Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

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Member Reviews

Nijkamp excels at writing books that are unlike anything else you've read. They often address the darker issues teens experiences in realistic ways. We're drug into the darkness and trying to figure out any one, in a similar situation, would be able to get out and survive. Nijkamp puts us in the struggle with her characters and At the End of Everything follows much the same trend.
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An emotional rollercoaster of a read, At the End of Everything takes a cast of fascinating, unique characters and throws them into complete upheaval with a mysterious (but disturbingly familiar) pandemic gripping the world beyond their walls.
It's a gripping story from start to finish and absolutely impossible to put down. There are all of the elements that make for a great YA adventure (great characters, unexpected situations, humour, conflict) with events happening at a page-turning pace but there's a depth here that's unusual with questions raised about the very nature of people and relationships and what it means to be part of society (or to live outside of it).
It's cleverly written, compelling and thought-provoking. Highly recommended,
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Thank you for this arc copy of At The End of Everything.  It wasn't; my type of book but others may like it.  I did enjoy the cover picture though.
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I am sorry for the inconvenience but I don’t have the time to read this anymore and have lost interest in the concept. I believe that it would benefit your book more if I did not skim your book and write a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for the inconvenience.
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🦠 I was not a fan of this book and I am going to briefly tell you why.

🦠 While the plague in this book is not called Covid-19, it sure read exactly as if it was Covid-19. I’m not interested in reliving that.

🦠 This book started out well, but then just petered off into nothing for me. I wasn’t invested in a single character. I wasn’t rooting for anyone. I simply wasn’t engaged.

🦠 I kept thinking “Lord of the Flies meets Covid-19” as I was reading this. Angst, power plays, survival, death… I’ve read it before.

🦠 The ending wasn’t satisfactory.

🦠 I think I need to keep away from pandemic- and plague-related books in general. I’m simply not enjoying them at all right now.

Thank you @NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for an eARC of this book, which I have read and reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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DNF. In all honesty, I think I would have enjoyed this book if I’d read it several years ago. Now, it was just a bit too much for me. I think the premise was intriguing and find Nijkamp’s writing to be very well done. Not a lighthearted read, so going on the “to finish someday, maybe” shelf for me.
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This book was surprisingly good! I didn't love Nijkamp's This is Where it Ends, but I thought I'd try again with At The End of Everything because I am one of those rare people who wants books about pandemics while in the middle of a pandemic. Though the plague in this book is more aggressive than Covid 19, it was inspired by the Covid 19 pandemic and surrounding events and I was curious about where this story would go.

At The End of Everything is the story of a group of teens left to fend for themselve at a Juvenile Detention facility that is supposed to be focused on rehabilitation rather than incarceration. The guards are coughing, whispering, and acting weird and then they all just...leave. The world is throw into very strict quaratines and the youth in the home are completely abadoned. Several set out on foot to run away, but a solid crew remains, including our three narrators:
Logan. Logan is mute and has a very strong bond with her twin sister, Leah, who is one of the first teens in the facility to get sick with the plague.
Emerson. Emerson is nonbinary and struggling with religious trauma after being kicked out of their home by their parents.
Grace. Grace is headstrong, has anger issues, and becomes the leader of the group.

What I appreciated most about this story was that it allowed the plague to be the real danger and didn't create too many arificial dangers within the group of teens. Sure there were conflicts, but the side effects of the plague were enough of a conflict to keep the story moving without having excess violence. Of course there were conflicts within the group, and tense moments/situations, but the daily struggle for information, food, and a plan take the spotlight in the storytelling. I found this refreshing.

I also really liked the end of the story. It made me cry, and not many books have made me cry this year! Without giving away spoilers, do be aware that this is book where people do die (it is the plague, after all) and everything is not going to be wrapped up in a tidy bow. How could it be? Its based on the Covid 19 pandemic and we're STILL not done with that yet -- we don't know how it ends!

There were a few things that fell flat for me. At the beginning there were too many characters and I got very confused. I struggled getting into the story for that reason. Similarly, the character's voices were all very similar and couldn't keep them straight for about the first half of the novel. I do feel like some of the depth of the story got lost for this reason.

Overall, though, this was a great read and one I highly recommend for anyone who can handle reading about a subject that might hit close to home for many.
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I've read Nijkamps other books and they were all good, this one also did not disappoint.

It's definitely a different type of book than I normally read but I thoroughly enjoyed it!
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Not even remotely hiding that this is a COVID book, which I have mixed feelings about. It was certainly a different take on it, which I liked, and I did have a vested interest in the outcome for the characters but the writing wasn’t that compelling for me.
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Wow this was a wild ride. I enjoyed the character development and all of the perspectives that they provided on similar situations. Honestly, the COVID parallels were a bit triggering at times and made me wonder what actually happened to detention centers like this. Some of the aspects were a bit much for children in my opinion and I would not recommend this to some people with extreme COVID trauma. Overall I enjoyed it and I've never read anything like it.
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Review of ‘At The End of Everything’, by Marieke Nijkamp

There is a lot to unpack in this dystopian young adult thriller.  When teenage patients exiled at the ironically names Hope Juvenile Treatment are abandoned during an outbreak of the plague (yes, that one from the Middle Ages), they have to figure out how to survive.  But survival means banding together, something this group of forsaken teenagers marginalised for various reasons has a hard time doing initially.   While there are more than two dozen teenagers at the treatment centre, the book hops between only three POVS: Logan’s, Emerson’s, and Grace’s.  Neurodivergent Logan communicates through a sign language that she and her twin sister have developed; through her POV we feel the frustration of not being listened to.  Emerson is nonbinary and struggling with their Catholic faith; through them, we feel the frustration of the dissonance that surrounds us.  And Grace becomes the group’s leader despite her own objections and her anger issues.  There is a lot of physical violence during the group’s struggle for survival, so reader beware.  I’m also not sure this is a book anyone struggling through the COVID19 pandemic should pick up; I can see it being quite triggering.  But for readers who can handle it, the book raises some very interesting questions that could be very useful in our quest to make the world a better place.
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Set in Hope Juvenile Treatment Center, teens are expected to follow the rules and to obey the guards. With only one real therapist, Hope serves as more of a detention center than a place for treatment.

I loved this book because you get to have multiple characters POV instead of just one MC. All the characters have their own distinctive personalities and I liked them all for different reasons. This gave me Lord of the Flies and Wilder Girl vibes. It was definitely an interesting read just like everything Marieke Nikamp writes!
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I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for a review.

At the End of Everything follows several delinquent teens of Hope Juvenile Treatment Center as the world succumbs to a pandemic. Now this feels eerily familiar....
I can't say the book was "enjoyable" per say because it was way too believable as for what we have all gone through in the past few years.
I really enjoyed how the characters were written and I understand the author's reasoning for not including POC and I appreciate that. 
I highly recommend this book if you're looking for some pandemic stories.
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A juvenile center of teens are left alone - no guards, no information as to what’s going on - just abandoned and basically left to die. 

While this book was not necessarily my ‘cup of tea’. It was not bad and it kept me interested and wanting to know what happens: 

Thank you for the review copy.
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*Will be posted on September 21st

When a deadly plague tears through the world, the teens at the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center are left to fend for themselves. This was an idea that really appealed to me initially, but the delivery was kind of disappointing.

The book started off pretty well. We're introduced to the various characters telling the story (Grace, Logan, and Emerson) and jumping into the action fairly quickly. The tension builds up fast initially with the teens discovering they have been abandoned and then them splitting up into two groups--one which wants to take their chances in the outside world and the other that thinks it's safer to say at the facility.

After the teens split up, Grace takes charge and starts assigning tasks to everyone. They work together to grow food, keep inventory, and care for their sick with the hope of surviving until help arrives.

I was really expecting to see tension, anger, and fear growing in their community throughout the book as the days dragged on, but it didn't exactly play out the way I thought it would. Most of the time we were learning about their struggles or challenges from another source (side characters making phone calls, documents, newspapers, etc). Some chapters were followed by a quick overview of their dwindling supplies or a mention of the group's morale.

I found it hard to be invested in the story this way. I think what makes you feel involved in a survival/dystopian story like this is seeing the characters struggling firsthand. We really only saw two POV's going out hunting or scavenging for supplies a few times. They didn't really have any problems until the last quarter of the book. Most of the pressure came from the outside world (other people, winter, etc) but I felt like in this situation we should have seen the people inside struggling too. Maybe stealing food, getting restless and going into town, or someone changing their mind about staying and deciding to leave. I just didn't get the "survival" vibe to this or feel connected to the characters when they weren't active in their own survival (we mostly heard about it in exposition).

Grace was the only character out of the main three that I really cared about. She had anger issues and had never set out to become a leader but when she was elected she really stepped up. Her character development was the most interesting to me. I liked that her flaw ended up playing so well into the story and weaving into it.

That said, Emerson had to be my least favorite. Emerson was a nonbinary character that almost felt... out of place? I love seeing LGBTQA/diverse characters in books, but I wish authors wouldn't make their sexuality/gender/etc their whole personality. The only thing Emerson struggled with was their family's rejection. There wasn't some moral struggle or overwhelming emotions that came with their situation/survival like with Grace so it made Emerson feel really one-dimensional. It was like nothing about their situation mattered or affected them.

The overall pacing of the story was very slow. After the initial tension where the group split up, I didn't feel like the pressure continued to build. I didn't feel like I was moving toward something. No one seemed all that concerned about the supplies either, to be honest. The teens were too calm, too organized, and too level-headed. It wasn't until very late in the book that anything interesting happened.

I think At the End of Everything was an okay book. It wasn't especially horrible or anything, but it definitely would've been better if Grace wasn't carrying the whole story.
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An apocalyptic thriller! This book was definitely intriguing, but it is difficult to read about what is essentially COVID during COVID. There are a lot of characters to keep up with, so I didn't necessarily feel connected to all of them. It also became predictable to me. Overall, not a bad book, but not a great one either.
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This was an interesting read for me. Having worked in juvenile treatment facility during a pandemic there were definitely some moments of wow and yeah, I can see that. I enjoyed the characters and the development but felt like there could have been a little more to the story itself. It was an interesting mix of characters though, much like what you can expect in a facility like this and an interesting premise!
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This was a very well done and well rounded novel. I really enjoyed the characters and the development of the plot throughout.
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"At the End of Everything" is so raw and beautiful. It was a fast-paced, real survival story that kept me reading into the wee hours. Reading this one on the tail of a pandemic was deeply scary, but also so satisfying.
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I took a chance on this book as I don't tend to read a lot of mystery / dystopian books. I really enjoyed At the End of Everything. The world and characters were great. It was definitely interesting as the characters had to navigate a plague which is a reminder of what we have went through the last year. I liked how the characters interacted with each other as well.
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