(Author: Marieke Nijkamp) + (Year: 2015) + (Goodreads)
I’m really sad to write this review. Out of all of the books that I’ve ever requested on NetGalley, Everything, Everything and This Is Where It Ends were the two I was most hopeful about. I was honestly so excited to receive this book and I went through quite the disappointment reading it.
The theme of the book, although not a novel one, is one which, sad as it is, has become a part and certainly a problem of our society. It’s entirely too often that we hear about school shootings and it won’t ever become less of a tragedy.
What put me off the most about This Is Where It Ends is that the author, realizing that the theme of the book is going to touch the readers deeply, is reaching out in a very unpleasant way. I don’t know about you but I really dislike writers who intentionally make themselves quotable. If your thoughts are interesting enough, the readers are going to quote them anyway. But there were too many paragraphs, especially at the end of each chapter, which felt like shameless self-promotion.
Other than that, I couldn’t really feel a connection to the characters. Again, there was the intentional victimization in order to make them more likable, but it just made them annoying to me. All of them would constantly whine about their sad lives way before the shooting. I especially disliked Sylv and Autumn.
On the other hand we didn’t really learn all that much about the characters’ actual motivation. Yes, sure, we were able to read their thoughts, but WHY? Why did Tyler decide to shoot all of these people? I know that he felt alone, yadda-yadda, but what made him snap? What made him the way he was even before? Why did he start treating Autumn differently? How did he decide that this was the right thing to do for him? I didn’t get any real insight into this. Everything is neatly answered, but all of the answers just seemed shallow and unrealistic.
I feel like many people are afraid of giving this book its actual rating lest it be considered insensitive to all of the victims of actual school shootings. Because I sure don’t think that the book was as deep and insightful as everyone makes it out to be.