Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Teenagers arrested or needing help, but not deemed hopeless, are sent to the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. Where they soon learn to follow the routine. Up at six, the movement line, headcount, and breakfast at seven. Two wings have school in the morning, the other two in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner at set times, with bedtime at nine. It never changes. 

The novel is in first person, with the name of the character at the top of the page, as several tell the story from their viewpoint. The main three are Grace, Logan (both she and her sister, Leah, were sent to the place), and Emerson (a binary character). I liked that all three actually grow in their characters, unlike many books where the main characters never do. 

One night the teens realize all the staff is gone and the teens have been abandoned. Grace has one of the kids, a boy nicknamed the Professor, use the warden’s computer. They learn a terrible plague is happening, and that the warden knew and left them there to fend for themselves. A group of kids leaves, those remaining work to take care of themselves, especially when one of the girls, Leah, comes down with the virus.

Intense thriller, with danger from either the virus, adults, or one of their own, this Young Adult has many elements that might be considered disturbing to some readers, including death. There are warnings at the beginning of the book. But the story is good, and I really learned to like some of the girls and boys, especially the main characters. Since the author admitted having Covid and working on this book during the pandemic lockdown. You see the parallels between the story and people's real-life reactions (like one of the kids' uncles who said it was all a government conspiracy--not real) when they are dealing with so much death and being forced on lockdown. Except for the virus in this story is a lot scarier and deadlier.

Most would not want to read a book about a pandemic while we are going through one, but this was a good book, with likable characters. And can be enjoyed by young and older adults.
Was this review helpful?
This is a hard, melancholy story that invites reflection. With a very clear reference to what we had to experience due to the COVID-19 quarantines, this story presents a group of children who must survive abandonment, violence and lack.

Freedom and survival in a highly recommended novel.
Was this review helpful?
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was okay. There were so many characters to remember. Also the non-binary character made it hard to follow the grammar at times. It was a little too close to Covid for me to appreciate a story about a plague. Lots of the books reminded me of things happening then. 2.5
Was this review helpful?
Teens at a juvenile detention center are deserted by the adults, warden, guards and caretakers in one day. A group of teens leaves for the nearest town only to be stopped by soldiers at the town’s edge. The soldiers tell them everything is on lockdown and a sickness is going around. The soldiers instruct the teens to head back to the center. They do only to break into two groups; those leaving and those staying. A sickness soon breaks out at the center and teens start dying. The sickness starts with a cough and turns into a bloody cough. Each teen is dealing with their own problems and reasons for being sent to the center which is a good chunk of the book. I can see dystopian readers devouring this book, especially because the pandemic is so close to our current reality. Though-provoking dystopian for young adult readers, 3 stars!
Was this review helpful?
This is my second book by this author. Both of the books I've read by her have definitely made feel so much for the characters. 
Though it was never said the word, this felt like a covid story. 
What could of happened if a group of kids were left to fend for themselves during the heart of the 2020 pandemic. 
These kids had to figure out a way to survive on their own, when they were abandoned by people meant to protect them. 
This group also has some LGBQT+ characters to give the story some diversity. 
I definitely Reccomed this book and author to any YA fan
Was this review helpful?
Nobody’s ever wanted the delinquent teens of Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. When they wake up one day and discover they’ve been abandoned by their guards, they think they have a shot at freedom…until they realize that a pandemic has taken hold of the world outside, and they’ve actually been left to die. Now their ignored existence has become a deadly fight for survival—and the only people they can rely on are each other.
Was this review helpful?
As much as I wanted to like this book I just couldn’t get into it. I felt like there was too much going on and a strong agenda being pushed. I decided against posting a review on my instagram, thank you so much.
Was this review helpful?
This book was absolutely fantastic. I've already added it to our list for order this year and will recommend it to students.
Was this review helpful?
I feel like this book hits at the perfect time being that we are going through a pandemic. A group of kids are in a prison of sorts at the beginning of a pandemic and we watch what unfolds in the world. And the relationships between. Normally a hierarchy of which they do not get along would they band together to help each other? I truly loved this book so much and couldn’t put it down. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Was this review helpful?
When I first choose this story I thought it was going to be like Stephen King’s The Stand, which in some aspect it is, but as I read it, it felt more like covid but instead of a pandemic it was more like a plaque. I’ve been trying to avoid stories like this because I want to read to escape reality. That being said, it was the characters I was drawn too. I loved the teenagers and how diverse they were and how the came together to form a family, when they could have turned the whole book into a modern Lord Of The Flies. 

The plot was good, too if you can get past the covid similarities and I did enjoy the journey, although some parts I wanted it to change to fit my he glass is half full mentality, 😅 so even if I hated some parts, I can completely understand why they had to happen. I’ll just change it in my head. 😂
Was this review helpful?
Birdbox meets Covid 19. That’s what this book reminded me of. 

While I enjoyed the characters and the writing style, I really struggled through the plot. I read to escape reality and the “plague” that this book revolves around is too close to the reality of Covid. From not knowing if the characters would contract the illness, to wearing masks, to isolation, to food shortages. It was all just too close to real life and something I didn’t realize when I requested this book. 

I did enjoy the characters, and I liked that the author included a lot of diversity in this story. I thought the characters were the best part. I did enjoy the writing style and found it easy to follow what was happening, and easy to pick back up and recall what was happening when I needed to stop reading. 

Overall, this book was just okay for me. There wasn’t really anything wrong with the book, just my personal preference in reading, so please take that into consideration with this review. 3 stars, better suited to folks who don’t mind similarities to real-life pandemic situations.
Was this review helpful?
This book deals with a very deadly pandemic.  Most who get it die.  This is set at a juvenile boys home where the guards aren't the nicest people in the world, but they show up and give the boys some sort of stability, until they stop showing up.  When the boys get together and try to escape, they can't because the property is surrounded by soldiers.  as they settle into a new normal with the disease running through their ranks as well and their supplies dwindle,  the question becomes who will survive and how.
Was this review helpful?
I feel like it's my duty to immediately share with you that Marieke writes some seriously emotional books! In a good way, of course! This is kind of like an apocalyptic/dystopian novel, at least in my opinion. I actually love those kind of settings! I think the drama really captivates me. This was way more action-packed than some of her previous novels, which isn't a bad thing. It's just something I wasn't expecting! It's not a happy, wrapped up fairy tale ending, but I never expect that in Marieke's novels. I highly recommend going into this novel with anything more than this information, because that would make this read all the more entertaining for you.
Was this review helpful?
Imagine being in a juvenile treatment center... Now imagine being left behind to fend for yourselves, with no idea what’s going but all you know is that something isn’t right.  

This story follows a group of teens who are in Hope Juvenile center for a number of things, that’s not really important, what is important is one day they wake up and all the guards are gone. They’ve been left to their own devices. They have no idea why or when they’ll be back but they immediately know something is off. Something must be going on in the outside world. When they finally leave Hope House, they discover what’s left in the “real world” is even worse. The world has been hit with a deadly plague and they have been left for dead. No one is coming for them. This group of teenagers must figure out how to survive with no one but each other.  

I have hard avoided reading anything even slightly covid related and even though this isn’t exactly covid related it’s BASICALLY covid related. They are figuring out how to survive in a world where a highly contagious respiratory “plague” is hitting the nation. We have a pandemic; they have a plague. So, if you are not interested in reading covidish related stuff this is NOT for you. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this book regardless of how I felt about reading about virus related topics.  

Each of the teenagers have their own stories and own backgrounds to go through. Somehow, they are able to build a family when it seems like giving up and leaving is the easier option. Overall, this was a 4/5 stars for me. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time. I wanted to know what was going to happen to every character. I wanted to know how they were going to get food and how they would make it through another day. Definitely get this book unless you don’t want to read about any more sickness because of current events then maybe skip this one. It’s definitely a hard book but sooo good.
Was this review helpful?
At the End of Everything started out as a very slow book, but by about half way through it picked up and I found myself beginning to enjoy it a little more. While it is not marketed as a book about Covid, that's basically what it felt like. A story about what is going on in the world at this time and the struggles. I found some of the characters likeable, but then there was no closure on some of the others so it left me with mixed reactions. I will say that towards the last 60 pages or so, I finally felt connected to the characters and stories and the last few chapters brought me to tears. My suggestion would be if you pick up this book to go into it knowing that it's pretty much about covid, but if you hang in there to the end you will be pleasantly surprised by where the author starts and ends.
Was this review helpful?
At The End Of Everything is a young adult contemporary novel about a group of teens stuck in a juvenile treatment center during an outbreak of a deadly disease. 

This novel is told in alternating POVs between several of the inmates of the Arkansas “Hope Juvenile Center” which was meant to be a place of rehabilitation and turns into a nightmare as the guards and staff leave and never return. The inmates quickly discover that the world is in the middle of a deadly and highly contagious plague and they’ve been left to fend for themselves. As the group of teens try to contact the outside world, gather their dwindling food supplies and treat the sick they reflect on the various circumstances that got them where they were. These aren’t inherently bad kids but smart and sensitive children abandoned by their families and then once again by a system paid to care for them. 

Although the author made attempts to give each character their own voice (Emerson the religious non-binary musician, Logan the twin with mutism, Grace the former foster youth that dreams of finding her biological father) I still struggled identifying each one as I read. And what should have been a gripping and tense read sometimes fell flat with a lot of details about finding food, digging graves and inner dialogue. It also could have used a little more zing with more action and snappier dialogue. Every student is just so earnest and woebegone the the injection of a little “gallows humor” could have gone a long way. 

Overall this was a thoughtful read and many readers will recognize similarities to the Covid crisis but I needed a little more oomph. 

3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
At the End of Everything follows a group of teens at Hope Juvenile Detention Center who are suddenly abandoned by the guards. They venture outside to find out why and discover that a plague is sweeping the nation. Returning to Hope, they have to find a way to survive in their own even as some of them start getting sick.

I'm not quite sure what to think about this book. I was expecting an apocalypse story, not a story that is basically the early days of the pandemic, except it's the plague instead (like the black plague). It wasn't bad, just felt incredibly real and almost too soon. But it was a good look at the early stages of society breaking down during a pandemic, and a good yet terrible look at teens in a juvenile detention center and how they are treated.
Was this review helpful?
I became emotionally connected in all of the characters and was cheering for them all. I couldn't put this novel down since it tugged at my emotions and heartstrings. 4 Stars
Was this review helpful?
This book was crazy emotional. It wasn't really about Covid . . . and yet, it could be about Covid. There is a mysterious plague (i.e. respiratory illness) that is crazy contagious and fatal. The kids at Hope Juvenile Detention Center don't know what's happening until the guards and warden and every single worker basically leaves and abandons them. So these kids, who society already basically gave up on them once, are forced to fend for themselves in terms of food and medicine. These kids grow up quickly and watching the survive was so heartbreaking. The main issue I had though was that there were so many characters that it was hard to really feel connected to the. I loved Grace and the way she tried to take care of everyone. I do wish we had gotten Casey's POV since he was the one taking care of the sick. The ending made me cry, but it was also fitting for the story. Great read.
Was this review helpful?
I thought I was ready for this book but I wasn't. While the summary suggests that there will certainly be parallels to our current reality, or more accurately the reality of Spring of 2020 when it all started, I didn't expect it to be so dead on. At the End of Everything is a Covid story without calling it one. It continually mentioned and brought to mind what we've all experienced and as a result nothing felt new. We've all lived the fear and uncertainty at the start of the pandemic; the overprotective washing of everything, the intense stigma of a cough, the spectrum of reactions from complete paranoia to calling it a hoax. Yes, to an extent it was heighted in this story but it all felt too soon and too unsurprising. I wish their plague was more of the setting rather than the entire story.

I also found it difficult to believe that a group of teenagers would inherently know to wear masks, socially distance, and wipe down "groceries"... all things that may feel intuitive now but initially felt like ridiculous advice to me as an adult because it was so foreign to our normal life, yet these teenagers were supposed to think of them on their own?

I did like the use of multiple types of storytelling, including snippets of phone calls, newspaper articles, etc. I also could appreciate that the plague's ability to make us feel alone was heightened to an extreme by making the cast teenagers in a rehabilitation facility left without aide. That we wouldn't help our own children but they'll help each other was a powerful message. 

Perhaps I'd enjoy this more years down the road or in a pre-pandemic world but it wasn't for me at this time.
Was this review helpful?