The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging then 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.
My thoughts and feelings on This Is Where It Ends were incredibly mixed. The storyline and general idea was amazing – a boy goes into a school auditorium and starts shooting everyone. The description hooks you and you start to read out of interest, but instead feel disappointment with the entire thing.
Everybody has a reason to fear the boy with a gun.
Stand-offish teenage boy goes into his high school and shoots. He kills anyone and everyone, but at the same time knows his targets. What frustrated me so damn much when I read this story was the way it was told. The layout was good, with the ordeal being told from multiple personalities, over different types of ways. This was a feature I had enjoyed when reading books like NEED by Joelle Charbonneau and You Were Here by Cori McCarthy. However, This Is Where It Ends lacked pace. I enjoy books that absorb me and make me loose track of time. A book isn’t a good book unless you get caught up in the story plot and characters. With This Is Where It Ends, I was constantly checking my watch or seeing how many pages there was to the end. While I haven’t been reading and reviewing books for very long, I can tell that that is not a good sign.
Ty uses the gun to push a wayward strand of hair out of his face. He’s sweating so hard the gel won’t hold. With his free hand, he polishes the blood off the bracelet.
The reasoning behind the shooting is a fantastic one – which is probably why I was so frustrated with the book at the end. The potential was wasted, something I believed down to the writing. Yet I take into account that this is the writers first piece and so flaws are allowed. After all, we are only human. Because I personally hate spoilers, I will not reveal the ending in my review. That would be incredibly cruel. On a lighter note, the chilling end to the novel is something that readers, even those who have problems with the book up until that point, will enjoy. For that, she earned an extra snowflake.
“The world is against us. You need to understand that before it kills you.” It’s rich, coming from the kid with the gun.
Perhaps in years to come, I will unearth this book from the back of my crowded bookshelf and decide it deserves a second chance. Perhaps I will open it up and fall in love with the stories of Ty, Tomás, Autumn, Claire and Syvl. But for now, I will be giving This Is Where It Ends an underwhelming two stars.
Still unsure on whether this book is the one for you? Have a look at what other bloggers have to say.
Kristin @ Nerd Probs says “A wonderful work of art by a word wizard. Five stars well deserved.”
Paula @ Her Book Thoughts says “Just because I didn’t enjoy it doesn’t mean you wont”
Sarah @ Sarah in Zombieland says “I have so much love for this book.”
About Marieke Nijkamp
Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies.