Debra's Reviews > This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
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Although this book is a very reverent and timely one, it fell a little flat for me. This book is told from the perspectives of four of the characters (Claire, Tomas, Sylvia, Autumn) in this book, spanning a 54-minute period after shots ring out at their school.

Even though, we are shown the characters, I do not feel as if I was given enough information so that I cared for these characters, the characters all felt flat to me. Perhaps it was the way in which the story was written. While reading this book, I wondered if it would work better as - now I am showing my age - an after-school special. Anyone remember them? I would come home from school and these shows would be on television to warn teens against bullying, teenage pregnancy, abuse, dangers of underage drinking/drug use, or showed positive things such as being a good friend, volunteering etc. I don’t know, perhaps a movie of the week or a series on Netflix would portray this book better.

Many of the scenes just felt cold to me. There was something lacking for me when I read this. For instance, toward the end of the book there was a scene (and I am paraphrasing) where a character opens a door and sees (a character I wont name) lying on the floor. It was as if they did not know each other. I would have expected more of a reaction - shock, anger, fear, sadness, etc. Perhaps, the person was supposed to be in shock and that is why there was no big reaction. Then at least tell us the character is in shock and feeling detached from what is happening in his/her surroundings. Then the scene would make perfect sense.

The Author does have a diverse group of students from varying races, religious backgrounds and has a closeted lesbian and another character who does not want to show their true self. These characters also have home issues, school issues and relationship issues they are dealing with. I just wish we were given more on each character so that I felt connected more to the characters.

Shootings, any shooting whether they take place in a school, a nightclub, a shopping center, etc. are extremely frightening and horrific. My son participated in three drills this last school year, so the students would be prepared IF a shooting took place in their school. It's scary stuff. A book about school shootings should evoke emotions and evoke fear. Unfortunately, I have not felt any of these emotions while reading. I have read various books that have gotten my heart pouncing, made me anxious, and evoked feelings of dread and apprehension. I would have thought this book would have had the same effect on me and sadly it did not.

My review most likely makes it sound as if I didn't like this book. I just had higher expectations given the subject matter. There were good parts of this book and I appreciated the diverseness of the characters, I just felt it was lacking in character development, and wanted more.
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Reading Progress

June 4, 2018 – Shelved
June 4, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
June 14, 2018 – Started Reading
June 14, 2018 –
page 64
22.22%
June 16, 2018 –
page 134
46.53%
June 16, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-12 of 12 (12 new)

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Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister It's always difficult to rate a book 3 stars because there were some issues, while also get the message across that you still enjoyed. But you said it well!
I do remember those after school specials, lol. Yikes.
Fantastic review, Debra!


Debra Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister wrote: "It's always difficult to rate a book 3 stars because there were some issues, while also get the message across that you still enjoyed. But you said it well!
I do remember those after school special..."


Thank you Kristin!


Mary-ellen Great review, Debra. I felt the same way when I read it.


Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Fantastic review, Debra, and I felt the same. This had so much potential!


Debra Mary-ellen wrote: "Great review, Debra. I felt the same way when I read it."

Thank you Mary-ellen!


Debra Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister wrote: "Fantastic review, Debra, and I felt the same. This had so much potential!"

Thank you Jennifer! I had really high hopes for this one given the subject matter.


message 7: by Bookworm (new) - added it

Bookworm Great review. I hear you on the character development end. I need to be able to relate emotionally at some level to the characters to be able to fully engage in the story.


Debra Bookworm wrote: "Great review. I hear you on the character development end. I need to be able to relate emotionally at some level to the characters to be able to fully engage in the story."

Thank you Bookworm!


message 9: by Holly (new)

Holly Yeah, if I am going to read a book about a shooting, a topic that I have strong feelings about because my children also do shooting drills at school, then I need to at least feel connected to the characters. Thanks for the review!


Debra Holly wrote: "Yeah, if I am going to read a book about a shooting, a topic that I have strong feelings about because my children also do shooting drills at school, then I need to at least feel connected to the c..."

You are welcome. I know school shootings are so scary. I read this book for a challenge and although it was good, I had difficulty connecting to the characters.


message 11: by Mackey (new)

Mackey I really like your review. Sometimes books just fall in the middle - it doesn't make them good or bad, just not as good as AMAZING. Your review explains everything! Thank you.


Debra Mackey wrote: "I really like your review. Sometimes books just fall in the middle - it doesn't make them good or bad, just not as good as AMAZING. Your review explains everything! Thank you."
Thank you Mackey!


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