Saturday, 25 July 2015
This Is Where It Ends - Marieke Nijkamp
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." - Goodreads
I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book will be published on 5th January 2016.
This was completely tragic and utterly heartbreaking. It was intense, it had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning. I kept putting myself in the position of the students, what would I have done, how would I be feeling and I cried throughout. Even the thought was too much to bare.
One thing I loved about this was its diversity- lesbian main characters, ethnic minority main characters, disabled characters etc. I loved the way it was all incorporated, and it wasn't like -- hey this character is a lesbian, lets constantly remind everyone she's a lesbian just to include some diversity so we can be unique -- it wasn't like that. I live in one of the most diverse cities in the world, and for me, non-white people and gay people and disabled people are completely normal - I don't think twice when I see a hispanic person or an overtly gay person, I think nothing, because it's normal - I've grown up with it and this is what this story captures. That it's normal to have diversity like this in our societies - and yes, maybe not every town or city is like this and may never be, but in my opinion it should.
The fact that there were so many POV's was an issue for me. I couldn't differentiate between the characters, they all sounded the same. It took me a while to understand who was who and what was happening but I got there eventually. That's a big issue with me for POVs, if it's going to be done- it has to be done well, and I feel like this fell just a little short.
The story was gripping, it played out like a movie in my head, even when I put the book down I felt like I was still watching, like they were all just sitting there waiting for me to continue reading, to put them out of their misery. I felt like I had the answer to everything, and I had to read the book, to finish it to make their pain stop.
I was so pulled into this book, I didn't even update my Goodreads statuses as I was reading to remind me of my thoughts- all I wrote was: "This is intense" "Omg I'm crying" "Awkward crying on the train"... it's safe to say this book made me cry. And it will probably make you cry too. And if it doesn't, where is your heart?
I really enjoyed this book, there were just some things that happened that I didn't understand why they happened- some things that made me want to shout "WHAT ARE YOU DOING, GET OUT OF THERE!", which I guess is easy for me to say (as an observer). I also feel like the backstory for the gunman could have been a little deeper, a little more explained, I feel there was no reason for him to react the way he did- what happened isn't something unique and different, it happens to a lot of young people in the world, it was no excuse. That's really what I wanted- backstory, to get into the mind of the killer, to understand the thoughts that made him do what he did, it wasn't enough for me.
I rated this book 4* on Goodreads! I highly recommend this if you think it'll tickle your fancy, but make sure you can handle it and keep lots of tissues at the ready. This is not a light read. This will haunt you.