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Book review – This Is Where It Ends

Everyone knows the one responsible in a different way.

Everyone knows the one responsible in a different way.

Maya Adimora, Staff writer

In 282 pages (plus special bonus content), Marieke Nijkamp manages to tell a provocative story of a school shooting, an event that is all too commonly seen in American media, in her latest book This Is Where It Ends.

The book delves into the perspective of four primary characters—Claire Morgan, Tomás Morales, Autumn Browne, and Sylvia Morales—who have a complex connection to the shooter. Over the span of 54 minutes, they examine themselves, their lives in Opportunity, Alabama, and their relationships with other characters.

This is the biggest strength of This Is Where It Ends: the characters, especially how realistic they are. They are worried sick about their friends and family stuck in the auditorium with the shooter, no matter where on the campus they themselves are. For example, the fact that Claire’s younger brother, Matt, is inside the building encourages her to keep going. Although Matt isn’t one of the main characters, he is still considered vital because he’s written as a person, with strengths and weaknesses, and not simply as a flat character. This is really shown off in the text messages and “The Adventures of Mei” commenting on what’s going on in the school from an outsider’s perspective.

My only criticism for This Is Where It Ends is that the pacing is off at certain points. The plot would begin to pick up, getting the reader hooked on every word, until a flashback is abruptly written in. It really slows down the plot in the second half.

In all, I would give this book 8/10 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading YA books and/or fictional works inspired by real-life events. The Rodriguez High School Book Club will be discussing this book on May 19. If you are interested in joining that discussion, contact Ms. Tracy Pratt at [email protected] to receive an invitation to the event.

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