I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Sourcebooks Fire on 5th January 2016
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.
I’m going to state the obvious in saying I’ve never read a book like This Is Where It Ends. I don’t pick up these kind of contemporaries normally, I stick to the more fluffy realms of the genre, aiming for feel-good romances instead of the read hard-hitting stuff. But This Is Where It Ends is a book that needs to be read. Saying I enjoyed it feels like the wrong thing to say – because a book with this kind of topic shouldn’t be enjoyed. It should be absorbed, thought about and make you face the facts about topics you don’t normally have at the forefront of your mind.
This Is Where It Ends was an intense read, and sucked me in right from the start. It’s literally the best definition of a page-turner that I’ve read recently, I was constantly flicking through the pages, desperate to find out what happened next. To say the course of the book takes place over less than an hour, the writing was full of description that transported me right to the auditorium, and that made it all the more terrifying to read. At times I felt like I couldn’t breathe with fear over what was going to happen to the students. This Is Where It Ends is scattered with various points of view, which add to its depth and gave us an insight into how so many different students were affected, and how they reacted to it.
This Is Where It Ends does not have a happy ending. It’s cruel, heart-breaking and so necessary. It wouldn’t have been right for it to all be neatly tied up with a bow at the end, because how many school shootings in reality end with a happy ending? They don’t. And a happy ending wouldn’t have done the story, and the message of This Is Where It Ends justice. I applaud Nijkamp for writing this book realistically, and how she refused to shy away from those extra details that were hard to read but ultimately made the book better.