I am slowly adding more and more books to 2016 tally and this book was one i have been eagerly awaiting this year. This is where it ends’ is a new release by Marieke Nijkamp and details the 54 minutes of a school shooting, focusing on different students. I read this book in a night as i just could not put it down, and did get a bit teary at the end.

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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
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival

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The story that this book told was emotional and heartbreaking. It followed various different students during a shooting at their high school. Each chapter consisted of 2-3 minutes of the 54 minute event, switching between different characters throughout the book. Every sentence of the book was well written and contributed to the overall story.  The setting was established from the very start and as the book progressed you begin to piece together how every character is linked to the others, the motives behind the characters and how each persons decision and background compounded to the end result of the book. The conclusion was heartbreaking and i felt all of the loose ends were wrapped up. Overall i was satisfied by the ending, though i would love to know what happened to the characters after the shooting.

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Each characters was well developed and well written. At times i did get confused which character was which, especially in the beginning as it 7 or 8 characters were introduced right of the bat. However once i had worked out who was who and as i  learnt more about the back ground of each person it was interesting to see how each character intersected with the others. The characters formed a web; some dated, some were friends, others enemies. At the middle of the web was the shooter and page by page we saw how everything kept adding up to end in this shooting. In many other books with multiple characters and a constant switch of focus on these characters it was hard to get the full development and characterisation of each individual, but in this book it was very well done.

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This book was amazing and a great start to my reading in 2016. It tackles the very serious issue of school shooting and the mental health and wellbeing of youths, and it is very heartbreaking and serious at the end. Living in Australia i cannot even fathom something like this occurring at my university, or even at my high school when i was still there. Australia has very strict gun control laws, even when i went to America and saw guards carrying big rifles it was just a shock. It pains me to think that this sort of thing is a true fear and reality to many schools in America.

Definitely should be on your to read list in 2016.

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