Going into a book with expectations is always a dangerous game to play, but sometimes I can’t help it.
When I was younger I read “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult and was instantly enamored. The way she crafted a school shooting made it feel as though I was right there when it happened all the way to the end of the court case.
Ever since, I’ve been searching for a book that would do the same thing. After reading “This is Where it Ends” by Mariele Nijkamp, I’m still searching.
I went into reading this novel expecting it to pull at my heartstrings. Which it did….in the last chapter.
This novel takes place over 52 minutes.
During a school assembly Tyler, a drop-out, came in wielding a gun and starts killing everyone. As the story progresses we are introduced to countless characters and learn why Tyler was shooting everyone.
The misunderstood teenager thing is so overdone. I do wish Nijkamp had thought of a better reason for these events to happen.
Since the event took place in under an hour, I thought there would always be a new development, but unfortunately it meant there were flashbacks and drawn out scenes. At times it felt like this book was never going to end.
My main problem with this novel occurred right away. There were five viewpoints. Five.
No story needs that many in just 320 pages. It’s too much information and too many people. It was unnecessary and some viewpoints got repetitive.
All the kids in the auditorium were trying to call their parents, but at the end of every chapter there were tweets sent to and from those in the auditorium. So why didn’t they just text their parents instead of calling? It would draw a lot less attention to themselves.
Regardless of where the novel disappoints, the imagery is amazing.
There are scenes where I can picture myself as the character. I can see Tyler walking down the hallway, flipping his gun. I can see the people trying to talk to the police.
In all, I think this book could have been a lot more compact by going in depth through one or two character’s perspectives.
“This is Where it Ends” gets three locked doors out of 10.
Arts and Entertainment Editor