Cover Image: This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends

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Member Reviews

A powerful, emotional, quick read. I really enjoyed how this story was told. By focusing on 4 people you got a variety of different stories but you aren’t overwhelmed. Each character had there own role in this school shooting and in the aftermath. I do think some of it was a little rushed, but really a very strong book. I definitely recommend checking this one out.
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This is such a powerful, emotional and moving book. One of the favorites around my department, especially in the times where school shootings only increase. So powerful and moving!
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This Is Where It Ends is a book that has been on my radar for quite a while. I had heard lots about this book but just never got around to reading it. I really wanted to like this book. Its sounded great, a book that is gritty, raw and real. Something that I would usually love... but unfortunately I just didn't. I really struggled to get even 50 pages into this novel. It was a massive struggle.

With this book being about a school shooting, I knew it would be difficult to read and I did find it difficult... but for all the wrong reasons. It should have been difficult to read because of how emotional nad horrifying the storyline was, but instead I found it difficult to read as it was so boring and dry. I really had no motivation or interest to read it at all.

This Is Where It Ends is told from the perspective of four main characters, but the perspectives chop and change far too quickly, you don't end up feeling like you know any of the characters at all. I read around 4 chapters before I decided to give up on this book and I honestly couldn't tell you anything about the characters at all. I was confused because I didn't know who was talking as they all sounded like the same person. I didn't manage to get this emotional connection with any of them and I ended up not really know what was going on.

This book had so much potential. It could have been real and raw, going into the psychological aspects of a school shooter... what caused them to get to that point? It could have been a real insight into the psyche of someone like that but it wasn't. The shooter was just a 'psychopath' who was enjoying slaughtering children.

I had such high hopes for This Is Where It Ends. It could have been amazing but instead it was dry, boring and definitely not for me. I will probably avoid works by this author in the future.
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Suspenseful and realistic, this depiction of a school shooting is what all of us dread happening at our own school. I also live in Alabama, so that makes it feel that much closer. It is in my middle school library.
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Naturally I had to read this novel by a Dutch author. #netherlandspride!!

I liked this book. I went into this, not sure what to expect. I had seen the Dutch translation in the book store a few weeks ago when I went there with some class mates in Groningen, but I didn't pick it up, because I knew I had the ebook on my ereader. So I decided to read it, because I was hoping it would be something quite exciting. And it was.

The book is told in 4 different perspectives, and from the beginning, you're getting to know them, with the occassional flashbacks. It's a heavy book, dealing with a heavy subject. I felt like crying at some points, but I didn't. The characters were good, I liked one more than the other, for course. 

It deals with a school shooting, and they're all stuck in the auditorium. All the characters have some sort of connection to the shooter, and that's the most difficult part of it. We don't know who will survive and who will die or get wounded, and that was somehow quite stressful. And that made me want to finish this book in one day.

Definitely read this book. I enjoyed it and read it in one day. I'm not sure whether it's very representative for these American school shootings. But this was definitely an intense insight.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read and review this titles. Unfortunately this book archived before I was able to download it and I will not be able to submit a review at this time.
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***ARC is given For Netgalley for an honest review***

I enjoyed this, I found it moving and touching, especially with what is going on in schools right now. I felt for the survivors and those they lost, but I felt sorry for him too, that he was hurting and thought that taking a gun into a school was the only escape he could think of. 

This is a must-read!

Happy reading :)
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Wow. I'm having to take a minute to gather my thoughts on this one because obviously it's not only a difficult read, but also an intense read. Throughout the duration of his book, we are following the perspectives of 4 students during 54 minutes of terror when a former classmate opens fire on the entire student body in the school's auditorium. Each perspective has a connection to the shooter, and as we follow the current events that are happening in this small town Alabama high school, we also get to see their lives through flashbacks, as well as the lives of some of the other students through multimedia passages including blog posts, tweets, and texts. This book is about so much more than a school shooting. It's about hope. It's about survival. It's about putting differences aside and fighting for each other. During these 54 minutes, we watch these students become their own heroes. We watch them fight for their lives while the person next to them has already lost theirs. We see them work together to find a way out, to find a way to end this. The reader is really thrown into the environment to the point where feelings of sadness, grief, anxiousness, anger, resentment, shock, and hopelessness take over your own emotions. You find yourself thinking the same things the characters are thinking: "why is this happening?", "what could we have done to prevent this?", "how could this happen here? To us?", and "how do we get out alive?". When this book was published 3 years ago, it was relevant, and it still is today, especially with the amount of mass shootings, particularly school shootings, that continue to happen in America. This is a book that I think everyone needs to read, so that one day this can be prevented. How many more people have to die for something to finally change?

Representation: this book is written by an own voices author who identifies as queer and non-binary, and who is also disabled. In this book, we have LGBTQIA+ characters, one identifying as bisexual, and the others not stating what they identify as. There is a disabled character who uses crutches to walk and also has lupus. We have an ill parent suffering from Alzheimer's.

TW/CW: school shooting, gun violence, rape, suicide, alcoholism, physical abuse, toxic masculinity, bullying, vivid death descriptions, vivid injury descriptions, death, grief, death of a parent/sibling/friend/teacher/classmate, witnessing death, parent with Alzheimer's.
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Wow.

This novel, just, WOW.

This is Where it Ends is a very powerful read, a shocking, palpable read that takes place over the course of 54 terrifying minutes while a school is locked down by a student with a gun; every parent, student, and educator’s worst nightmare come to life.

The beginning of this novel is a little difficult to follow. There are four narrators and a few twitter feeds, and the text switches constantly between them, so until you have good grasp on who’s who, it’s a tad frustrating. But don’t give up. Please don’t give up. High school is made up of many individuals, and one narrator wouldn’t have done this story justice. Neither would have a third person omniscient narrator. This story has to be told from multiple perspectives, and it works, though perhaps difficult to follow in the beginning (and also something that I bet the audible would easily fix as it has multiple narrators). It’s definitely a book where you have to think and pay attention; this is no beach read, and in my opinion, Nijkamp tells this story exactly how it has to be told, through the lens of many.  Here’s a rundown of what you need to know to help keep them straight:

AUTUMN: High school senior bent on getting out of town by applying to Julliard and other dance schools. She is a talented dancer, and she wants so badly to be like her mother–who was a professional dancer before her death. Autumn is dating Sylv,  has one disapproving brother, Ty, and an abusive father who blames Autumn for her mother’s death, forbidding her to dance.

SYLV: High school junior trying to keep her head above water. Her mother is currently ill and doesn’t always recognize Sylv or her twin brother Tomas. She lives with Tomas and her mother on their grandfather’s farm, and her older siblings come back to help as often as they can. Sylv is dating Autumn and would do anything for her, including lying about their future and the threat that Ty poses to their relationship, in order to keep Autumn happy.

TOMAS: High school junior and self-proclaimed “bad boy.” He’d rather cut his classes and is often in trouble. Twin to Sylv, he would do anything for his sister, including fighting Ty over his bullying nature towards Sylv.

CLAIRE: High school senior. Track and field and JROTC student. Former girlfriend to Ty. Has an older sister, Trace, who is in the army and overseas serving, and a younger brother in 9th grade, Matt. He is on crutches and has a compromised immune system due to Lupus.

Four narrators. And they don’t all survive. As an educator, someone who has literally spent ten months of every year in school since the age of 5, this novel terrifies me. I’ve read a lot of reviews where people say that Nijkamp’s characters don’t wow them, that they don’t connect with them like they wanted to. That’s valid, to each their own, but from my point of view, I definitely connect with them. I have students just like Autumn, Sylv, Tomas, and Claire. I don’t know these kids in this novel, but I don’t have to. They are children, they are dealing with their own fallout of their lives while trying to stay sane in school; they are in pain, and now there is an active shooter picking off random students in an auditorium that he locked from the exterior, during a school-wide assembly. I feel for them, and their stories are poignant, all of their stories are poignant, even though some of the dialogue is awkward and perhaps not always how a high schooler would speak, or think. But regardless, our four vividly real narrators lead the way, allowing the reader to feel their abject horror and fear as the 54 minutes slowly, painstakingly tick by.

What’s the culminating factor for these four main characters? Ty. He’s the school shooter, and he’s here to be heard.

Tyler. What happened to Tyler to push him to this point? I think Nijkamp does a wonderful job showing the reader that this story is not just black and white. It doesn’t just have good characters and evil characters, though Ty’s final choice to murder is pure evil, and some of his other actions are as well. Through our four narrators, we learn about their pasts and how they intertwine with Ty, and we see him through their eyes are he began to break down, from his choices, yes, but also his abuse at the hands of his father, the sudden death of his mother, his fear of losing his sister… and he projects in the worst way possible, choosing to murder, for which there is absolutely no excuse. But psychologically speaking, there is no black and white here.

Nijkamp’s novel was published in early 2016, back when the mantra of “run and hide” during an active shooting was the advice we were given. But what do you do if you’re locked in the room with the shooter? I wish the school of Opportunity (yes, it’s a cliche name for a school), had have practiced ALICE. In 2018, my district began training educators in ALICE: Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter-Evacuate. It’s the run, hide, fight idea, which has been around for at least a decade if not longer, but not something that’s often taught in school, I mean, my district just started making ALICE training mandatory for teachers–it’s not something students are taught. Ty murders many in his 54 minute rampage; many of those murders happen in the locked auditorium, and as I was reading, I kept thinking, FIGHT. I wanted them to fight. I wanted them to take him down; yes people would have died, but I don’t believe as many would have died if the student body, or all the teachers on stage, had of reacted immediately. But then again, it’s so easy to tell people what they should have done when on the outside looking in. I just, I just cried.

This novel is unfortunately all too real in this day and age, and many people are lucky to not have to think, to really think about it, or connect to it, because it hasn’t happened to us, and for many of us, it won’t ever happen. But that doesn’t mean we should write it off. Yes, it’s awful that we have to be prepared for it, in any setting, not just school, in today’s climate. But I think that’s also why this novel is so incredibly powerful. Five stars.

I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire in exchange for an honest review.



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My review goes live on my blog on Oct. 6, 2019. Sorry for the delay.
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Wow, this was a very emotional book to read. It was very gripping and horrific and I'm still unsure on my final thoughts on this. It was a very gripping subject matter but I also feel like this book needed to be fleshed out a little bit more with background and characters. The main selling point for me was the event itself, since it was my first time reading a book about a school shooting, but I feel like there needed to be more development with the characters themselves to make me feel more connected to the story. 

Even though the execution of the story could've been better, I would still recommend giving this book a read because of how impactful the perspective of this event is and how jarring it is to read about.
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Wow! SOO amazing. I cannot get over this book. I am upset with myself for waiting so long to read it, but I'm so happy I finally did. This book is so raw and feels so real. It is so heartbreaking and I just feel so much for these characters. This subject was handled so well.
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I hate the fact that we live in a world where school shootings happen.  I have mixed feelings about the fact that a book like this even exists because I don't want to use a tragedy as entertainment.  I have had a review copy of this book for years but never got around to it.  My daughter actually encouraged me to read this book because she thought it was well done.  I didn't grow up in a world where school shootings happened with alarming regularity but my daughter has and it is something that she thinks about.  I found this to be an engaging story and a really quick read.

This book is told from multiple points of view while a school shooting is taking place.  We see what is going on in the locked auditorium and outside of it as well.  This is a tragic story filled with needless death but there is also a bit of hope and a few individuals that prove to be heroes.  This book doesn't really get too deep into why the shooting happened but I can't think of a good reason or one that would make sense so I am okay with the decision to focus on the students fighting to survive.

The story did have a few problems.  Students do call 911 as things start and the police in this little town must have been out having a few doughnuts because it takes them forever to actually get to the school.  I had some pretty big issues with that delayed response and I think it made the story very unrealistic.  I also never felt like we got to know any of the characters very well.  I didn't want any of them to die but I wasn't particularly emotional when it happened either.

I did really like the fact that this audiobook was narrated by a full cast.  Each point of view had its own narrator which made it very easy to keep track of who the focus was on.  I thought that each narrator did a fantastic job with the story.  I know that I liked this book a lot more because I decided to listen to the audiobook.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought it was a well-told story despite having a few issues.  I wouldn't hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Sourcebooks Fire via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
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A powerful and intense book that should be a must read for everyone. I have read it twice now and still think about it and recommend it to people.
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Hi, 
This book just turned up on my shelf again. Not sure why. I sent my feedback years ago.
Thank you 
Rebecca
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As a high school employee, this book felt all-too-real, with the dangerous world we live in.  The daily reality of whether or not something like this will actually happen to me, or to someone else I know, is where we are now, and This Is Where It Ends doesn't sugar coat any of this subject.  Told in such a fast-paced beat, this is a book that can be read by anyone, and I would highly recommend it to those who don't work in schools to know what this can actually feel like.
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This was such a riveting and emotional read. With all of the recent shootings you'd think that this would be a book you'd want to avoid but that is what brought me to it. I could never understand the mindset of someone shooting or being the one shot at and I found the perspective of the book to be within the realm of realistic representation. I enjoyed the characters and the progression of the story and I hope to read more by Nijkamp soon.
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Really timely story of an important subject, though I think at some points some scenes felt a bit stiff. Overall a really harrowing read and pretty important for people to read everywhere.
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I do all of my reviews in the form of questions

What made me pick this book up: 
The cover is what first caught my eye.

What did I like about the cover: 
I basically love everything about it. From the title written in chalk, to the chalk looking like it had been shot. It's a really great cover that matches the book well.

What made me read this book:
Well once the cover caught my eye, the story really grabbed me. School shootings are very real and very scary things that actually happen. 

And for some reason I like reading about them. The fictional ones at least. 

And as bad as that sounds, I think it's because of the emotions it invokes. The fear, the not knowing, the being on the edge of my seat, and then the sadness because you know people are going to die. 

What did I like the most: 
Like I said up there, school shooting books usually keep you on the edge of your seat, holding your breath, never knowing what's going to happen next.

And this book was no different. In fact there was so many parts where I just didn't know where it was going next, who might get shot next, who might escape.

I liked reading about the "why" as well. Why did Tyler come in and start shooting up an auditorium full of teaches and students. Why Tyler picked that day to do so. Why he picked the people he did.

The author did a really good job in portraying the emotions. I felt everything the characters felt. 

The sadness, the loss, the anger, the pain. Everything. And it hit me hard. I was literally sitting on the couch staring off into space. I could picture it and I could imagine having to be there.

I liked the characters a lot too. You didn't get to know them as much as I would have liked, but from what you did they were great. 
Tomas (I listened to the book on audio, so might be spelling his name wrong) was my favorite character. The things he did for his sister. You could tell how much he loved her.

Each MC had a different narrator and I think that really adds to it, because each character had their own voice and it made them each so individual and I think that's really important when you have a book that has multiple characters. It also made it so much more real. 

There was a part of the book where one of the characters had a big secret about something that happened, and the mystery of that was a good one too. I mean, I figured it out pretty quickly. But I can understand why she didn't want to tell anyone. 

What didn't I like: 
This book was kind of confusing at parts. And it's probably because I listened to it on audio, but I had a really hard time keeping the characters straight and remembering who was who and what they were to the other characters and it was just confusing.

I think that's really the thing I didn't like. 

Oh and some of the people who died, I felt my heart breaking. It was so sad.

Would I read the rest of the series/more from this author?
Absolutely.

Cover: *****
Story: *****
Pace: ****
Writing: ****
Characters: ***
World Building: **
Ending: ****
Narrator: *****
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Oh, this book was so fantastic! It does deal with a difficult issue-school shootings, but it focuses on these characters who are connected to the shooter, and those that are connected to them, like the shooter's sister, and her girlfriend, and her brother. I really liked the focus on the characters!

This book was very fast paced. Each chapter covered about 2 minutes, from the various character's POV's. So we saw a broad view of what was going on which worked out well! Plus the majority of the book took place in about an hours time. Not a lot of time for the amount of damage that occurred.

Each POV character was important in 2 different ways-how they were connected to the shooter, and where they were. Like the shooter's ex-girlfriend, who was outside at the time of the shooting, so we could see what was happening there. 

We were told in bits and pieces what his life was like, and combined with what he was saying gave the reasons why he was going this. But others go through hard things, too and don't become school shooters, so there's no excuse. I wish we'd had less focus on his reasonings, though. 

This book was really incredible, and I really enjoyed reading it!
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This was easily the most disappointing out of the three books reviewed in this post. Whilst it deals with an important topic, a school shooting, the story was so forgettable I’m struggling to think of things to comment on. It’s a multi POV story, yet none of the characters stood out to me. The writing was good but I just didn’t care. Which is strange, considering the topic it deals with.
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