*Review copy c/o Netgalley
"10:00 a.m. 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.
10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
10:03 The auditorium doors won't open.
10:05 Someone starts shooting.
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." - description via goodreads
In This is Where It Ends we are introduced to a group of teens attending Opportunity High in Alabama, on a day that will change all of their lives forever. The book tackles the difficult and terrifying subject of school shootings and the devastation caused by these very real events.
Each of the teens we meet have some sort of connection to the shooter (whose perspective we do not have any chapters from) and it is clear the author has tried to include a diverse range of characters. Their stories unfold throughout the novel and although it was interesting to have various character’s points of view, I didn’t always feel a huge distinction between the voices.
One interesting aspect of the novel is the fact that it takes place in real-time, spanning 54 minutes from the first to last page. It also includes other snippets such as tweets and blog posts from people outside of the school.
As I was reading the novel I had mixed feelings and became completely unsure how I would go about reviewing it. Obviously, due to the subject matter This Is Where It Ends is a difficult read but I do think it is important for these awful real-life issues to be covered in YA. Whilst I can appreciate the idea behind the book and hoped not to have to share a negative review, overall it just wasn’t for me and I really struggled with whether or not to share a review at all.
Looking at other reviews online it seems that readers are completely split between those who loved the book and those who were left disappointed. If you are interested in reading a review of the book from a more positive perspective, check out team BB member Christina’s thoughts over at YA Love where she gave the novel a 4 star rating.