Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Published: January 5, 2016 by: Sourcebooks Fire
Rating: 3/5 stars
The new semester starts off like any other at Opportunity High School. The students gather in the auditorium, as the principal finishes her annual speech. However, as the students get up to leave, the auditorium doors won't open. Then the sounds of gun shots ring out. This is Where it Ends is told from multiple perspectives over the timespan of 54 minutes. In those minutes, a student has taken revenge on his classmates and peers, and it will cost some of them their lives.
I don't even know where to start with this book. It was very upsetting, very emotional, but somehow needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It is about a school shooting. Now I can't really comment on the realisticness of the novel, but there were some moments where I wondered if this book was all that accurate. That being said, I do think that it was an important book with an important message.
The book had many diverse characters throughout it, which is why I think that it is very important. Not only was the main character a lesbian, but there were also many POC's, people with mental illness and other diverse elements. I think it was great for the author to capture the true student life of an actual high school.
I did think that there were parts of this book that were not very true to perhaps a real school shooting situation would be like. For instance, a lot of the students tried to act like a "hero" in the situation. Now put 200 teenage students in a dangerous situation, and it should be every man for himself. However many students made poor decisions that costed them their lives, which I thought was very unrealistic.
I also didn't like the portrayal of the shooter himself. Given his story, it may seem like he probably had a mental illness that drove him to this situation. However as he goes on, he is described as just evil, smiling as he kills students. It just didn't think he was very realistic, if anything, he fit more into the description as a stereotypical killer in a horror movie.
This book wasn't bad, however I don't think it was brilliantly executed. I liked the diversity, and I liked the message. However there were some things that didn't add up.
Have you read This is Where it Ends? What did you think?
Emily @ Paperback Princess