- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire; 1 edition (January 5, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 149262246X
- ISBN-13: 978-1492622468
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 784 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,855 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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This Is Where It Ends Hardcover – January 5, 2016
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"This Is Where It Ends is simultaneously heart pounding and heart wrenching. Every word hits frighteningly close to home and is tragically too familiar. This book will leave you asking questions that we as a society should have answered a long time ago." - Julie Murphy, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DUMPLIN'
"Stunning, diverse, and unforgettable, This Is Where It Ends is a book everyone should read to better understand each other and the world around us." - Robin Talley, author of LIES WE TELL OURSELVES
"As long as there are Newtowns and Columbines there will be a desperate need for gripping, well-written, and poignant novels like this one. We are the most gun-violent country in the world, and yet little has been done to stop these rampage killings. Many people have become numb to the news that yet another child, or family, or congregant, has been murdered. Hopefully a book like This Is Where It Ends will make the problem more real to a generation that still has the time, energy, and willpower to do something about it." - Todd Strasser, award-winning author of GIVE A BOY A GUN and FALLOUT
"Entirely gripping and fast-paced." - Lucy Christopher, award-winning author of STOLEN
About the Author
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies, and is an executive member of We Need Diverse Books, the founder of DiversifYA, and a founding contributor to YA Misfits. She lives in the Netherlands. Visit her at mariekenijkamp.com.
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Review originally posted on lysskreads.wordpress.com
TIWIE could have been so much better than it was. It had so much potential to be amazing, to send a message, gain some understanding—to really see through the eyes of victim’s of school shootings everywhere.
The only emotion I got from this book was irritation. For example:
"Chris tosses me my sports drink, and I take a few gulps before discarding it. More shots break the icy air, and we run."
It’s that little key right there, “more shots.” They had already heard the gun shots inside the school. They had decided on a plan to find help. But before doing anything, they needed some Gatorade? That irks me so much. People are getting shot—their friends, siblings, teachers—but they needed to power-up really quick before finding help? No. I understand being in shock. This is not shock. This is a waste of time.
Claire. There was no reason for us to read from her POV. None, whatsoever. All we got from her is that she’s incredibly selfish. She noticed the welts and bruises all over Tyler, HER BOYFRIEND OF TWO YEARS, and instead of mentioning to someone that he was being abused by his father, she acted like the bruises didn’t even exist. Throughout the whole book, in her POV we go back and forth from flashbacks of her with “kind-of-good Tyler, who was just ohhh so kind” (What?) to “Chris, he’s always there for me, do I like-like him, but wait is my brother okay?” Ugh. Her POV in this book is an inconsideration to the true sadness, anxiety, and complete desperation that people go through when faced with the possibility of having lost a loved one and not being able to do anything about it. She made me sick. By the way, she’s Gatorade girl.
All four of the main characters were written the same way. I actually had to go back a couple times to remind myself of who’s POV I was reading from.
I understand that Tyler was troubled, that losing his mom and the thought of Autumn moving away were hard for him to handle. I understand that he was abused, mostly in defense of Autumn. But he was also a bully, a rapist, and a murderer.
And there’s this little gem:
'He stares at me over the barrel, and the corner of his mouth twitches. A smirk. Then a smile—a smile full of delight and mischief. When he pulls the trigger, I feel the shot rather than hear it…The last thing I hear is Ty saying, “I just don’t want to be alone anymore.”'
So, let me get this straight. He’s smiling mischievously while confessing that he “doesn’t want to be alone anymore.” Right. Okay.
TIWIE was hard to finish, but not for the reason I picked it up in the first place. It had so much potential to be amazing. Instead, I’m angry with myself for reading it.
I have to say, this might be one of the worst books I have read in a long time. I'm a middle school teacher who loves to read YA novels. This one just did not hit the mark. The characters were flimsy and unlikable, and the plot was absolutely brimming with cliches. The boy and girl who have been best friends all of their lives, and it takes a school shooting to make the girl realize he's loved her all along? The two teenagers who skipped the assembly somehow managing to save the students? The beautiful dancer whose entire life is dance and who only wants to escape her small town and abusive father that hates dance because it 'killed his wife' (Footloose, anyone?). Also take into account the random poetic lines somehow running through the minds of teenagers in the middle of an extremely traumatizing event and it's enough to make anyone gag.
Also obvious is the fact that this author has absolutely no concept of how teenagers behave or how their relationships work. The students are in the midst of a showdown with a school shooter and are watching him shoot their classmates and teachers at point-blank range (sometimes, in the face) - we have to assume this is the first time these kids have seen such blatant gore, and possibly even death. Their reactions? To wince slightly, maybe gasp, and then to turn to their friends and try to figure out what to do. Let's be real, here - if this were teenagers experiencing this, we'd be seeing hysterics if not total trauma (and I'm saying that, fully aware that even adults with fully-formed brains would react in much the same way). Looking at the relationships between these characters (besides being one massive cliche), the strangely underdeveloped relationship between the shooter's sister and best friend is awkward at best due to the fact that the only interaction we see is them staring wistfully at each other and remembering sappy moments wherein they ALSO gazed wistfully at each other. The aforementioned cliche of the girl/boy best friends who find love in the midst of the girl's brother dying (while on the phone with her) reaches an all-time low when the girl makes out with the boy and announces she wants to be a teacher. Let me reiterate - her brother literally JUST DIED WHILE ON THE PHONE WITH HER, and she makes out with her best friend and decides her future. Right then and there. It's as cringe worthy as it sounds. But this is somehow also the girl that tells her entire class and her COACH, a grown man, what to do in this instance of crisis - because that sounds realistic, a teenager somehow having the presence of mind to direct everyone into action while her coach stares dumbly at her. Come on.
One last thing - the writing is just awful. All of the characters sound exactly the same. I had to constantly go back and see who's POV I was reading. None of them had any kind of distinct voice or actions. Such a shame, because that could have been the one redeeming factor to this absolute disaster of a book.
All in all, this book was so bad that I had to force myself to finish it, just so I could write a review and warn people from wasting their time. It is extremely rare that I can't find a single redeeming quality in a book, but this one is the exception. The book does not handle the situation of a school shooter with any bit of grace, does not offer any insight into the mind of a school-shooter or his motivations (nor any worthwhile insight into the other characters of the book), and gives little in the way of character development or even plot development. If you're looking for a mindless read chock full of painful cliches, with absolutely unlikable characters and complete and total suspension of belief in how a human being would interact with their surroundings/another human being, this might be the book for you.
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What made me pick this book up:
The cover is what first caught my eye.Read more
A very scary situation with some romance and a lot of heroes trying to save others.Read more