This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp | Review

<strong>This is Where It Ends</strong> Book Cover
This is Where It Ends Young Adult, LGBTQ Sourcebooks Fire Hardcover 288 pages Amazon

Everyone has a reason to fear the boy with the gun…

10:00 a.m.: The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.: The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m.: The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m.: Someone starts shooting.

Over the course of 54 minutes, four students must confront their greatest hopes, and darkest fears, as they come face-to-face with the boy with the gun. In a world where violence in schools is at an all-time high and school shootings are a horrifyingly common reality for teenagers, This Is Where It Ends is a rallying cry to end the gun violence epidemic for good.

I received a free e-copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Something terrible is happening in Opportunity, Alabama. There is a shooter attacking the town’s high school. This is Where It Ends takes place within an hour and follows four students as they deal with the events unfolding.

This book will be controversial. It covers a tough topic that no one ever wants to discuss. Regardless of the topic, Nijkamp has written a compelling story with surprises, action, and emotion.

I love that this novel is written from the perspective of the victims. It was nice to see how these different people reacted to a terrible situation. I also appreciated the fact that not all narrators knew exactly what was unfolding, they were involved but outside the situation. This really showed how these tragedies can affect many people, even those not present. It is also clever that each narrator knows the shooter, so we see a little personal emotion in the connection between them.

While reading, I wanted to see into the shooter’s mind, gain a clue as to why he was doing this terrible thing. However, now that I have had time to reflect, I’m glad Nijkamp didn’t include his perspective. It wouldn’t change what happened and I wouldn’t want to have a reason to justify his actions.

I really liked this novel. I cover a strong topic that unfortunately is relevant to today’s teens. This novel is a great way to spark a conversation about violence at school. This story kept me on my toes the entire time and was an emotional roller coaster. Read this book. Tears were streaming from my face as I read the last pages.

Since the author is on the executive committee of We Need Diverse Books, I have to talk about the diversity in this one. Also, let me preface this by saying that I am all for diversity in novels and believe we should have more.

However, I have to wonder if this novel has diverse characters just to have them, or if they came through naturally. 

I want to see more diversity in novels, but I think it should be natural and not to meet a quota or agenda. The world is diverse and that is beautiful.



8 thoughts on “This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp | Review

    1. I think so. You don’t see too many books like this, or on this subject. It’s not that long of a book, so you could easily read it in a day or two. I enjoyed it.

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