Review: This is Where it Ends by 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.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

–back cover blurb of This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This book was an intense, edge-of-the-seat read. It was also very emotional. I did not expect an author to be able to so beautifully deal with a tough subject in the space of fifty-four minutes.

The writing itself was not extravagant. At points it was even confusing. I think that some of the flashback scenes could’ve been done without, and some trite expressions were used. There also was a decent amount of language, even when it seemed out of character for a character to curse. It switched between the point of view of several main characters, which could be confusing considering that the book is in first person. None of this pulled away from the story enough to make it difficult to enjoy. On the contrary, I couldn’t put it down. I read it in two days, which is not normal for me.

The plot was quick-paced, and time after time I was surprised.

The characters were really what impressed me though. It was such a vast cast of characters that I quickly fell in love with. The main characters were different races and religions which seems to be rare these days. There also was a gay couple, so it was nice seeing that community represented in such a casual way. It wasn’t a plot point, they were just there and human. I think that’s what sold me on the book. The characters were just so real.

I give the book 4.5 out of 5.0 stars.