Letter Essay #7 -Morgan Wheatley

Morgan Wheatley
Period 8
Dear everyone,
I have recently finished reading This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp an author from the Netherlands. ‘This is Where it Ends’ has become the #1 New York Times bestseller, after being published in January of 2016. This book is told from four different points of view Tomás, Claire, Sylv (Sylvia), and Autumn. This book is full of suspense and will keep you at the edge of seat, impatient to know each detail. The story is extremely compelling and Marieke Nijkamp does an incredible job of writing it. I saw my friend reading the book, and picked it up to read the back, because the title drew me in. Another thing that also caught my eye is the quote on the front cover; ‘Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun.’ ‘This is Where it Ends’ is a realistic fiction book, with a total of 228 pages, each it’s own beautiful string of sentences and words, telling the terrifying stories of each person.

Autumn Browne is a senior in high school, life for Autumn has never been the same since her mother died. Her father abuses her, and keeps her from the thing she loves most; dancing. Her brother, Tyler, used to be one of Autumn’s closest confidants, but when her dropped out of Oppurtunity High, he also dropped out of Autumn’s life.The day starts off with a speech, Autumn sits beside her girlfriend Sylv, a girl who’s the exact opposite of Autumn. They only thing they share is their love for eachother. Sylv is a basket case in her own way, between balancing her mother’s sickness and her fear of Autumn’s brother. She never used to fear Tyler, until an unspeakable incident occurred over the summer. Sylv sent her brother, who’s also one of her best friends, to steal Tyler’s school records and inform Sylv on whether or not he’d be returning to Opportunity High. Tomas, who had always hated Tyler, had no issue with figuring out whether or not he’d come back to school. He’s oblivious to his sister’s fears. Tomas doesn’t have an ‘Autumn’, all he has is Sylv, someone that he’d risk everything for. The final perspective is Claire, who’s also not attending the speech. She’s busy practicing for her track meet, thinking about her younger brother, who’s being tormented by their principles speech. Which Claire recited to him this morning at breakfast, word for word. The clock hits 10:02, the lecture is over. Everyone get’s up to leave, eager to get out of the stuffy cafetorium. But for some reason they’re moving abnormally slow, something’s wrong. The door’s are locked, chained from the outside. Forcing everybody in. 10:05 , the harsh sounds of a gun causes screams to escape their mouths. Tyler stands in the cafetorium, holding the gun that could kill them all. As the story progresses you learn more and more about each person’s background with Tyler. And how they came to be where they are in the present.

A few parts of the book really made me think hard about each character, and it caused me to relate to them, the best that I could. On page 260 Tyler stands before Autumn, holding the gun. She’s terrified, yet doesn’t believe he’ll shoot her. “Who will mourn you?” He asks and she begins to think nobody will. She pleads with him, after everything he’s done that day she still loves him. Tyler shocks Autumn by putting a bullet directly into her knee, destroying her leg, making it impossible for her to ever dance again. As she loses consciousness she watches Tyler turn a put the gun on himself. And blow his brains out. This part of the book made me ache for Autumn. She’s so conflicted, she loves Tyler, although he’s killed people she cares about. And she’s heartbroken when he dies, even after he ruined her. Another part of the book is told from Sylv’s point of view, after Tomas helps her escape and goes back inside the school; leaving her safe. “Tomas 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.”” I normally don’t cry over anything, especially not books. But the way the author wrote this, Sylv’s desperate attempt to save her brother, it made me crack. It’s my favorite part of the book though, it’s written beautifully and I felt Sylv’s pain as if it was my own. The author did an incredible job of helping the reader understand the true heartbreak and despair of losing someone, of watching someone die. ‘This is Where it Ends’ is a book I could read over and over again and never tire of it. In my copy, I’ve marked up the pages, making it almost impossible to read. I’d give this book at 10 out of 10, and anyone who can get their hands on it should definitely read it.

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1 thought on “Letter Essay #7 -Morgan Wheatley

  1. Morgan,
    This sounds like a compelling book, and of course it is a good thing that you came across and read a book that you really love. I just wish you all (my students) weren’t reading books about people blowing their brains out.
    Mr. Jockers

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