Saturday, 2 January 2016
This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Publication date: 5th Jan 2016
Published by: Sourcebook Fire
Purchase from Amazon here
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.
This explosive, emotional, page-turning debut about a high school held hostage is told from the perspective of four teens—each with their own reason to fear the boy with the gun.
Wow! This book is truly a page turner! I was intrigued by the synopsis and was looking forward to a fast paced edgy read. From the moment I picked it up I was riveted and unable to put it down.
The subject matter of a gunman entering a school is gritty and also quite hard reading because unfortunately it happens all too often in real life. However the author managed to write the book in a style that wasn't gratuitous violence, and actually told a story through the eyes of four kids who attend the school, but also have a connection to the shooter.
The whole book is set over a 54 minute period and is broken down almost minute by minute. Each time period takes us through what is going on for each of the central characters and I very soon came to like and respect them very much. This in turn had me rooting for them and keeping my fingers crossed for a happy ending for each of them (I won't spoil it and tell you what happens to them). Although the the action takes place or just 54 minutes the story has depth and takes us back to earlier times that show the build up to the day, and really helped me to empathise with each characters story. I felt a connection and understanding for each of them and their personal battles.
Did I feel empathy for the shooter? Yes, I think I did. Through exploring the characters we also explore aspects of his past, and unlike the way I expected to view him as a monster I felt sorry for him.
This book is fast paced, full of action, emotion and great storytelling. It will have you glued to it from start to finish ands have you rooting for a happily ever after ending. I loved it and would love to read more by this author.
Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire who kindly provided a copy in return for an honest review.