Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

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Member Reviews

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 to them. But one day the guards to the facility have start acting weird, and the kids later find out the guards have left. When the teens find out, they are determined to break from the facility but when they do they only discover 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!
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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.
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Book was good, but not my favorite of the year, but still worth the read.
It takes a while to get into, but it is much better as you get into it.
Not something I would put at the top of my list, but it is worth the read.
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I received an advance copy of, At The End of Everything, by Marieke Nijkamp.  This is a really heavy book.  Its different to what I normally read.
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This book is a definite example of "art imitating life." As I was reading it, I thought it was very relevant to the times we are living in (COVID) and felt like it was part historical fiction. The story was a heartfelt one, about friendship and survival, and yes, social injustices of the world. I rate it 3.5 rounded up to 4 stars.
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This was the first Marieke Nijkamp novel I've read and I really wanted to enjoy it! The premise seemed interesting and looked like a contemporary that would fill all my needs. However, a lot of this novel didn't do it for me.

My problems with this novel started from the very first page. From the start, I could tell that the characters were going to be off and I wouldn't like them that much, however, my problems with the cast would extend a bit more. There wasn't a single person that I enjoyed reading about. Meaning that there was also not a point of view that kept me engaged. All the characters were an oversaturation of already existing stereotypes, they had very little depth and very little development. The dialogue and interactions that we witness are all very immature and juvenile. I found myself cringing a lot while reading, so obviously my entertainment levels were fairly low.

I also don't believe that the ending was properly executed. I'm not a reader that can predict endings or plot twists, but in this novel it was somewhat more obvious to me. I wasn't hooked on the plot and I found myself not caring that much.

I appreciate the idea that the author had, but with more editing I think it could've been better. I'm not sure if I'll end up reading any more Nijkamp novels, but if you enjoyed her other novels, you may end up liking this one!
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Great story about the kids at the Hope Juvenile treatment center.  The guards are oddly absent and no one is watching, so an unlikely group bands together and breaks free.  Stopped by the military and told there is a pandemic and they must return.  What happens next is twist after twist in a story of survival.
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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.
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I really don't know how to review this book.  I found it impossible to put down, I loved many of the characters, I thought the the idea of "throwaway" kids was right on target, and of course a pandemic (plague) is very timely.  BUT (spoiler alert) I hated the ending.  When a character is killed off, especially a loved character (in this case a self-sacrificing character) there should be a reason.  I realize that life is not fair and it doesn't always work out, but the last death in this book was just cruel.  Maybe because I am not a young adult, I am a 68 year old YA librarian, but I read a lot of YA and enjoy it, but this I found just too sad.  I will have to wait to discuss with YA readers and get their opinions--should be interesting.
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*Spoiler free*

I was drawn to this book because it was about the teens left behind, the teens in a juvenile detention center, when a deadly disease hits. I knew it would have a queer and disabled characters. Those things were enough to sell me, and enough for me to want to know what this book is all about. Trigger warnings: misgendering, blood

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. I liked it, but it also wasn't my favorite. I feel sort of neutral towards it. I think it just wasn't for me, but other people are definitely going to fall completely in love with it.

First off, for some reason I was expecting this book, and the disease, to have fantasyish/scifiish edge to it. It does not. Which isn't a bad thing! Just not what I was expecting and I was sort of hoping for. It mirrors real life, and I think I'm still sorting out my feelings about that. I fear that people will write this book off because of it. It's not a bad book at all,  and I hope people give it a chance.

The emotion that this book holds, and evokes, is spectacular. The anger and the frustration and the worry and the pain and pure teenage angst comes through so strongly. It's a book about teenagers, and dang do the teenagers feel like teenagers. So much of their emotion felt so authentic and so real. It was wonderful.

Though, I felt like there were a lot of threads this book was trying to connect, and it left some aspects in ways that could have been fleshed out a bit more. I think I wanted more out of the emotional journeys of all the main characters. Since there is three of them, and there are a ton of side characters as well, there is so much going on. And then there is the overarching plot, and the overarching message. This book does a lot, and I guess I wanted more in some spaces.

This isn't to say that the book felt overpacked or like it left things hanging! There were so many good things it. It didn't feel rushed, and the emotional pull it has is immense. I just wanted more from each character, I think I wanted more from the ending as well. The very ending was a gut punch, and incredibly incredible, but the ending as a whole felt a bit abrupt. It felt like the book was going and going, and then it just ended. I wanted more from the story.

Overall, this is not a bad book. It's emotional and well written and has a wonderful cast of characters.  I firmly believe it is going to find the people who adore it, and I am excited to see them love it.
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How can I begin to review this? It was something! I went in as blindly as I could, didn’t even read the synopsis and it surprised me in a great way. 

This is my first time reading the author and what an amazing pen! The plot, the writing, the characters...all build amazingly.

I flew through it, finished in no time and absolutely recommend.
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For the kids at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center, the days are very structured: they wake up, eat, and go to bed at certain times.  It's a constant, boring cycle, with moments of interest when a new kid arrives and threatens the well-run system. One day, everything just feels off and the guards and other adults in the facility act a bit strange.  And the next day, there are no adults anywhere.  The kids realize that they have been left to fend for themselves,  

When they venture out into the world, they are stopped by soldiers, who let them know that a deadly plague has broken out: an airborne virus that affects the respiratory system.  People all over are dying and the kids have been forgotten at their treatment facility.  As the virus attacks some of the kids, they try to figure out how to survive.  Will they have enough food?  What will they do for the sick and the dead? Will anyone come to their aid?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this felt timely, but it really dragged on and on.
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Wow, this was an interesting story. Ms. Nijkamp had to have put this together somewhat quickly as 2020s hot topics were all ingrained in the storyline. This novel falls heavily on society dealing with a plague (COVID) as well as both social and political ramifications on that. It's a YA novel and if you have read any of The Shadow Children series, I saw a lot of influence there (I'm curious if the author took any inspiration from this). As the book also covers identity issues and racism, I could see this as a strong novel to incorporate for classroom discussion. very fast read and would recommend!
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A deadly pandemic breaks out...and everyone seems to have forgotten about the kids at Hope, a juvenile rehabilitation facility. In addition to keeping safe from the pandemic, they must also rely on each other for the basic elements of survival. All while not really knowing what’s going on in the world around them. Super chilling in light of current events.
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