One of the most important things about being a YA author is being able to write about topics that teens can relate to. In light of the many school shootings happening in the US this past year, Marieke Nijkamp wrote This is Where It Ends. Her impressive debut is one that is frightening, sadly realistic, and highly important.
There are four main perspectives in This is Where It Ends, and a few minor ones told in a tweet format or blog post. At first I found this to be a little confusing because the 4 students tie into each other’s lives in some way or another, but I soon saw Nijkamp’s motive for doing this.
While there is no perspective from the shooter, what’s important is the reaction from the students who are in fear. I found each perspective to be genuine and different, and to know that these four students were in this situation together made it more comforting for the reader.
FAST-PACED, SHORT READ
This is Where It Ends is certainly the page flipper. I found my heart going out to these students and even the teachers who are in danger, so obviously I couldn’t flip the pages fast enough to see how it all ends! It’s extremely frightening and with the entire story being told in 54 minutes, it’s astounding to me how many people can be killed in under an hour. Nijkamp conveyed the sentiments powerfully throughout the entire story.
IT DIDN’T PACK THE PUNCH
Despite this story being fully engaging and filled with great characters, it didn’t quite pack the emotional punch I was expecting it to have. I wish there was just more that could take me the extra mile with this book. It had potential to be really gut-wrenching, but in reality, it was only semi-gut-wrenching.
Nijkamp’s debut is honestly one I think every teen should read about – not to scare themselves, but just to be aware what’s going on beyond the newspaper headlines, perhaps to read a realistic situation about modern-day education. With its multiple perspectives and fast-paced plot, readers will surely appreciate the safety of their own school and to hold close the ones they love dearly.