This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity 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 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.
10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
The plot of this story was good, but unfortunately it wasn’t executed as well as I would have liked. Nijkamp writes about a school shooting, which takes place over about an hour. She alternates between 4 character’s points of view, all told in first person. I had a hard time keeping track of who was speaking because the POV changed about every 2-3 pages, sometimes more frequently. When I went back to count, I was surprised that there were only 4 narrators.
The problem I had was that all of the voices sounded the same. And the font was the same. Other than the character headings, I never knew who’s head I was in. Even as the book progressed, the three girls kind of ran together.
I enjoyed the back story on all of the characters, and the way that their lives were interwoven – one the ex-girlfriend of the shooter, one the sister of the shooter, one the sister’s girlfriend, and one the sister’s girlfriend’s brother (and friend of the shooter, I think). I also enjoyed some of the ancillary characters.
But I didn’t feel a lot of emotion about what was going on. I was intrigued by the story, and I wanted to know how it would end, but I just expected to feel more. It was a quick read, but I don’t think it will stay with me very long.
My Rating: 3 stars