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16 November 2015

This is Where it Ends

This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp is the story of a school shooting from four different student perspectives. The entire novel takes place over 54 minutes.

It is the first day back from Winter break at Opportunity High School in Opportunity, Alabama. As on the first day of each semester, there is an assembly during first period where the principal will give a speech. Of all students who came to school, only a few are not in the auditorium.

The track team is practicing. They have been in the championships for a few years and the coach will train them to death to win this year. Claire is running with her teammates. She and Chris just finish running when they hear two gun shots.

Tomas is in the principals office with Fareed. They are looking through student files to check on someone Tomas is worried about - a kid who dropped out but is rumored to be returning, a kid who scares Tomas's sister Sylv.

Sylv and Autumn are in the auditorium listening to the same speech they have heard every semester. When the speech ends they are talking and waiting for the room to clear, but people are not leaving. Someone has locked the doors, trapping almost every student and every teacher.

Told in two minute chapters, This is Where it Ends is both a thriller and a look at the life of four high school students through flashbacks. The story captures the horror of the shooting and characters within the try to figure out why the shooter is seeking revenge on his fellow students. Nijkamp offers no step by step process to explain the shooters reasoning, but looks at the ups and downs of the lives of a few students in the school - all of whom had a hard time but only one of whom decided to attack others. This is a great book on a subject that, unfortunately, is more and more common.

US release date for This is Where it Ends is January 5, 2016.

Nijcamp, Marieke. (2016). This is Where it Ends. Naperville, IL: Sourcebooks Fire.

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