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Title: This Is Where It Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Rating: 4/5

Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity 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.
Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

***

Review:

The only time I was ever in a car accident, I laughed. I hadn’t been the driver, and no one was hurt, but I remember doubling over in the backseat and giggling for the longest of times. After everything was done, I felt terribly guilty, because the situation wasn’t funny — but everyone who hears this story replies, “You’re human, and you don’t know how you’ll react under shock.”

I think that’s what made me love this book. There are little moments throughout that made my heart jump in my throat because the characters feel so real to me, and they are dealing with a terrible situation the best way they personally can. It’s human to think of the cute girl, or to suddenly realize you’re in love with your best friend — it happens during every day life, so why not in the middle of a tragedy?
If you are the type to feel empathy, this book will connect with you on many levels.

It is, of course, a very controversial book with themes and characters and concepts that resonate differently with every individual. I’ve read five star reviews that glorified this book, while I’ve also read scathing critiques, and I understand how reviews are so all over the place. It’s a book that you have to experience yourself to know if you will love it or hate it. I think it’s the type of novel that you have to say, “I want to read this for me”, and ignore every single review that’s out there to make your own opinion.

I received this book through the Big Library Read and I read it in two different sittings, all in the span of about three hours — I only took a quick break to go wipe my face because this book made me cry. I connected with the stories, with the heartbreaks these characters experienced. For that, I cannot give this book below four stars. I would definitely recommend it — to me, this book was a heartbreaking, suspenseful story that kept my heart racing from the first page onward.

Please note that it is a very triggering story, so do your research carefully before picking it up.

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