The most recent book I finished reading is “This Is Where It Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp. The novel follows four students, Autumn, Sylvia, Tomás, and Claire perspectives as they experience every student’s worst fear. A school shooting. What seems like a normal day at Opportunity High School, is turned into a living nightmare. After the principle finishes her speech in the auditorium, she releases all of the students to report back to their normal schedules, but the doors are locked. No one can get in, and no one can get out. 10:05 a.m, someone starts shooting. The story shows the 54 terrifying minutes full of terror, tears, and one student’s revenge.
I really like the way the author made it very clear the relationships the characters have with one another straight from the beginning. Page 5, told in Autumn’s point of view, talks about her home life and her older brother Tyler. Now early in the book when describing what happening after the first shot is fired, it says that Tyler is indeed the shooter. After page 5, it kind of sets the mood for the rest of Autumn’s chapters, which is describing her and Tyler’s relationship. After that in Autumn’s next chapter on page 13 she then begins describing her relationship with Sylv. They had dated for a while but Autumn also mentions how Sylv and Tyler hate each other. Then in Claire’s first couple chapters it never really mentions any relationships with any of the other three specific characters which shows that they aren’t very close. But then a lot later a plot twist is added and Claire talks about having a past with Tyler. They used to date. And for Tomás, he is Sylv’s twin brother. Of course they truly are polar opposites but they both share the same hatred for Tyler.
Something that actually surprised was the outcome to Tyler at the end of the story. On page 260, Autumn is talking to Tyler explaining how the police will find him soon, while he’s pointing the gun straight at her. He’s taunting her, asking her questions like “Who will mourn you?”. Then what should have been expected, happens. Tyler takes the gun to his head, and how Autumn describes it, “blows his brains out.” I know that seemed like the most obvious outcome, but for some reason I thought and hoped that the police would’ve found him instead so that he could be punished for it but also they he wouldn’t of had to take his own life.
One passage that stuck with me from the book was on page 242 and it’s told from Sylv’s point of view, and it says, “ Tomás didn’t lock it. I should be able to open it again. I have to. The vinyl of the frame is too smooth to give me a good grip, but the window gives way. An inch, just an inch. Fareed turns to me and tries to stop me, but once my grip is solid, the rest is easy. I pull myself up and launch myself through the open window, escaping his grasp and diving headlong toward the floor. I scramble to my feet and close the window to block the sound and Fareed when the silence stops me in my tracks. It’s terrifying. On the other side of the door, gunshots echo through the hallway. One. Two. Three. Tyler’s unmistakable voice. “I win.”” This passage really stuck with me because it was just so intense and seeing as how close Tomás and Sylv were with each other, so when this occurred not only was absolutely heartbreaking but quite shocking at the same time. Because throughout the entire book Tomás is very overprotective of Sylv so when this happens, her “protection” is gone.
Overall I strongly suggest this book for people who love suspense and a thrill but also I don’t suggest this book for people who don’t like “too realistic” topics, such as a school shooting.