Monday, January 4, 2016

This Is Where It Ends - Book Review

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

10:00 a.m.
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.

10:02 a.m.
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.

This is a hard topic to write about. So I'm not going to try. As much as I'd like to give my thoughts on this book from that point of view.

I have to say I've got mixed feelings about this book. I most likely went in thinking I was going to really like it, like 5 stars "'like it." It's being told in real-time, talk about a non-stop, caught up in the moment type of book.
Then it started. It was like I was just dropped into this world. I didn't know who anyone was, why they were doing what they were doing, or thinking what they were thinking. Complete strangers.
Which is probably why I spent most of the first half trying to care about them. Much like meeting new people, it takes awhile to get to know them. Not very ideal when you only have 54 minutes.
At some point I decided I was only going to care about two of them (the twins), and it ended up catching me. As did everyone else.

There are a lot of flashbacks, they're the only way we get any background information on anybody and as much as I liked getting to know about them in that form; it still didn't feel like enough. Is it just their lives flashing before their eyes or them remembering why they have ever right to hate the shooter?
It's both actually.
And for something being told in real-time it could have done with just the latter.

I don't feel like we ever got an actual reason why any of it happens. From what we learn the shooter is really only mad at so many people. So my question throughout was: Why take it out on everyone else? It's proven through all the flashbacks that he can get them alone. Why exactly did he need to "be remembered."?

We're given inklings, but they didn't give much of a straight answer, because we never get a clear view of who he was. He wasn't treated a certain way because everyone decided to treat him like that, there had to be a cause behind it.

This could probably turn into a whole other conversation, so I'll just say I understand his emotions behind it, just not his motivation.
But then I guess with situations like this they're not meant to be understood.

As I said above it did get me in the end. I felt everything the author wanted me to feel, I went where she wanted me to go. I cried (well almost) with all the characters who lost someone. I became a part of them.

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