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At The End Of Everything

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends comes another heartbreaking, emotional and timely page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day...they don't show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There's a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they're stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published January 25, 2022

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About the author

Marieke Nijkamp

54 books1,926 followers
Marieke Nijkamp a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, geek.


Please note I don't respond to friend requests or messages on GR, but you're always welcome to tweet or email me. :)

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5 stars
459 (18%)
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932 (37%)
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778 (31%)
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230 (9%)
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99 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 599 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,195 reviews40.6k followers
January 4, 2022
Think about trapped inside the juvenile treatment center: abandoned, left behind as an outbreak spreads through the entire world. What if being caged behind the locks is equal to take your chance at the outside world.

What if nowhere is safe enough to run or hide!

I loved this apocalyptic thriller concept surrounded by young narrators who are a bunch of broken, criminal kids who lost their ways and who don’t have any chance to recover for starting over!

The place they stay called Hope Juvenile Treatment Center lies amid a small clearing. A piece of elevated grasslands between the wild oak and hickory trees and mountain ranges of the Ozarks. It may be considered as wilderness camp: cut out from all kinds of civilization.

Those delinquent teenagers who are kept there haven’t seen the outside world for months or years, living under strict rules. There is an inner hierarchy between them. A wild and vicious boys group provide protection to some of them leading by the boy named Hunter who is a killer. And his group used to welcome new members with their special initiation ceremony by kicking them till they bleed out.

Emerson already gets bullied by guards because of being non binary and she forgets to attend her initiation meeting with that vicious welcoming committee because she meets Grace lurking around the corridors, telling her there are no guards watch them. This strange situation triggers the boys group to take their chances to flee!

But as soon as they take a few steps outside they realize a group of soldiers waiting for them with their guns trained on them, telling the group to go back where they came from.

After a violent quarrel breaks out, teenagers find out the ugly truth: right before Christmas, there was an outbreak of respiratory disease in several cities across the state and country. The very same disease is highly deadly and dangerous, spreading fast as the people keep traveling outside the country. The government placed the state in total lockdown.

This means they cannot go anywhere. If they try, they will get shoot. But this never stops them even though some of them still think stay at the treatment center is safer, some unexpected incident force them to change their minds.

It was gripping, surprising, action packed thriller with multi narrators. Grace was already my favorite one who was fighter against the inequality, barely restraining her temper.

The conclusion was also satisfying enough which made me give four pandemic, thrilling, riveting, young adult, mysterious stars.

Special thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
Profile Image for PamG.
815 reviews482 followers
December 8, 2021
Marieke Nijkamp’s new novel, At the End of Everything , is an emotional ride with moments that range from heartbreaking and desperate to suspenseful and hopeful. This young adult / teen novel is well-written and character driven. The setting is mainly the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center near the fictional town of Sam’s Thorne, Arkansas. The teens housed there aren’t wanted. They’ve been sent there for a variety of reasons, but they had little help from any family or concerned citizen to keep from being sent to the facility. One day they wake up and realize they’ve been abandoned. There aren’t any guards, cooks, or other staff. After initially thinking this is their chance for freedom, they discover a pandemic is affecting the world outside and they’re on their own.

The story is told from three points of view: Logan, Emerson, and Grace. Logan can’t talk except through a made-up sign language that he uses with his twin, Leah. Logan reads and writes well, while Leah talks for both of them. Emerson is a non-binary person with authority, gender identity, and commitment issues. Grace is outspoken and has anger issues. All three play pivotal roles in the story, but readers get to know several other characters as well. As supplies dwindle and the plague affects the residents of the Center, the group has to decide what actions should be taken, who can be trusted, and how to survive.

The three main characters are reasonably well-developed; they’re flawed, but show growth over time. Several teens show amazing strength of character and courage while some show less desirable traits. It would have helped to have more in-depth information on the teen’s backgrounds. However, the reader does get bits and pieces. Who will survive? Will they have food and medical supplies?

The book is emotional and intense. The teens had already been abandoned by family and friends. Now, it seems even those that are supposed to rehabilitate them have left them on their own. Additional themes include food supply issues, a desire to feel safe, homelessness, fear, trust, anxiety, discrimination, gender identity, leadership, caring for others, stealing, assault, movement restrictions, the loss of normal routines, and much more.

The author does a great job of portraying the hardships and lack of amenities as well as the friendships and struggles faced by the teens. This story hooked me immediately and kept me interested throughout. However, I would have liked a little more closure at the end in an extended epilogue.

Overall, it’s suspenseful and there are a few surprises along the way. While this is my first book by the author, I want to check out her other novels.

SOURCEBOOKS Fire and Marieke Nijkamp provided a complimentary digital ARC of this novel via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way. Publication date is set for January 4, 2022. This review was originally posted at Mystery and Suspense Magazine.

Due to publishing guidelines, my review will not be posted until early December.
January 25, 2022
**Many thanks to NetGalley, SOURCEBOOKS Fire, and Marieke Nijkamp for an ARC of this book! Now available as of 1.25!**

It's the end of the world, as they know it... 🎵

But NOBODY feels fine.

Teens at the Hope Juvenile Detention Center have very little of that left...hope, that is. They have all ended up there for different reasons, but now share this bond in captivity, waiting for the day they can reemerge into the outside world. Until the moment that everything changes...the guards mysteriously vanish, leaving the band of teens wondering what could inspire this sudden departure. They soon learn that a deadly plague has infiltrated the outside world and NOBODY is looking out for them...and they must rely solely on one another. As supplies, patience, and their forces dwindle, can ANY of these unlucky youngsters make it out alive?

This is not directly purported to be a COVID book...but it is basically a COVID book.

And that made it an incredibly hard read for me to get through, just on that basis alone. Other than Picoult's Wish You Were Here, I have stayed far away from this subject matter for the obvious reasons. Yes, this is a PLAGUE not a pandemic....but let's be honest, one is a stone's throw away from the other and everything that transpired felt very referential. Things escalated quickly throughout this story, but to be honest, I didn't feel much of an emotional connection to the characters, so it didn't really 'hurt' when any of them were taken by the disease.

I initially thought this book would have more of a mystery element to it (What happened to the guards?!) but frankly all of that was resolved quickly at the beginning, so nothing mysterious to ponder here. While I appreciate Nijkamp's careful attention to representation, she acknowledges herself at the end of the book that as a white woman, the stories of some of these teens aren't really hers to tell. I didn't feel emotionally invested in this book, so I'm not sure what sort of ending would have 'fit' best for me. The ending here is serviceable to the story, but I think in light of the pandemic we are all still dealing with, felt hard to relate to currently. Hopefully someday I'll be able to look at it differently.

For those ready to explore the ramifications of a pandem-I mean, plague...this is a look at what could be through the eyes of some troubled and troubling teens and certainly hints at survival of the fittest in some respects. I would consider another Nijkamp read, but for the time being, I think I've had my share of medical scares and am probably ready for lighter fare.

3 stars
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,032 reviews1,424 followers
August 18, 2021
Actual rating 3.5/5 stars.

"This is what the plague looks like.
It’s not illness, at first. It’s fear. The type of fear that nags at the back of your thoughts, that crawls like a parasite under your skin. It’s like every bruise that brushes against my clothes."

The guards have gone and the lights are out. The teens at The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center find themselves abandoned. When a few of them travel to find help or answers they encounter armed soldiers and are informed that a deadly plague has swept through the world, taking many lives with it. Those supposed to protect and care for these teens have fled and now their only chance for survival lies in trusting in and working with the few of them who are left.

Reading about a plague during a pandemic was an odd experience. I would definitely say it heightened my emotional attachment to the storyline. The events that actually transpired in 2020 did not escalate as quickly nor get quite as bad as those depicted here, but this delivered a scary insight to how sinister everything could have easily turned. If I had read this a few years ago it may have felt like a distant dystopian story but reading it in 2021 made it feel like a very possible reality we were lucky to escape from.

For all the terror this novel conjured, it was also a remarkably quiet story. Events were slowly-paced and all were full of sorrow. It provided a very humane approach to the plague and kept the focus rooted on the individuals attempting to survive it.

The teens who centred the story were wonderfully resilient individuals. The world deemed them expendable and yet they fought for their survival every single day, never giving up or complaining about the unfairness of their situation. The diverse cast of characters were all so lovable, selfless, and hard-working. I could have spent an entire novel's worth of pages with each one of them and am glad to have been provided with this insight to their stories, both personally and relating to the plague.

This captivated me throughout and yet I wished for a little something more, at the conclusion. Sorrow dogged these pages and the tone was not alleviated at the book's close. I felt desperately sad once it was over and though I understand that this was probably Nijkamp's desire, I could have used a few more moments of lightness and hope to be peppered throughout this.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the author, Marieke Nijkamp, and the publisher, Sourcebooks, for this opportunity.
183 reviews
August 9, 2021
Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the digitarl ARC. My opinions are only my own. I am sorry to say that this was an absolute fail for me. I know my teen daughter has liked this author so I wanted to try but there was something about the writing that felt very clunky and did not flow naturally. It also seemed that in trying to be inclusive with the characters (which is admirable) because the author was trying so hard, it did not come through as genuine, it just felt cut and pasted. I think it is a much more natural flow to have things be revealed about characters as it is necessary to the story. To obviously state, "this character is non0binary, watch" or this character is "special needs" just was terrible. Many other elements seemed very obvious and hitting every trope. I am truly sorry I didn't enjoy it.
Profile Image for Kristy.
1,025 reviews144 followers
January 1, 2022
The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is not a place of hope. It's where troubled teens are sent when few other options exist. Then one day the guards start acting strange--and then they don't return. When some of the teens leave the facility, they find a group of armed soldiers. They tell them there is a respiratory plague spreading throughout the country and no one is allowed to leave their homes. The group realizes this means they've been abandoned to try to survive a plague at Hope.

This was my 150th book of the year, and it was a terrifying plague thriller that hit way too close to home right now! Honestly, it was almost too hard to read about a respiratory plague at the moment, especially with COVID ramping up again!

I think this is my favorite Nijkamp book so far. It grew on me--I really started to care for the teens left behind at Hope, and this book really makes you think. Because, let's be honest--the Government abandoning a group of wayward teens to survive the plague doesn't sound too farfetched right now, does it? The book involves things like total lockdowns and ration cards and while it's billed as apocalyptic, it does not sound like a world too far from our own.

The representation in EVERYTHING is excellent, with a cast of queer and non-binary characters. You do not get to know the teens too well, but well enough to form attachments to several of them. As with any group in a dangerous situation, some move to the forefront and others blend in. The moral questions abound--both on a larger scale (why were they left there)--but also within the facility. How will they govern themselves? What do they do with their dead? What is the right and wrong way to obtain food and supplies? It really brings up some interesting ideas on morality and what these kids should be allowed to do after being abandoned.

Overall, this book was hard to read, but it brings up interesting and thoughtful questions. It takes you into the teen's world and offers a sad but hopeful story. 4 stars.

I received a copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire and Netgalley in return for an unbiased review.

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Profile Image for Binxie.
544 reviews1 follower
August 2, 2021
This book was rushed to publication. The structure wasn't tight enough, the characters were too stock, stereotypical and not developed at all. The suspense was not sustained and the ending too predictable. Was this an effort to be the first YA book published about a pandemic? The seed idea this book is based on is a good one, but readers would have been much better served if an editorial team had worked with the author to create something worth reading.
Profile Image for Lisa Konet.
2,005 reviews10 followers
December 6, 2021
I really wanted to like/love this book but I struggled through this the whole time. It was interesting that this was is yet another fiction pandemic book written during the coronavirus pandemic still happening. However there were many issues with this book:

-Too many characters: this made it hard to connect with a particular character in the plot of the book
-The actual story: the teenagers being isolated while everyone else is dying
-Becomes predictable

Again, I really wanted to love this but struggled to finish this book. It is a no for me but every reader is entitled to their own opinion.

Thanks to Netgalley, Marieke Nijkamp and Sourcebooks for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available: 1/4/22
Profile Image for Chloe F.
144 reviews66 followers
August 7, 2021
To start off this review, I just wanted to say thank you to Netgalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

This book is about a group of barely acknowledged teens who live in The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center which is crazy because that place seems to have no hope for them. But one day the guards to the facility have start acting weird, and the kids later discover that the guards have left. When the teens find out, they are determined to break from the facility but when they do they only uncover that there is a deadly disease spreading in the outside world.

It was actually really hard to get through this for me, I don’t know if it was like that for anyone else but, I didn’t really feel interested in this story. I did like some of the characters and their authenticity, their emotions felt so real and I like how the author wrote it. There was a lot going on in this book and it just wasn’t my fav. I’d give this a 2/5 stars.

Again, thank you to Netgalley for the arc!
Profile Image for Carleene  Hibbs Reeder.
611 reviews47 followers
January 14, 2022
Thank you to Netgalley for an advanced e-arc of this book, here is my honest review.

It is with sadness that I gave this book a low rating. I loved the synopsis of this book. It drew me in immediately and this is an author I have read from before.

We follow a group of teens that are basically disregarded by society and are living at Hope Juvenile Detention Center. That alone breaks my heart. Then there is a pandemic that leaves them stranded. Everyone who was supposed to be taking care of their basic needs vanishes, leaving them to fend for themselves. This is what drew me in. It is hard to imagine, and yet we know it happens, that people can be looked at as less than.
These kids who find themselves without anyone to care for them, start to realize they can care for one another. It is beautiful when you see it like that. I had hoped for a lot more though.

Here is how it felt to me as a reader. I felt like every identifier that could be thrown into this mix was. We have POC, nonbinary, disability rep, etc. So much so that I never felt like I got to really know and relate to any of these kids. I only saw them by an identifier. This made it very difficult and disjointed to read. The prose did not flow well. It was choppy and the sentence structure at times was really off. It was done so for a purpose but as a reader it just took me out of the story.
There is a character that I was introduced to in the very beginning that made it sound like she was dangerous and scary and then for the rest of the book I did not see that side of her at all. If that was intended to be character arc, it was lost on me because it just felt like to different characters entirely.
In addition to this, or maybe because of this, I was bored. I wasn't invested in the characters enough to care by the end. It read like most YA dystopian books. I was hoping for something more. I didn't feel like it wrapped up well. For the most part the kids are still left on their own. It just was sad in a million ways.
Profile Image for Nora (NoraLeest).
238 reviews189 followers
February 1, 2022
Dank aan Harper Collins NL voor het opsturen van het boek!

Op zich een mooi boek met representatie en “found family”, maar ik miste het ‘thriller’ gedeelte nogal. Het verhaal volgt een groep tieners die voor dood wordt achtergelaten in een instelling nadat er een dodelijk virus uitbreekt. Daarna moeten ze proberen te overleven met de middelen die ze hebben — en met elkaar.

Ondanks dat het virus niet corona is, was alles eigenlijk volledig gerelateerd aan corona: afstand houden, mondkapje dragen, het is een longziekte, handen wassen. De echte ‘horror’ van deze ziekte raakte mij niet zoals mij dat misschien drie jaar geleden had gedaan, aangezien ik er door corona een beetje resistent tegen ben geworden... (pun intended).

Ondanks dat een mooi verhaal over jezelf vinden en er zijn voor elkaar!

(Dit voelt ontzettend onbeleefd maar het deed me denken aan Gone - Honger van Michael Grant. Als je dit boek nou een leuke premise vindt hebben kan ik je van harte de Gone serie aanbevelen, ontzettend spannend!)
Profile Image for Bee.
815 reviews209 followers
June 24, 2021
Whew, this was a wild ride! I won't say too much about it because mostly I want all of you to go in as blind as you can, but wow. At The End of Everything is a story about kids in a juvenile Treatment Center who are forgotten in the wake of a pandemic and that's all you really need to know. Everything from the writing to the characters is so freaking amazing. The tension leaps off the pages and I read it so fast that now I'm sad it's over.

Highly recommended. Read this as soon as you possibly can.
Profile Image for Shauni .
288 reviews237 followers
December 23, 2021
This book was hauntingly reminiscent of the current pandemic. While the world goes in lockdown after a disease has begun to spread, the teens in Hope Juvenile Treatment Center are literally abandoned by the guards and staff. Suddenly left on their own, they are ill-prepared to treat their peers when the disease strikes. Soon they are running out of food and supplies. Fights break out and alliances are made. Forgotten by all, will they survive?

This book was equal parts hard to read and hopeful. Overall, I enjoyed it. It will be released Jan 4, 2022.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for lindsey.
68 reviews
November 19, 2021
Many thanks to Netgalley and publishers for providing my review copy

I'm really not sure how to feel about this. Maybe it's too soon for a COVID dystopia, maybe it's not. This one was just okay. I didn't really like the ending. The message of "hope" is muddled. I felt bad more than anything while I read this - pretty unsettling to read. I do not recommend this to those who have suffered greatly or lost loved ones during the pandemic.
Profile Image for Kimberley Pecino.
187 reviews6 followers
January 15, 2022
Premise was interesting, but this book turned out to be super boring, with very flat characters. I found myself feeling forced to pick it up because it was an ARC, but honestly life is too short, so I DNF'D at 20%.
Thanks, however, to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for alaska.
235 reviews435 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 11, 2022
unfortunately, i was not a fan of the writing. i also couldn't tell the characters apart since, for me, they didn't stand out, and the pacing felt off, too, so i decided not to continue reading. very sad about this because of the rep and since this had a lot of potential for me!

DNF @ 59%
Profile Image for Lizzie Huxley-Jones.
Author 7 books203 followers
August 10, 2021
I was extremely lucky to read an early copy of this last Winter.

Better Hope is a facility for young people, supposedly a chance for them to start anew, atone for their past wrong doings. In essence, a prison. But when the guards disappear leaving the doors unlocked and an army barricade down the road attacks them, the inmates realise Better Hope might be their only hope of surviving the plague after all.

Told through the perspectives of Grace, Emerson and Logan, Nijkamp as ever brings a diverse cast of characters to the forefront of thrillers.

Logan is a non-verbal autistic girl whose sister, and the only other person who speaks their shared sign language, is struck down with plague. Now she must find out who she is without Leah, while she waits to see if she’ll ever recover. I really liked the way Logan’s communication is explored and her development as a character, growing in confidence with each step.

Emerson is grappling with their relationship to God, only at Better Hope after their parents threw them out for being non-binary.

And Grace, angry, furious Grace, has been thrust into leadership, and the only person she confides in, Casey, is the new doctor, isolated with the plague patients and trying desperately to keep them alive.

Marieke Nijkamp writes gripping thrillers that place diverse characters (who are normally sidelined in this genre) front and centre, which is what I loved so much in this story. Logan is a character of my heart, and I really felt Emerson's storyline with finding a God that fit with their queerness such a brilliant exploration of a journey that many queer people go on.

I read this during a UK lockdown when COVID cases were surging and honestly there was a weird comfort to it (stick with me!). At the End of Everything is ultimately a hopeful story about developing a community, and of choosing the light of love to hold back the dark. It is about choosing each other.
Profile Image for Aly.
2,605 reviews
August 20, 2021
3.5 stars

This was less of the thrilling, exciting survival story and more of a realistic take on the pandemic currently happening and a commentary on the discrimination in the justice system. I still thought it was a good story and I wanted to see the kids in the treatment center make it through, I just hoped for more action.

There are three main characters: Logan, who is in the facility with her twin Leah. She is mute and has her own sign language with her sister, but when Leah gets sick, Logan is adrift and unsure how to continue.
Grace is the de facto leader of the group that stays behind when things go bad. She isn't sure what the right thing is to do and is suddenly responsible for twenty kids' lives.
Emerson is a newcomer to the facility. They have been bullied and treated poorly for being non binary and are trying to make friends and reconcile their feeling on faith.

I felt like the character development was pretty well done and the inclusion of phone call transcripts and inventory lists helped give this a realistic feel. I would have liked to see more obstacles for the kids, like people trying to break into the facility or more dissent among the characters. This is still an interesting story and particularly relatable right now.

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book. Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for the copy.
Profile Image for Bridget.
1,155 reviews73 followers
September 28, 2021
The teenagers at the inappropriately named Hope Juvenile Treatment Centre are disturbed when the guards up and leave, and it is with good reason that they are concerned. Left to their own devices there is an atmosphere of fear and factions begin to form. Outside there is a virus running rampant, people are sick and dying in multitudes. They find this out when they go searching for food and encounter armed townspeople at the boundaries of the town. A scuffle ensues and contact is made. When they get back to the centre one of them becomes ill. And this is the dramatic beginning of this book.

The characters are fantastic, twins with a semi psychic bond between them, a sensitive musical soul, the spoilt bully and every other 'type' you can think of, and yet it works. It's pacy and sensitive and I was totally hooked. I liked that it showed the teens figuring out a way to be together, to work cohesively after their initial struggles. This is no lightweight dystopia, this is thoughtful and considered and the writing is great.

This is a great book for YA. Full to the brim with plenty to think about and lots of action, but alongside that action there is caring and bonding. Highly recommended.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me early access to this book.
Profile Image for Nursebookie.
2,039 reviews320 followers
January 5, 2022
At The End of Everything
Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp’s new novel, At the End of Everything, is a dystopian post-apocalyptic novel that hits very close to home with the talk of the pandemic - it always gives me an eerie chill. The story may be grim but also hopeful - I really enjoyed the writing of the characters and the resilience, the fight within them. The setting is the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center in Arkansas, where these unwanted teens are housed for many different reasons, and one day they wake up and realize they’ve been abandoned.

The story line is suspenseful and thrilling from the perspectives of the three characters. I really enjoyed this one.
Profile Image for Amber.
2,326 reviews324 followers
January 7, 2022
This was my first Marieke Nijkamp since their debut so I was hopeful that I would enjoy this more given the context. Unfortunately, similarly with their debut, I felt the conflict to be very surface level and wanted more.

I received an ecopy of this book through Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Grace Gimbel.
23 reviews
June 14, 2022
This book was very slow moving and leaned too much on the pandemic trope. Very little was resolved at the end.
Profile Image for Silvie Leest.
1,066 reviews28 followers
August 20, 2022
In een afgelegen jeugdinrichting, genaamd Hope, zit een groep jongeren opgesloten. Ze voelen zich door iedereen in de steek gelaten. Op een dag zijn opeens alle bewakers verdwenen. De kleine groep besluit van deze gelegenheid gebruik te maken en de inrichting te ontvluchten. Maar al snel komen ze erachter dat ze geen kant op kunnen. Er waart namelijk een levensgevaarlijk virus rond en niemand mag zijn huis verlaten.

De groep zit als ratten in de val en zijn aan zichzelf en elkaar overgeleverd. Ondertussen slinken de voorraden snel en het virus drinkt ook Hope binnen. De jongeren moeten zien te overleven en dat kan alleen als ze samenwerken. Maar kunnen ze elkaar wel vertrouwen?

Dit verhaal wordt vanuit verschillende perspectieven verteld. Er komen nogal wat verschillende personages voorbij, dus in het begin had ik behoorlijk moeite om in het verhaal te komen en vond ik het soms wat verwarrend. Iedereen heeft zijn/haar eigen verhaal en je komt langzaamaan erachter waarom ze in de jeugdinrichting zitten. Ondertussen proberen ze te overleven en niet ziek te worden van het gevaarlijke virus. De spanningen lopen onderling ook steeds meer op.

Het verhaal is fictief, maar het kan nu ook wel wat vergeleken worden met de coronapandemie. Sommige hoofdstukken bestaan uit korte telefoongesprekken tussen de jongeren en hun familieleden en vrienden, en hierdoor voel je de  onmacht en de paniek.

Dit verhaal is, vooral voor de jeugd waarschijnlijk, erg interessant. Het bevat veel actuele onderwerpen en het is ook realistisch. Ikzelf vond het verhaal wel oké, maar het werd voor mij ook een beetje eentonig omdat het continu over overleven gaat en de omgeving voor een groot deel hetzelfde blijft. De verschillende personages worden goed uitgewerkt, maar de echte spanning voelde ik niet. Het einde is dan wel weer ontroerend, maar je blijft ook met wat vragen zitten.

Mijn uiteindelijke conclusie is dan ook  dat dit verhaal zeker wel interessant is om eens tussendoor te lezen, maar verwacht er niet al te veel van.

Beoordeling: 2,5 ⭐️
Profile Image for kate.
1,147 reviews925 followers
December 24, 2021
A heart pounding and gripping story of the resilience and strength of those forgotten and overlooked.

I’ll admit, due the inspiration behind this book and the painful reality of it, I was apprehensive going into this book. Is it too soon to read a covid inspired story? Did I really want to immerse myself even more in a pandemic world? Was it going to be feel ‘too’ real? But in all honesty, I think Marieke did a wonderful job with this book and perfectly balancing the ‘real’ with the dramatised. I flew through this book in two sittings and whilst there were moments that were undoubtedly uncomfortable to read, for the most part, it felt like the exciting, nail biting and anger inducing apocalyptic thriller it is and would have been in a pre-covid world. The timeframe in which the pandemic grew was accelerated and exaggerated in a way that just about managed to feel far enough removed from the current covid situation to enjoy it and feel like an apocalyptic story, rather than a covid-set one. That being said, there were moments and terms that hit a little too close to home and somewhat pulled me back into covid life (but I’m not sure any kind of plague, virus etc. narrative will ever not do that now?)

I also loved the way Marieke handled the different characters and their backstories, identities etc. It was wonderful to follow such a diverse and ignored cast of characters being so resilient and basically kicking butt, whilst also not having their identities, disabilities or pasts overlooked, sensationalised or pitied. Each character had their own, individual and endearing voice and I loved following each of them.

Overall, whilst I appreciate that this story won’t be for everyone (and wholly understand why) I thoroughly enjoyed it. Marieke’s approach to this narrative and it’s characters was empathetic and exciting, their writing style easy to read and gripping and I have to say, they may have convinced me not to totally avoid all covid inspired/related work in the future (although not fully because I’m not sure I trust that everyone will execute it so brilliantly.)

TW: transphobia, ableism, abuse, mention of sexual violence and racial profiling.
Profile Image for Christine Indorf.
716 reviews115 followers
February 26, 2022
Wow what a book that I didn't expect to love this much. A group of teenagers who reside in a detention home that one day the guards don't show up to work and now they are on their own. When they go to town to see what's going on they discover the plague had come back and killing people so they are left on their own. A group leaves but a group stays behind, you will be following the group that stayed behind. Each have their own story. Each is struggling to stay alive. Can they when some have fallen ill? How will they eat? How will they help the sick with no medicine? A story of survival but can they make it? I loved this story. I love the character development. Each person is worth to know and each will have you hoping they will survive. I have to say the ending will have you in tears. I have heard mix reviews on this book but on my end I loved this book. It is YA but so worth the read for all audiences.
Profile Image for Tracy.
1,883 reviews32 followers
November 18, 2021
I think this was a very well written story about A pandemic and how a group of abandoned teens responded to it. I bet we'd all like to think that we'd do as well with supporting each other in their situation. What did we each do to support others during our pandemic? Because I think the pandemic was different for everyone. We lived in places that had different accesses or loss of accesses to products, including food. The pandemic truly needed to transcend color, race, or sexual orientation, and I don't always think we responded to that. This is not a happy story, and it is different enough from what most of us experienced that we can say it isn't a factual story...but it certainly is possible.
Profile Image for Ocean.
120 reviews
October 8, 2021
This is such a heartwrenching story with an incredible cast of characters. All three POVs are so interesting to read. I love the autism rep and the nonbinary rep. While this is not a Covid-19 story, it is *based on* the current pandemic, and the plague in this story had some similarities to our real life situation right now. I think this story is very important and shines a light on how people in prisons and other similar institutions are being forgotten and left behind during the pandemic. The main characters are Logan, Grace and Emerson. Logan is autistic and nonverbal, and she has her own secret sign language to communicate with her twin sister, and I really love their bond. Grace is the one who takes care of everyone, she's such a strong and important character, and this book wouldn't be the same without her. Emerson is nonbinary and religious and they just seem to care so much about their friends, I love them. Special mention goes to Casey for being such a wonderful caregiver and doing his best to keep people alive. I have big love for him. This is not an easy story to read; it's sad, it's infuriating, and at times it made me cry - but there is a message of hope weaved into the pages. There is love, there is kindness, and there is friendship. There is a community, working together to survive. Fighting to stay alive. And that's important.
Profile Image for Andee.
472 reviews102 followers
September 15, 2021

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I'll admit, I didn't fully enjoy Nijkamp's "Even if We Break", and so I was hesitant going into this. Hesitant further by the multiple POV this book provides, similar to the previously mentioned book. Yet, Nijkamp has done an amazing job of writing these varying characters during such a drastic and emotional time. Reading a book about a plague during an ongoing pandemic is emotionally jarring, and some of the responses from adults felt pulled out of my own conversations with conservative family members. While a bit slow, the emotional hold this book had on me made it worth it.

This book is painful and emotional. Its pacing is heavy, and the characters' issues give almost everyone something to connect to. The teens are the forgotten and the lost, and they're fighting to survive- and their right to deserve that. It's an interesting tale, in a prominent time.
Profile Image for aimee.
143 reviews
November 13, 2021
okay i’m just gonna be frank. the thing that upset me (and pretty much the only thing) i did not like about this book was because it was based about a pandemic that is seemly worse then the one we are having right now. personally, i don’t want to read abour stuff like that because i’m already having to deal with that in present, when i pick up a book i want to escape, not feel more stressed about the pandemic that we are living in right now.
another thing i did not enjoy was that at the end of the book there were still so many unanswered questions which is something i personally don’t love.
but i did think the characters were all well developed and you got to see them change throughout the book which was amazing. and i also did enjoy the rep in this book. but i don’t know i just didn’t enjoy because it was about a plague and something we’re dealing with right now.
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