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At the End of Everything

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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.
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This one definitely has some trigger warnings that aren’t spoilers.  The book centers around children in a justice center during a respiratory plague. While the plague isn’t Covid, it kinda is and for some it will be a little too close to real life. 

It is a very emotional ride for the reader and intense as you wonder if the kids will have enough food and if anyone will come back for them.

While told through the eyes of three of the kids, you get to know quite a bit about many of the other characters.  While I thought we might head towards the walking dead type conflict, this is more about survival amongst outcast kids.
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“ The world changes and changes again, but I’m growing used to it. One day, one step at a time.” 

We’re at the end of the world. The plague has come and wiped out most. But the kids at Hope Juvenile Deletion Center don’t know it yet. They’ve been locked away from their routines, until it happens. 

Told from multiple points of view, we meet a rag tag team of kids going through the motions of every day life for them. Sort of a Lord of the Flies meets Covid.. so if you’re still not over pandemic, I’d wait to read this. The cast is diverse and there’s a lot of potential for the story. They are struggling in most ways some of us, so they’re definitely relatable. I was mislead but the synopsis thinking this was a thriller but it’s not really, more survival.
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An updated, more hopeful Lord of the Flies, this is definitely not the book to read if you're experiencing COVID burnout. Although it doesn't lean as heavily on the mystery element as the summary presents, the plot moves along quickly, covering the practical and emotional elements of trying to get through a plague in a manner both readable and heartfelt. The cast was diverse and the philosophical discussions were interesting. However, I did feel as if the cast of side characters was a bit unwieldy and didn't get differentiated enough, and although the main characters were interesting and relatable, it still seemed as if I wasn't getting very deeply into their heads. I also didn't necessarily find that the non-POV insertions added to the story. Perhaps recommend to those who enjoy the procedural elements of survival stories more than those who are looking for truly dystopian/postapocalyptic works.
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I started this book and was quickly swept away in it and felt every emotion imaginable.   A timely tale that opens your eyes to the forgotten ones, this story was well written.  The characters were likeable - even the ones who at first didn't seem that way.  They all experienced great growth through the story and it was clear to see the how's and why's.   The ending was not rushed at all but did leave me with alot of questions and hope (ha).

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys thier fiction with a bit of end of world/survival thrown in. 

Great job!
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This book hit home. The author even stated she wrote this while recovering from Covid.  I felt for each of the kids that were locked up in the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center.  To be left and forgotten when then world gets sick is so scary. These kids were brave, though. Society basically gave up on them, but they came together the best they could. They took care of themselves and the sick the best they could. Wow...what a story.  Marieke Nijkamp grabs you by the heart with this book.
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I received an advanced reader copy of At the End of Everything from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley, in return for my honest opinion.

At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp is a story about friendship, trust and survival. The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is a place where troubled teens are sent with the hope of rehabilitation. One day the teens notice the staff seems distracted and the punishments aren’t as severe as they typically are. That night, a few teens looking to cause trouble, sneak out of their rooms and discover that all the staff has deserted the facility.

Some of the teens decide to go into the local town to figure out what’s going on, only to be turned away by the military and they are not to leave Hope due to the outbreak of a deadly virus. The teens will soon learn that once again the system has let them down and they’ll have to learn to trust one another to survive.

This was a fast, easy read that draws parallels to the current state of the world while also illustrating human resilience. At the End of Everything is available tomorrow, January 4, 2022.

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This was a really good read for myself. I found I got through it quite quick as I wanted to know what happened next and also related to it a lot due to the current events happening around the world. I loved all the characters and how each of them narrated the story!
Defiantly recommend if your looking for a  gripping, action packed YA book.
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Thank you Netgalley for this Arc!

I was not really prepared for this one.  The book has to do with a plague that really feels like an almost direct commentary on the pandemic we are currently going thru and while I thought the writing and character driven plot were very well done, this story just wasn't something I really wanted to focus on so much right now.

I think it's a great book and if this sounds like something you're interested in then I would definitely recommend it!
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Where is the line between right and wrong when it comes to surviving a deadly pandemic? The young people living at Hope Juvenile Detention Center are all there under the pretense of being prepared for a successful reentry into society after intense circumstances left them in the hands of the law. Rules help to keep everyone in line at Hope, even when those rules do not apply the same way to every resident. One day, the guards appear distracted, and when the morning ritual fails to take place as usual, the residents of Hope discover they have been left alone to fend for themselves in the face of an invisible enemy. Life and death hang in the balance as each character comes to terms with who they truly are and their place in society outside of Hope’s walls.

This dialogue-centered story is perfect for young adult readers who have ever felt as though they are not seen as clearly as others in their world. While the characters in this book all come from some kind of troubled background, their innate human tendencies are recognizable no matter where readers themselves are found. A content warning at the beginning alerts sensitive readers to the presence of weighty subject matter within the narrative, and while this material exists throughout, it is presented in a tasteful and appropriate manner.

Told from several different perspectives, this narrative gives readers direct insight into each of the primary characters’ individual experiences within the context of the greater story. The truth about their pasts come to light at intentional moments within the novel, and the question of justice in the face of a pandemic is one that is repeated throughout. Uniquely presented, the story incorporates narrative, clips from news reports, and transcriptions of telephone conversations, which all help to provide a more complete picture of the events taking place within the story. Young adult readers will be riveted from the first moments, empathizing with each of the characters involved as their tales unfold.

Cinematically written, this book is easy to imagine taking place in the mind’s eye. Not only are the effects of the pandemic itself immediately palpable, but so too are the interactions among the varied personalities within the narrative. A variety of backgrounds are included, weaving together a rainbow of skin tones, abilities, and gender identities to create a tapestry of initially disparate humans that connect over a shared tragedy. At the end of the book, readers will discover some of the author’s intent in writing the story along with resources for learning more about how different communities have been treated during health crises like COVID-19. This is a powerful and thought-provoking story for young adult readers.
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Perhaps I am spoiled since I just finished another plague masterpiece by SK but this book felt like a watered down and bare-bones version of that story. 

This book takes place at a correctional facility for youth in Arkansas. They are abandoned as a mysterious plague sweeps the nation, sounding similar to the effects of TB, only more virulent and quicker acting. The book is of course trying to emulate the overwhelming toll COVID took on the world. A group of slowly dwindling prisoners are left to fend for themselves and they go a little Lord of the Flies when food becomes scarce. I feel like this was trying to be a sociological study of teens during an apocalyptic scenario but fell short of that ambition. Overall, I felt the story was a little strained and unrealistic given these kids are surviving winter conditions with minimal technology. The book almost feels like it takes place in the 80s before cell phones and internet, though that is not the case from the details in the story. 

I have read other books by this author that are supposed to be suspenseful and edge of your seat gripping and so far her writing has failed to get me there. An okay book but not something I would read again.
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Marieke Nijkamp's publisher made a bold decision to release _At the End of Everything_ during this pandemic era. Some readers might be experiencing crisis fatigue. Nijkamp wisely took a slightly different path in choosing to focus on the actual plague -- like, from 1300s Europe -- instead of Covid. While some of the symptoms and precautionary measures sound familiar, other elements connected to the illness and the way the characters handle it are different enough to keep readers from putting the book down right away.

Nijkamp's research and the book's heart-deep commitment to letting teens tell their own stories are rock solid, as always. Less compelling are some of the characters themselves. With the exceptions of Logan, Grace, and Emerson, readers really don't get a chance to spend significant time with anyone else. As a result, they may not feel as connected to those characters or their fates.

The premise of the book is interesting enough; teens in a juvenile detention facility are left behind to fend for themselves when a pandemic hits the area. Because the facility is located in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas, immediate resources are limited. The teens learn to fend for themselves and care for each other as they deal with the illness, death, their own weaknesses, and their dark pasts.

Unfortunately, readers don't get enough of those pasts to connect with the characters' present horrible circumstances. Also, due to the fact that there is a plethora of information on pandemic-style diseases these days, the book's dramatic impact goes down slightly, although it's not from a lack of trying. Nijkamp has done an excellent job of taking a medieval health disaster and plopping it into the 21st century. The author also reminds readers that while Covid is a threat, other diseases also loom on the danger list.

The novel does tend to drag a little in some parts when the characters are weighing their present challenges with what brought them to the facility. Overall, however, for fans of Marieke Nijkamp, this is a solid book.
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I was really looking forward to this book, I loved Nijkamp’s book This is Where it Ends, and couldn’t wait to read this one.  It  is told from multiple perspectives: Logan a non-verbal female, whose verbal twin Leah is also in the facility, Grace a long-time female patient, and Emerson a non-binary new arrival. We follow these three though the discovery of the plague and the months that follow as they work to survive.

This book started my year off with a bang, and some tears.  This book gave me so many feels.  It was a gut wrenching read, but in the best way.  The characters made my heart ache, I wanted so much to hug the pain away.  As reader, you can’t help but too root for them.  You know that they won’t all survive, but you want them to beat the odds, and your heart breaks when they don’t.  Just like your heart sings when they do.
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This book is a great story about a deadly pandemic sweeping the country and its effects on the residents of a youth correctional facility.  The group of young adults is diverse enough, and their reactions are fairly realistic.  It was a good story, but I found myself getting hung up on the feelings of 'being misgendered' they kept complaining about.  There really wasn't any mistreatment or 'misgendering' portrayed by any adult in the facility;  there was more mistreatment among/between the residents.  I would have enjoyed the book more if not for the author trying to make a gender statement.  The author's note afterward mentioned that she purposefully made all of the characters Caucasian to prevent race issues from obscuring the gender issues.  She didn't need to worry about this because the characters could have been any race based on their names and reactions.  Even so, the story is a good read.
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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.
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DNF at 15%.

I think I chose badly and this book just wasn't for me. I am obviously not the intended audience, so I will not review this book anywhere else. 

I'm a character-driven reader, so if the characters are not likable, they need to be at least interesting. These were neither. I just did not care what happened to any of them.
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This book had a lot of heart.  It wasn't for me because  for this type of book I need some action, but this book was just to realistic and mundane.  
But it such a good representation of how people who don't fit into societies boxes are left behind,thought of as less and disposable.  But these kids showed who they really were.
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Wow.  This book is phenomenal.  I wasn't quite sure how well a book about a highly infectious disease would sit with me because of the world we have lived in for the last two years, but I couldn't put it down.  The fear and sense of isolation was easy to relate to.  The kids are from all walks of life, but they realize that their best chance of survival is to stick together.

Marieke Nijkamp did a fantastic job writing about several tough subjects that are the center of our real-world headlines.  They have created a powerful, emotional book about strength, perseverance, resilience, and always finding a glimmer of hope in the direst circumstances.  I highly recommend At the End of Everything.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I don’t even know where to start with this book. I started it a few days before I started feeling ill. A few days before several in our house tested positive for COVID. How is this relevant to the book? Well, Hope Facility is a home for rejects/troubled teens and one day, the guards and everyone who runs it, disappears. Poof, gone. Not like vanished but they left these kids to fend for themselves without saying a word. A word about the pandemic that is sweeping their world outside. The teens have to learn how to survive and deal with the deaths going on around them all along trying to deal with each other’s personalities & way of being. This gave me very much The Walking Dead vibes in regards to the running, hiding and our current world in which masks are worn. It was a quick read with LGTBQ representation and one of our main characters was non verbal! The story is told in alternating POVs between the 3 MC’s. I really enjoyed the diversity and representation throughout. This really was a CANT put down book! 

Thank you @netgalley & @sourcebooksfire for the ARC
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Title:   At the End of Everything
Author:   Marieke Nijkamp
Genre:   YA
Rating:  4 out of 5

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.

I enjoyed this kind of dark, kind of hopeful read. Some of the teenagers have done some truly awful things, some have just done thing the adults don’t understand, but they’re all there in need of rehabilitation. When the plague starts, they’re abandoned and left to fend for themselves.

The story is told in three main viewpoints, which gives a much more well-rounded perspective than a single main character would have done. There were moments of fear, panic, and pain mixed with the hope and determination, and this was a solid, entertaining read.

Marieke Nijkamp is a bestselling author. At the End of Everything is her newest novel.

(Galley courtesy of Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.)
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