings and ideas.

I also really enjoyed the character development that occurred throughout the plot. Sofie in particular has quite the transformation; we watch as she changes from someone who does what she likes to someone who must cope with what she has.

Overall, I thought EITHER THE BEGINNING OF THE END OF THE WORLD was an interesting, satisfying read and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a sad story or a book to cuddle with. It seems to be a perfect story to read during the fall/winter season, so its release date is perfectly timed.

Reviewed by Alyssa L. on October 7, 2015

Either the Beginning or the End of the World
by Terry Farish

  • Publication Date: October 1, 2015
  • Genres: Dystopian, Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab (TM)
  • ISBN-10: 1467774839
  • ISBN-13: 9781467774833