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.
Enjoyed is a strange word to use here, but I did enjoy reading This Is Where It Ends. I’m usually skeptical when reading stories of fictional school shootings because I feel like it’s an easy way to win readers over emotionally. Nijkamp handles the topic like a champ, though. I was almost instantly invested in her characters and cared about them all individually. Her prose is fluid and beautiful, although a little too florid at times for my taste.
My only complaints are minor. The voices of the four characters through which we experience the story were all so similar in style and voice I often forgot whose POV I was currently reading–I feel like that could be improved upon in future works. Also, as a native of Alabama, the setting didn’t feel genuine. It felt like a caricature of the south in some parts and a completely different part of the country in others. That wouldn’t have mattered as much if the location of the school wasn’t hammered on over and over again, and in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter–it was more of a pesky fly than anything else.
Overall, it’s a decent read. I’d be interested to read subsequent books from Nijkamp.
**I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**
About the Author
Marieke Nijkamp is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and diversity advocate. She holds degrees in philosophy, history, and medieval studies. This Is Where It Ends is her debut novel. Find out more about her and her work by visiting her website.