„This is Where it Ends“ by Marieke Nijkamp
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won’t open.
Someone starts shooting.
Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
It’s been well over a month now, since I’ve read „This Is Where It Ends“ and it still hurts. It shouldn’t have to hurt like this. A story about a boy with a gun holding his school hostage, shooting his teachers, his classmates… shouldn’t be scary. Shouldn’t feel real. But it does. Because it is.
And maybe you are one of those people who doesn’t think it is. Who doesn’t want to see the point in a book like this. Or maybe you are a parent who won’t let their kids read this book, because they will get scared, or because they will get scary ideas. But people don’t start shooting people because they read books, play video games or watch violent movies. They can see all the violence they want in the news and in the real word.
But if you only see it on TV, happening somewhere far far away, it’s not scary. Not for them anyway. It’s something that just happens somewhere in the world, lots of stuff happens somewhere far away, doesn’t have anything to do with you, bullying that kid in your science class.
Well guess what, it does have everything to do with that. And it’s closer to home than you think. But I don’t want to scare you, or anything like that. I just want to ease you into this book.
I think we’ve all been there, sitting hearing about gun violence in the news and thought „What if this happened at my school? What if it happened at my little brothers school? What if it happened where I work?“ Marieke Nijkamp has the answer for you.
„This Is Where It Ends“ tells the story of those what ifs, from plenty of perspectives. About the little brother, the older sister, the kids in school, and the ones at home worrying about their teacher parents.
Social media, blogs, newspapers. Nosy journalists trying to do interviews on Twitter. The twitter hashtags and „trends“, tweets by kids in school and at home, and those just supporting, worrying.
All of that makes the book feel alive. Real. Like it is just happening somewhere, but this time it’s not that far away. And all you are left with is the feeling that this should never ever have to happen to anyone ever again. It’s face paced, and it will suck you into your seat. It will also be over before you know it, leaving you with the biggest book hangover you will ever experience.
„This Is Where It Ends“ is incredibly clever, incredibly well done. And it hurts, because it matters.