The book revolves around a big issued faced, not only today but for years. However, the matter has become a great concern within the past few years. I’ve seen school shootings a lot in the news and across social media. Once it was also on a TV Show that I watched and somehow around the time I bought this book. It was probably the reason why I bought the book, I wanted to feel the intense emotions behind the book.
This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp follows the story of a school shooting written from four different perspectives at Opportunity High School in Alabama. Each perspective tells the story of what ‘must’ve’ caused the shooter’s intention. Therefore, the plot isn’t just based on that day, there are numerous flashbacks from each character.
Even though I haven’t read a book that revolved around this topic before, I know it shouldn’t have been like this and therefore, not the best plot or characters. For one, the author could’ve included the shooter’s point of view once or twice in the book. That would’ve at least boast the book and speed up the novel. There were POC characters and a queer couple which I give prompt to the author, but I felt like she added that quality to make the book more unique. Too unique, if I have to say.
The way I see it, the shooter’s intention and adrenaline was assumed by the four characters. At least one insight would’ve given us an indication as to why he did it. Clearly, from each character, the shooter (Tyler Brown) was involved in their lives so it could’ve been anything. A vague explanation would say that he was pushed over the edge. Didn’t convince me, I feel like there had to be more. It wasn’t a good anxious feeling because the ending put me off. It felt incomplete.
It wouldn't be appropriate to pick out my favorite part in such a sensitive book. However, I did enjoy Tomas and Sylv’s moments together. They’re those rare siblings that got along at their ages, despite their petty fights. I liked how Tomas’ point of view was also in the school but not in the same place where the shooter was, like Claire.
Relationships played a vital role in this book, apart from the actual climax, their experiences and influences with Tyler was the rising tension. We receive a point of view from his sister, ex-girlfriend and two other people who equitably contribute to the plot. It didn’t however, give the feeling of how a real school shooting should be. Not saying there should be something else, but all the flashbacks and romance took the importance and message away from this book. It would’ve been better if we received both sides to the story. If there weren’t as many flashbacks and instead of a chapter or two in Tyler’s perspective.
I don’t know if I liked this book or not but I’d give it a rating of three stars. It would’ve been a great plot if the school shooting wasn’t involved or if the author focused more on the shooting rather than the other factors. The blurb eludes you into thinking that you’re getting an entire novel written in the present. I understand that there has to be an explanation, but it took away the real message. If you’d like to read more about Marieke and her books, click here.