Cover Image: At the End of Everything

At the End of Everything

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Perfect for teens looking for a thrill! My daughter said it was great and recommended to her friends!
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I found this YA book set in a fictional time and place about incarceration and plaque to be a little too realistic for comfort. But that is the point. The story went along and was captivating and in the end, incredibly hopeful. If we could all just remember that we’re all in this together for good times and bad times and treat each other as we’d like to be treated things will be okay. Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for #attheendofeverything to read and review
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I didn't particularly enjoy this one as much. It felt a little too unrealistic for me and I just couldn't relate to any of the characters.
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New to me author but definitely won't be last. Thoroughly enjoyed this story. Thanks Netgalley and to the publisher for letting me read this advance copy.
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This was a "Did Not Finish" for me. I had a really difficult time with the writing style of this story. I also didn't enjoy the characters. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book.
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Thanks to the publisher and netgalley for an ARC!

I give this 3.5 stars. 

If you are having PTSD from covid, I wouldn't recommend this book. 

This is a very real and close to home view of what happens when the Plague hits the world and has a lot of similarities to what has happened during covid. We follow a group of teens from a youth detention center as they are left to fend for themselves and figure out what is going on when all the adults leave and don't come back.
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Received an ARC in exchange for my review. 
“At the End of Everything” is a YA contemporary/ dystopian novel following a group of teens in a juvenile facility as they attempt to survive a plague overtaking the world. 
I forgot I’d requested this book and honestly had no idea what it was about. I just liked the title. But wow, what a book! So relevant to today and beautifully written. The cast of characters all face their own challenges and have different reasons for being in the this facility in the first place. So many great themes are explored. It took me a little bit to get through this one because life just got crazy but I knew it was one I needed to finish.
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This is the second covid-inspired book I've read. As much as it is interesting to see how authors incorporate a pandemic plot, it can be difficult to read. So many people have lost friends and family to covid, and experiencing it through this fictionalized account makes some of this book feel too real.

In "At the End of Everything," the pandemic the world faces is much more severe than covid. Rather than focusing on the general population though, the story focuses on a group of teens that have been sent to a correctional facility. When the pandemic hits, they are left to fend for themselves. They are not told of their situation, not told if they will be getting any aid-- they are completely ghosted by all adults.

There is a message of hope to this book (the correctional facility is named "Hope Juvenile Treatment Center), but this isn't a happy book.  This is a book I would have enjoyed more a few years from now. I prefer to read fiction as an escape from reality, but this book brought a lot of aspects of our current reality into something even worse than what the world has already been facing.

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire, Inc for an advanced e-book copy of this book. Let's hope that the world that we live in doesn't end up like the world in this book, so that we can enjoy it for the fiction that it is.
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3.75 stars rounded up to 4 stars. 

This isn’t really a “Covid book” but it’s a Covid book. The events occur during a pandemic - although in this one it’s the actual plague. Despite the different illness, it was easy enough to imagine these events occurring in real life under the current craziness we live in these days. 

With that said, this book follows the story of a group of juvenile offenders being held in a juvenile treatment center. We find out what some of the characters did to land there, but not all of them. With the outbreak of the plague, society basically breaks down. Government shut downs, need for masks, social distancing, public hysteria around the illness and food scarcity…sound somewhat familiar? 

The kids in the facility get abandoned when the staff just leaves. The story deals with trust, found family, and what we would do to survive. I enjoyed the story, which is told through multiple points of view. It really makes you think about what could happen to people in jails, hospitals, residential facilities, nursing homes etc - if the world as we knew it changed as quickly as it did with Covid, just imagine if a more deadly disease was on the rampage. Will we really just forget about these people? I don’t want to believe it but I can’t definitively say this story could never happen - in fact, I fear it could so easily happen. 

There are secondary characters of various racial backgrounds but the MCs are white (one is also non-binary so that was a nice representation to see). The MCs acknowledged that unfair treatment for racial minorities happened but didn’t explore the topic any further than said acknowledgement. There was an endnote by the author which explained that while there are huge disparities in criminal treatment/sentences based on race, she didn’t want to speak directly to that as she didn’t want to be disingenuous. 

While I understand the author’s concerns, I think it’s important to highlight these things. Since the author felt so strongly about acknowledging the impact of racism in our criminal justice system by adding the endnote, I think she could’ve done a bit more in the actual story itself with this one. Even with white MCs, the characters could have explained a bit more of what discrimination they saw or even how they felt about it. It was clear the characters were not ok with the racism, and I think it’s important for people/characters of all races to speak out about these issues.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire, Net Galley and the author for a copy of the e-ARC of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
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I found that I wasn't really interested in the story, or the characters. The premise was very interesting, but I found myself feeling forced to keep reading, and I decided to stop at 20%.
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This story brought me to tears as facilities like that actually are around and how parents are so cruel. That they would throw their won flesh and blood onto the streets without a single thought about it. Or the ones that have to run away cause of abuse and the state child protective service have failed to save them. But the virus that is going around forcing them to stay inside makes it even sadder. But nother the less I highly enjoyed this read and want to add it to my shelf or books. I highly recommend this to everyone cause everyone should give each and ever book a chance.
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Thank  you to Netgalley for an advanced e-arc of this book, here is my honest review. 

It is with sadness that I gave this book a low rating. I loved the synopsis of this book. It drew me in immediately and this is an author I have read from before. 

We follow a group of teens that are basically disregarded by society and are living at Hope Juvenile Detention Center. That alone breaks my heart. Then there is a pandemic that leaves them stranded. Everyone who was supposed to be taking care of their basic needs vanishes, leaving them to fend for themselves. This is what drew me in. It is hard to imagine, and yet we know it happens, that people can be looked at as less than. 
These kids who find themselves without anyone to care for them, start to realize they can care for one another. It is beautiful when you see it like that. I had hoped for a lot more though. 

Here is how it felt to me as a reader. I felt like every identifier that could be thrown into this mix was. We have POC, nonbinary, disability rep, etc. So much so that I never felt like I got to really know and relate to any of these kids. I only saw them by an identifier. This made it very difficult and disjointed to read. The prose did not flow well. It was choppy and the sentence structure at times was really off. It was done so for a purpose but as a reader it just took me out of the story. 
There is a character that I was introduced to in the very beginning that made it sound like she was dangerous and scary and then for the rest of the book I did not see that side of her at all. If that was intended to be character arc, it was lost on me because it just felt like to different characters entirely. 
In addition to this, or maybe because of this, I was bored. I wasn't invested in the characters enough to care by the end. It read like most YA dystopian books. I was hoping for something more. I didn't feel like it wrapped up well. For the most part the kids are still left on their own. It just was sad in a million ways.
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This is a dystopian YA about juveniles left abandoned and forgotten at a detention center in the midst of a pandemic. 

While the sickness is a major part of the storyline, I found that the focus seemed to be centered more on the human reaction to the sickness and the difficulties of a world plunged in chaos and uncertainty. 

I liked the use of multiple POVs but there were times when it was difficult to remember whose POV I was currently reading. 

I appreciated the author's efforts of inclusivity but rather than feeling organic, it at times felt forced. 

Overall I enjoyed the read but expected more of a thriller. 

Thanks to NetGalley, MariekeNijkamp, and Sourcebooks Fire for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The teenagers at Hope Juvenile Treatment Center feel like the world has abandoned them. After committing crimes that may or may not have been dangerous, dozens were sent to Hope at the edge of the Ozarks in Arkansas, to change their behavior. There is a psychologist there to help them, but the guards and the warden just want to keep order. And the school is a joke, with a handful of battered textbooks. 

Emerson is new to Hope. They are still learning the rules, both the written ones and the unwritten ones. When Grace stands up for them to the guards, for misgendering Emerson, Grace gets sent to the warden’s office. But when she’s there, the warden doesn’t give her the usual speech. It’s a shortened version, as he’s tossing files into his briefcase. The warden tells her that she is responsible for the choices that got her here. Then he sent her back to her cell. 

Later that night, Emerson and Grace cross paths again. Emerson is on her way to meet with Hunter, the de facto leader among the teenagers, for her unofficial introduction to Hope. Grace has snuck out to see what’s going on. That meeting earlier with the warden didn’t sit right with her, like something was wrong, and she wanted to know what it was. She walks around waiting for the guards to catch her out. But none of them show. She gets to the guard room and sees that not only are there no guards, all the screens are dark. No one is watching them. 

The next day, the teens try to figure out what is going on. They find out that there is a plague that has taken over the world, and the parent company of Hope has sent all the adults away. They are there alone. It is up to the teens to survive. But they can’t agree on what to do. Some want to leave Hope, and others feel it’s safer to stay. Hunter decides to lead a group up the road to the closest small town, but as they get close to the town, they come up against a roadblock with soldiers who are holding guns. 

They end up turning back and going back to Hope, but not without consequences. One of the boys gets shot, and not long after they get back to Hope, one of the twin sisters starts coughing up blood. The plague made its way back with them. 

With no adults around to help them, and no one able to get to them, Grace takes over the leadership at Hope. They set up an infirmary and start an inventory of what’s in the kitchen. As they divide up the tasks to do what they need to, more of the teens get sick, and many of them decide to leave. Hunter wants to go back up the road and find away around the National Guard to get to the town. But many stay behind and try to figure out what they can do.

Isaiah takes over the computers, trying to find as much information as he can to help them. Many of them call family or friends, to see how they’re doing out in the world. A couple take over in the kitchen, and some start a garden. Casey stays in the infirmary to take care of the sick, and when they lose their first friend to the plague, Emerson takes it on themself to dig the grave. 

As the days slip by, the teens are faced with more challenges. They figure out how to hunt and fish, how to ration their food and medicine, how to distance from each other but stay connected, and they also spend a lot of time thinking about the circumstances that brought them to Hope in the first place. Emerson has to dig more graves. Casey has to care for more patients. Grace has to make difficult choices. And they all have to come to terms with the fact that all the adults let them down, they left them there to die. 

Instead, those who can, choose to survive. 

At the End of Everything is not an easy book to read. As we are all sill facing a pandemic (though not nearly as bad as the plague in this book), there is still a lot of fear and uncertainty in the world. This book did not help me feel better about that. But it’s honest about the struggle to survive, and it’s fascinating to watch these characters, the way you watch the characters in a horror film or on The Walking Dead. You have to be okay with the knowledge that you could lose your favorite character at any moment. 

Author Marieke Nijkamp has a way of writing stories that tear you apart, At the End of Everything certainly fits that description. I had tears in my eyes several times, feeling for these characters and this horrifying situation they found themselves in. It’s heartbreaking to see how all the adults around them let them down, from the families that didn’t help them when they were first in trouble to the warden and guards, the soldiers and townspeople who refused to help them after the plague started. But the way these teens decide to continue on, to have hope (no pun intended) for a future, to stick together is inspiring. There is a lot of pain in this book, but there is grace also (again, no pun intended). But know that this story will stick with you for a long time, and some of that time may be in your nightmares. 

Egalleys for At the End of Everything were provided by Sourcebooks Fire through NetGalley, with many thanks.
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At the End of Everything is told through the point of view of three main characters - Grace, Emerson, and Logan. It follows a group of teenagers left behind in a juvenile detention centre during a comeback of the plague that is shutting the world down. This book was basically everything that's happened with Covid, just a worse version I suppose. It didn't  bother me in the slightest to be reading this during the current pandemic, as I've seen some reviews mention. I took this for what it was - a book about a deadly disease and how these teenagers handled being on their own. 

Unfortunately I didn't feel I could connect with any of the characters - despite being told from 3 people's point of view, there were several other characters that made up this story and it was alot to keep track of. Sometimes I actually found myself confused as to who's section I was reading, and being unable to tell them apart. As a result, it didn't really matter much who lived or died if you know what I mean? It just seemed to be missing that depth. 

It's also worth mentioning that this book is very slow going. There was never really a point where I was like "I need to know what happens next, turn the page!". I thought maybe there would be a slight thriller aspect to it (and when we had confrontation with the guards at the beginning, I thought that was the theme the book would follow) but alas, it did not. This definitely takes more of a slow, humanistic, emotional approach to telling the story. Which I'm sure some will absolutely love! I just prefer things a little faster-paced. 

The ending was good, and sort of turned out to be what I expected. Overall, it was a pretty good book but not my favourite. I think it will definitely suit the tastes of many, it just didn't happen to do it for me.
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Thank you #NetGalley for the opportunity to read an ARC of #AtTheEndOfEverything

At The End of Everything is a story about kids in a juvenile Treatment Center who are forgotten in the wake of a pandemic.  Left to their own devices there is an atmosphere of fear and factions begin to form. Outside there is a virus running rampant, people are sick and dying in multitudes.

I'm really not sure how to feel about this. In my opinion, it's too soon for a COVID dystopia,
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This author's books have always been hit or miss with me. I loved her first book. It took my breath away. Each book since, I've lost interest in. 
I'm not big on the social justice movements these days. I am a person who reads to escape from the things around me. Maybe this wasn't a good choice for me to read. I had a difficult time connecting with the characters, the plot, and the "politically correctness" of the book.
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I have mixed feelings about At the End of Everything. It's a page-turner because you will want to see what happens. It's a bit of a dystopian (which is a genre I have enjoyed over the years) taking the pandemic to the extreme. The plague has resurfaced, and it's a fast killer. I just think there were too many characters to develop a connection with them. And the situation surrounding why the teens were left to fend for themselves, and no one bothered to give them food or whatever they needed seemed implausible. Teens who enjoy dystopian plague type novels will probably enjoy this.
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wow nothing hits home quite like a book that involves a pandemic (or plaque).....I went into this book oblivious to the topic and soon found a new author that I really enjoyed. Story somewhat reminded me of Lord of the flies as it involves a group of misguided youth that are institutionalized and what happens when they are left to fend in a pandemic situation. Really good read!
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What would you do in a juvenile treatment center, where everyone has forgotten about you, during a pandemic? How would you survive?

What a gripping, heartbreaking survival story this is, where you get to know the characters so well that I became very attached to quite a few. Some parts were very heart-wrenching and hard to read. I do recommend looking up the triggers in this book before reading, i won't put them in here, frightened I might miss something with it being such a delicate topic at the moment. The story is centered around a lot of character growth in this book, which is basically a pandemic book with a respiratory plague, and shows how scary it could have turned out for some people during the time of covid, and how scary it also was for others.  The author did a very memorable job with this one and it will stay with me for a long time, even though I would like a book two or maybe an epilogue to see what happened to all the kids in the juvenile center. It is written really well in 3 points of view, one character only able to communicate with signs and one being non-binary, and to break it up abit and make it realistic, we had transcripts of phone calls and inventory lists thrown in. Such a powerful emotional read, my advice is just dont go into this one completely blind.
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