Title: This is Where it Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Date Started: March 6
Date Finished: March 8
Format: Hardcover from local library
In fifty-four minutes the world can change. Claire, Tomás, Sylvia, and Autumn went to school to start a new semester and were expecting the ordinary start of a new term speech from the principal. Well, at least, some of them were. Sylv and Autumn are both in the auditorium to listen to the principal’s speech. Tomás is in the administrative building looking up information about Tyler – a senior and older brother of Autumn – who is transferring back after dropping out last term. Claire is outside running track even though it’s so cold they’re afraid it might actually snow in Opportunity, Alabama. The principal’s speech ends and everyone in the auditorium is dismissed when the worst thing happens. The doors are locked except for one, but at the entrance is Tyler and he has a gun.
Compared to Crash and Burn, this novel does a better job of telling a story about a school shooting and I know this book is getting a lot of crap for it’s portrayal of the shooting. But I don’t understand why. Sure, it’s very black and white. Tyler is mad about losing his mother and not only did his father and sister abandon him but the whole small town of Opportunity did too and that’s why he comes to school to take out his revenge. But there are also gray areas too. Like what exactly caused him to snap? And why was he so random with his targets? The principal of the school, I understood, ditto to Sylv, Autumn, Tomás and Owen – Claire’s younger brother. But everyone else just seemed to be collateral damage.
This story is heart wrenching and I thank my lucky stars that I made it through my school years without having to go through some kind of tragedy like this. But at the same time it makes me question, how easily it is for a seventeen-year-old to walk into a school with a weapon and just start shooting up the place. It’s not right.
Final Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. I know this book got a lot of crap for how it handled the shooting, that the author made the story too black and white, but sometimes that’s just the way these things go. Also, the book does get a lot of crap for having characters of other races and sexuality’s as just being there, but c’mon. This story is told over the course of fifty-four minutes, I don’t think an author has to flesh out her characters more than that.
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