Tuesday, February 28, 2017

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Synopsis via Amazon:

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.

10:00 a.m.
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.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told from four perspectives over the span of 54 harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

The synopsis of this story really intrigued me. It is a story right out of our most horrifying headlines.
When I first started reading the story, I got very confused over who was telling the story. The perspective jumped from person to person. During each time period the story is told from multiple viewpoints. It got so confusing that I almost quit reading, but just as it is hard to stop looking at a train wreck happening in real time, I just had to keep reading. Eventually most of it unraveled and became easier to follow.
Miss Nijkamp did a very good job of telling the story from the teenagers' voices. The reader is carried along in real time as all these teenagers lose the last vestige of innocence, as they are brought into harsh reality in the worst way imaginable, and as they experience the truth that you can hate someone for what they do, yet love them for who they are.
This is a good story for young adults to read. This book can get a number of conversations going between teens and their friends, between teens and their parents, and between all parents. The discussion that, yes, this can happen to us. What can we do to prepare and possibly prevent this from happening? That even though someone thinks they need to be brave in the face of tragedy, they need others to gather around them and help them find help and healing. That just because someone is different from you does not mean they are wrong to BE and FEEL the way they do. But mostly that family is everything and blood is not the only thing that defines family.
After a rough start, I really respected the message and story that I feel Miss Nijkamp was trying to get across.

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.