Book Review: This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

This is Where it Ends - Marieke Nijkamp

10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity 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.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

The novel centres around a school shooting, each perspective is that of someone who has been in contact with the shooter in some way or another – and they all have something to lose. A novel full of suspense, who will get out alive?

I’ve been waiting to read this novel since it was released and I finally picked it up at YALC in the summer. I’m fascinated by how an author gets into writing such a tough novel because, ultimately, there is a lot of risk of not getting it right. I believe that Nijkamp was very sensitive and has fleshed out the characters really well.

I was really pleased to see the LGBT representation in the novel, two of the characters are lesbians and dealing with their breakup as the shooting emerges. There is also a character with a disability, as well as multiple characters who are ethnic minorities – but this doesn’t feel forced at all.

I thought it was really interesting how the novel used social media within the situation. These are teenagers and what we have seen, particularly in response to Parkland, is how young people use social media. Of course, there would be tweets, people would be trying to reach people. This was a good addition on Nijkamp’s part.

The ending was terribly, terribly sad and just leaves the novel on a poignant note. The shooting is, unfortunately, just the start of many people’s nightmares. Some will have to face life without their family members, others will have to live with injuries similar to those in war zones.

I gave this novel 4 stars, this was incredibly well written and tackled an incredibly hard topic. In the current climate, more novels like this should be available to bring awareness to what can happen. If you liked Only Child, one of my top reads of the year, you will also find this to be an excellent novel.

What I Read in July & August 2018

What I Read in July and August

I have a confession to make! You might have noticed that I didn’t post a what I read post in July. Honestly, I forgot and then I felt like it was too late AND I only read 5 books in July. I completely lost my mojo, which is mostly due to having a lot of other things on my mind and recovering from my stay in hospital. BUT, it came back in August thanks to my YALC haul so let me share with you some of the awesome (and not so awesome) books I’ve read.

July

How To Be A Grown Up – Daisy Buchanan

A light-hearted book on growing up. This was a nice book to read, it had some useful insights but didn’t particularly stand out to me – I gave it 3.5 stars.

Plum – Hollie McNish

My regular readers will know I loved Hollie’s collection on motherhood so I wanted to pick up another collection. Plum is about growing up with added poems Hollie wrote as a child and teenager. Another 5 star read.

Notes On A Nervous Planet – Matt Haig

I love Matt Haig’s writing. This is such a relatable book, whether or not you’ve struggled with mental illness, it’s one to read. Short and easy to read chapters that will really make you think and give you a little pick me up. 5 stars review here.

Saga Vol. 5 – Brian K Vaughn

It’s so hard to write about these because if you write about ANYTHING after the first one then you post spoilers. Still loving it, still solid. 5 stars

Moonrise – Sarah Crossan

I loved this novel, even if it made my heart hurt. This looks at the brother of a death row prisoner. It is entirely written in verse which actually works really well, so much so I want to try her other novel One again. 5 stars and will make you very emotional. You’ve been warned.

August

Orbiting Jupiter – Gary D. Schmidt

If you need a good cry read this novel. Short, sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time. It’s a novel about second chances and a young teen who just wants to see his daughter. 5 stars, review here.

She Must Be Mad – Charly Cox

Poetry about being a woman, mental illness and body image. I enjoyed Charly’s first collection and think there will be more to come, one to watch. 4 stars.

Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee – Mary D Thompson

I read a few darker novels in August, starting with this one. Two girls are abducted and only one comes back, what happened? This was a thriller and a half! I gave this 4 stars and there will be a full review coming soon!

This Is Where It Ends – Marieke Nijkamp

On to another dark book, this time centring around a school shooting. Told from multiple points of view this was a novel full of suspense and intrigue. 4 stars.

Are We All Lemmings & Snowflakes – Holly Bourne

I used to love Holly Bourne but her adult novel left a lot to be desired and her newest made me frustrated. The novel follows teenager Olive who does not want to know her mental health diagnosis. After a crisis, she is sent to a remote therapy retreat which has the best treatment possible (no waiting list, just ‘luck’). Some parts of it were lovely and there were some good ideas it just didn’t feel realistic to me. 3 stars.

Vox – Christina Dalcher

This is one of the hottest novels of the year and for good reason. This novel is set in the future of the states, women can only speak 100 words a day, they cannot work, they cannot travel. While I felt like it was a slow start and there were a few plot holes I did really enjoy it and I keep recommending it! 4 stars.

Please Don’t Grab My P*ssy – Julia Young

This is a short, fun but powerful book. Poetry, satire and awesome illustrations. Some of them were a little bit of a stretch but I enjoyed it all the same. 5 stars.

The Choice – Dr Edith Eger

A memoir of a phenomenal woman. From teenage Auschwitz survivor to an internationally acclaimed psychologist working with those who suffer from PTSD and trauma. An interesting read and one filled with kindness and positivity. 4.5 stars.

 

What have you read in the past few months? I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments below!