Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: 1/5/16
Reviewed by: Colleen
Marieke Nijkamp released her debut YA novel “This is Where it Ends” on January 5, 2016. Her beautiful, heart-wrenching story has, since then, received tons of support, love, and fame, and rightly so. With beautiful writing, multiple perspectives, and an on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense level, many people can enjoy this story.
“This is Where it Ends” takes place in Opportunity, Alabama and follows the perspectives of four students that attend Opportunity High; Claire, Sylv, Tomás, and Autumn. All of them find themselves in different, frightening positions when a shooter traps the students and teachers in the auditorium with a loaded gun and a terrible intention. Now, everyone must work together to save the people they care about, learn lessons from past mistakes, and find a way to stop the shooter from causing a massacre in their small hometown.
The event is narrated by four very diverse students; Autumn, who loves to dance and be happy, but just hasn’t been the same since her family fell apart, Sylv, who does her best to make Autumn happy and to take care of her grandmother, Claire, who has to fight through past relationship struggles and taking care of her brother, and Tomás, the class clown and Sylv’s brother, who loves and protects his sister. Being able to look at the shooting through four different minds allows you to go more in depth with the character relationships and see how these people have dealt with their traumatizing pasts that often involve the shooter himself. We get to see several opinions on the personality of the shooter and get to see the pieces click together as we discover the reasoning behind everything.
Speaking of traumatizing, “This is Where it Ends” deals with many terrible and current topics. The most present one is the issue of school shootings that are happening much to often in America today. Marieke Nijkamp also brought attention to problems like abuse and how it affects the victims, death and dealing with it, as well as gay/lesbian relationships and how people treat them. Through her engrossing, detailed writing, the author molded these topics into the lives of everyday people, showing us that anyone can be dealing with unseen troubles, that these issues are all too present.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, but probably would not recommend it to younger or more sensitive readers because of the themes present in it. Marieke Nijkamp truly mastered writing with chilling realism and vivid detail, leaving every reader (including me) stunned and infinitely marked by her story. Now we, as readers of “This is Where it Ends” will “…remember the thirty-nine tonight. We will remember them tomorrow. We will remember them for all our tomorrows. And there will be many tomorrows; there’ll be thousands of them. So let’s make them good ones.”