This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends - Marieke Nijkamp

When tragedy strikes, questions immediately hit the forefront as individuals want to know why their world has suddenly changed. Why did it happen? Were there signs that someone was wrong? Who failed to recognize or bring to attention those signs? When did things start to go astray? We’re becoming better as a society of recognizing individuals who need a helping hand but when tragedy occurs, we need to stop and take notice. It’s a wake-up call, for you never know when you could be in that situation as it happens everywhere, no one is immune to its impact.

In This Is Where It Ends, the novel centers on Opportunity High School. The students have gathered in the auditorium to listen to their principal’s speech, it’s another prep talk from the principal and the students are eager to leave and head back to their classrooms. After being dismissed, the students all crowd towards the exit doors; it’s then that they discover they are all locked. Confusion breaks out among the students. A sound erupts as a male student enters the auditorium holding a gun. This student calls out to the principal and the student body goes silent. A shot is fired and panic fills the rooms for there is nowhere for the students or the teachers to escape to. The shooter has a captive audience: a scared and emotional audience that is trapped within the four walls of the auditorium with a teen on a mission. As a reader, I am listening. I am listening and reading every word, not skipping anything, afraid that is doing so I will miss something so very important as to why this teen has decided that this is his mission. I am emotional even though I am not one of his audience members because I really want to know how someone can decide the fate of so many. The shooter is picking out his targets. Sadly the students and teachers are assembled there, already for him but just who is next and why is anyone’s guess. He asks questions and he wants answers, he wants obedience and failure to follow through puts them at risk for a bullet with their name on it. Its destruction and it’s sad, real sad but unfortunately in our time, this is reality. The violence was senseless, it was control on his part but for the victims, I cringed and I saw the whole thing, through the author’s eyes, I was there and it was image like no other. There are flashbacks in the story that help cement the story together.   The novel was fast, the message was clear, and I believe that although this is a hard subject to read, we all need to read it so we know how it can happen. This happened in a school but it can happen anywhere for everyone is important, everyone has a story and a voice that should be heard.

I received this novel from NetGalley and Sourcebook Fire in exchange for an honest opinion. Thank you for sharing this novel with me.