Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

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Member Reviews

This book started off very strong and I thought that I was going to love it, but sadly I decided to DNF it at the 57% mark. I was ultimately just very confused by the amount of characters that we were introduced to and the fact that we had to somehow remember them all. I really tried to push through it and finish the book, but I couldn't get myself to. I also feel like this book read very young compared to Marieke's other novels. I had really high hopes for this book because I love a dystopian book that has multiple perspectives, but this one just did not do it for me.

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This is among the first crop of "pandemic books" to be released, which are books that both take place in and were written during the pandemic we are still climbing out of. It takes place at a correctional facility of sorts for teenagers in the mountains of Arkansas. They are watched and disciplined closely by the guards, and each other. Until one day, they wake up to find themselves alone, with no adults in sight.

They quickly discover what is going on in the outside world, and have to figure out the best way to govern themselves. A little bit "Lord of the Flies" mixed with "The Hunger Games," but unfortunately not as thrilling as either one of them.

I found that I couldn't figure out for a while whether they were in the future or the present. And when I figured out that they were in the present, I had a LOT of questions. There is nothing that says they are in a world any different than ours, but the societal rules on the outside seem to be completely different. I couldn't stay invested because of this.

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I know my students will really enjoy this book but for me, as an educator of high school kids during an on going pandemic, the story was a bit tough to read. I struggled with getting into the story because it worried me based on the world right now. Nijkamp is a wonderful author and her books fly off my shelves. Overall for me an ok read, but will be a hit with my students.

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This is definitely a book I had a hard time getting through. With the COVID pandemic not fully over yet, and deaths and sickness still fresh on my mind, it was hard to read about something like it in a book also. I think the biggest problem I have is that a lot of the things that this writer wrote about, as well as many other writers during these past couple years, are happening to us regardless of how unrealistic they sound. Who would have thought hospitals would run out of beds; bodies would be stored in trucks because the morgues were out of room; etc. It all feels so unbelievable, but it is life during COVID.
The book follows a group of outcast teenagers at a juvenile rehabilitation facility. These are all kids who have been cast out in society, for one reason or another, but who have been sent to this facility to "get well" so they can be integrated back into society. Some have done minor offenses, where as others have done more severe offenses. The group of them are suddenly abandoned by the warden and guards, and they have no adult supervision/direction. It basically becomes a sink or swim situation.
The book is a good read; it was just hard for me to read because of the similarities to what we are going through today.

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Timely and unique, At The End of Everything is a story about a group of teens residing in the Hope Juvenile Facility.
When the guards stop showing up, the know they need to get out. Finally free, they discover inside is actually safer. There is a disease spreading,and they need to figure out a new method of survival.

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Many thanks to Netgalley and publishers for providing my review copy. This was a really tough read that I do not think I was ready for. Perhaps in a few years, I would not have been so disturbed by the content. Story was well executed but the message felt a bit muddled. Recommend to dystopian lovers, not to those greatly impacted by the pandemic.

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This book had me on edge, first of all we have this setting of a juvenile facility, a whole bunch of kids in there, and they all have backstories that keep you on edge, it reads sometimes like kids in High School, there is a bully, and a popular kid and the awkward kids and you understand where I am coming from. Anyway out of nowhere the facility is empty, there are no guards or nothing, they were already acting weird and then they were all gone. I was on the edge of my seat. Anyway I wont be giving anything away this book is worth the read, its very apocalyptic, all about survival, and characters that you least expect taking charge, it was a journey. Thanks Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book.

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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.

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4.5 stars

I was a little hesitant to start At The End of Everything. A book about a pneumonic plague pandemic while living through the real world of the past 18 months? As a healthcare provider, that seemed a little too close to home.

And yet, I was sucked in from page one.

Told in multiple viewpoints, At The End of Everything is the story of some teens stuck at a juvenile detention-type boarding school that is located in the forests of Arkansas. When the plague hits, the warden and guards abandon the kids as lockdown ensues. The teens are forced to survive in what feels like a dystopian future, yet feels very real.

At The End of Everything was heartbreaking and sorrowful, yet a thread of hope was interwoven throughout. Despite that, I was entranced by the characters. How they did their best to stick together and help, how others were so self-sacrificing, and how everyone so very human.

My heart was heavy and oh, so captivated.

Thank you to SOURCEBOOKS and NetGalley for the review copy.

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This novel takes the reader through a version of a pandemic where the teens of a group home are left to fend for themselves. Forgotten by the outside world and left to fight this terrible respiratory disease sweeping the nation.

<i>At The End of Everything</i> is poignant and close to home. The novel also focuses on the many teens and their own personal internal stories and struggles with violence, gender issues, and family abandonment.

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I loved Nijkamp's previous work but this book was just not for me. After starting and stopping several times, I just couldn't finish it. The characters were not interesting and the narrative failed to keep me interested.

Thank you so much for the advanced copy,

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I loved the premise of this book, and it was interesting to read about a different pandemic from another perspective. That said, I felt that the multiple points of view distracted from the narrative. I didn’t feel there was enough character development or depth, and I’m sorry to say I just couldn’t quite connect.

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At the End of Everything is a very thought provoking book and especially timely. The teens at the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center are figuring out life and social structures inside the facility, when the unimaginable strikes. One night they wake up to find the guards and all the adults have left them to fend for themselves. When a few I’d the teens decide to leave Hope, they are met by soldiers and tragedy. They find out the plague (yes, the actual plague) has struck and they really were abandoned and left with no way to get more food or reach the outside world.

The eclectic group of characters has to figure out how to work together and how to keep one another safe. Suddenly it doesn’t matter what they did to land themselves in the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center, they just have to find a way to survive. This was an excellent, well written book that I did not want to put down.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advanced copy.

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Fast-paced, wild, shocking, and heart-pounding. This book has crossed off all of this. The premise of the story has all of the main characters stuck within a detention facility while a plague happened outside of it. Now, it is up to these young adults how to navigate their way through this to survive or fall victim to the plague. The aspect of found family in this book was the best part of it, seeing them start to care for one another and protect each other. Them anchoring one another during hard times or good times. It was a fun and easy read. Nothing very out of the ordinary there.

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At the End of Everything is a YA book about the plague taking over the world and a group of kids who are left at a juvenile detention center. It starts out alright but quickly jumped into massively stereotyped characters. The biggest issue I had was that the characters did not have their own personalities and voices, so it was easy to get confused as to who was speaking in each chapter. I had to look back more than once to see the name of the chapter to see who was doing the narration. The plot is ok, not very believable, but it is exciting to see who will survive. A nice quick read.

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When a deadly plague hits, the guards disappear, leaving the kids at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center to learn to survive on their own. With half the kids deciding to risk it on the outside, the rest decide to stay back, care for the sick, and work to keep each other alive.

Oh hey another plague/pandemic book! In all seriousness though, this book was about found family, about caring for and helping save each other when it seems the world has forgotten about you. We see a lot of situations very similar to ones we are currently seeing today, and while it can be so disheartening, I have also seen how truly wonderful people can be. I really enjoyed this book and the cast of teens just trying to survive one day to the next while the world falls apart around them.

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An attempt to remake Lord of the Flies. And a very poor attempt. Throw in anything the author can think of as hot topics - race, sexuality, etc. - and you have a poorly written story. Oh. And of course. Throw in a pandemic. This book has moved up to my list as the worst book I have read this year. I am giving it a very generous two-star rating.

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I absolutely adore Marieke Nijkamp, and I'll read all of her YA books. So, when given the opportunity to read At the End of Everything, I put aside my reticence around pandemic-themed novels to give it a chance. What I found was a surprisingly (to me) tender and thought-provoking novel about juvenile justice, the concept of reform, acceptance, and chosen family.

Told in the varying perspectives of the teenagers left to fend for themselves at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center (insert irony), Nijkamp's book explores what happens when those who are left behind are fighting to survive when society has cast them aside.

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sharing this book with me. All thoughts are my own.

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At the End of Everything is a very good read. There are books you wish could go on forever and this is one of those. It will suck you in from the start and leave you wanting more.!

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I read this book while I was waiting in an emergency department, in a lot of pain. And I am 100% sure that I wrote a review for it! Bust, seeing as how I can’t find said review, I may have just imagined it while on a lot of painkillers. So, here’s (as far as I’m concerned anyway) review #2!

I picked up the eARC for this book from Netgalley for a couple of reasons:

It’s Nijkamp. Like, if you haven’t read her work, do so! I loved This Is Where It Ends (school shooting) and Even If We Break (thriller with RPG elements). She writes #ownvoices queer and disabled characters, and I love it.
It’s set in a juvenile detention centre. PRISON! I love books in prison… And inpatient wards and boarding schools…
IT’S got a plague! And not just any plague.... (that’s all I’ll say, because spoilers).

And I inhaled it. It was so good. It’s a little different than your standard post-apocalypse story, in that it’s more of a slice-of-life story. Yes, there’s a plague, yes, life changes and people die, but it’s more about a community coming together and learning how to live with the changes than a mission to save the world.

Our characters are many; we see the world through a number of eyes. We have a wonderful cross-section within the facility - mental health conditions, variations in gender and sexuality, reasons for being in a correctional facility. It was nice to see Nijkamp showing that people who end up in these facilities AREN’T ALL “BAD”. Sometimes people commit crime because they feel they have no other choice, not just for sh*ts and gigs. Anyway, before I fall down that rabbit hole, I was just glad to see some of the less talked about aspects included here.

I think my only negative was that I wanted this book to be so much longer. There were so many characters, and while there was enough of each to make them all feel fleshed out and real, I wanted their backstories, and I want to know what happens after the credits rolled! I did also enjoy the snippets of phone conversations and the like, they added the outside element that made the centre feel more grounded in the “real” world.

Content Warnings: Okay, so like I said, I was on a lot of pain killers, but there were a lot of warnings. Mental health, gender/sexuality-phobias, injuries, death (lots of death), self harm (I think?). Just go into it knowing it can get a bit rough.

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