Hello, everyone. Today, I’m going to be reviewing This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp, a stand-alone about a school shooting.
Rating- 1.5/5 stars
This Is Where It Ends is a novel that throws light over an extremely important subject: School shootings. I’m not American, but the excessive number of school shootings in the United States in no secret to anyone. None of us are ignorant to violence. When I read the summary, I was extremely impressed. The plot had so much potential, so much and yet it gave so little.
Here’s the thing: We know that a school shooter- any murderer, really- is doing a wrong thing. You don’t have to justify that by making him a totally evil guy. Tyler’s character had such potential for an immersive and interesting back story. Instead, the author did all in her power to make him a 100% evil guy for us to be convinced that he might do something like that. He is a rapist, a violent boy, a bipolar brother… and the only justification given for his wrongdoings was that he was evil. Wrong. Bad. Mean. Had he lived, he would have grown up to be an extremely evil man. Good riddance!
Villains are extremely complicated characters. It is also the main reason why the villains in many books are one of my favourite characters. They have a complex backstory, a layered personality, an incident that made them snap. I expected Tyler to have one as well, but all we got is that he was evil and ignored. And even the latter wasn’t discussed in the book. All we got were our heroic protagonists doing heroic protagonist-ic things. Here’s the thing, not everyone is kind, helpful and selfless. Some kids are nice, some are bullies, some are mean, some are passive, some are downright assholes. Our uniqueness is what makes us special. It’s what makes writing so amazing- the different types of humans and their traits.
This book takes a black and white stance on humans. The victims are kind, selfless heroes, while our villain is an evil, unfeeling demon. There’s more about the victims past than there is about them coping with such an excessively dangerous situation. It’s all about what they want to do after they graduate, their relationships, their family. The attack just appears to be a catalyst for them to further reflect upon their aforementioned past and future. It focuses more on what had happened to them than on what was happening to them.
You know, sweaty chic doesn’t suit you,” I muse.
Tyler falters, though only for a moment. “I should have known. Come to protect your sister? What are you going to do—hit me again?
Isn’t what you say when someone is pointing a gun at you, no matter how much of a swagger you might think you have. This dramatic-ass line wasn’t necessary. And this is just an example- there are more occurrences in the book that are purely to add drama to the reading experience without any regard for realism.
The psychology of committing a crime this grievous is complex, and not based on the fact that he was just evil. All the diversity added in the book seemed forced and false. All the emotions being described in the book seemed forced and false. All the actions being done in the book seemed forced and false. This book, in all honesty, is an insult to all and any victims of school shootings/attacks.