Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
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. (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)
This Is Where It Ends was one of my most anticipated 2016 releases. I found a copy of it at Barnes & Noble two weeks before its publication date, and I decided to read it ASAP. So it became my first read of 2016.
While I think This Is Where It Ends was a story that needed to be told, it didn’t wow me as much as I was expecting. I didn’t cry (but that’s not saying much because I don’t often cry at books/movies/etc.), and although I did curse out loud at my book a couple of times, I was expecting to be bawling and cursing like mad at this book.
I think books like this are a bit weird, because I am SO SO SO scared of my children (and myself and other loved ones) someday being in this kind of a situation, yet I was really compelled to read this book. I absolutely HATE guns and yet this story just called to me. I guess I thought that maybe it would shed some light onto the epidemic in our country. Maybe I thought it would bring something new to to the table.
Now I do think that with the points of view of these four characters, we get different perspectives of this horrendous event. We get the POV of the ex of the shooter, the shooter’s sibling, the shooter’s sibling’s significant other, and that significant other’s sibling. It’s a bit of a web of connections, and I think they each brought a different outlook to the situation. But I feel like within these 282 pages, we didn’t get enough. We didn’t get enough, but sometimes we got too much.
There was a TON of backstory thrown into all of these characters (they ALL had MAJOR THINGS going on in their lives, from abusive parents to parents with illness to rape) yet I feel like in this short book it was all kind of crammed in there just to have a back story. Just to have some kind of connection to the shooter. In a longer book, we might have understood why we needed so much backstory. With more pages, the backstory could have taken its time and had more of a reason to be there. Then again, this book takes place within 55 minutes and to keep the intensity up, I can see where it would need to focus mostly on the present and not get too deep into the past and backstory. But it just seemed a bit off.
I don’t know. I just didn’t get the feels with this book, and I was really hoping for the feels. I finished the book super quickly (I read it in 2 days, when I normally take 4-6 days to read a book), and it definitely held my interest. And like I said above, there were some deeply compelling moments that had me cursing at my book. But it just didn’t wow me like I was hoping for. But I do know that there were other bloggers who had a lot more emotions than I did while reading This Is Where It Ends. Maybe I just read it during some kind of emotionless state.
My rating for This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp:
3 stars. I enjoyed it but I was hoping for more of an emotional roller coaster.
IstyriabookblogJanuary 8, 2016 at 12:59 pm
Aahh I cried so much reading this one! Sorry you didn't love it as much as I did, but still glad you enjoyed it.
Micheline DJanuary 8, 2016 at 7:29 pm
With a story like this, you'd definitely go in expecting FEELS. I'm sorry that it didn't deliver in that sense for you Andrea. I do agree that stories like this have an important message – one that needs to be told – but at the same time, these aren't the kinds of books I read. I read to escape and this would just bring scary reality crashing down around me LOL! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one^^
KamiJanuary 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm
Wow! I've seen this book, but I had no idea what it was about. Sorry it didn't wow you as much as you hoped. I don't know if I will read this. Hopefully more bloggers review it so I can get more feedback.
Kate Midnight Book GirlJanuary 9, 2016 at 12:49 am
I think Violent Ends would give you more of what you're looking for- although it has many different povs (each chapter is someone else's pov), and I definitely connected more emotionally.
Book For ThoughtJanuary 9, 2016 at 2:39 pm
Sorry you didn't like this as much as you were hoping… It is definitely sad to go into a book with high expectations on emotions and feeling like you don't connect quite as much as you'd like to. I've just started reading this, so hopefully I won't feel too let down by it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Beatrice @ Book for Thought
LisaJanuary 9, 2016 at 5:24 pm
I'm bummed to hear that it didn't live up to your expectations! I have the bar set pretty high myself on this one, and it is good you are bringing it down a bit for me. Have you ever read We Need To Talk About Kevin?
Andrea @ The Overstuffed BookcaseJanuary 9, 2016 at 8:45 pm
No, I haven't read that one, but I'll have to check it out!! Thanks!