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.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.
The auditorium doors won't open.
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.”
I went to a Catholic high school, so I probably had a different experience than most when it comes to “school shooting preparedness.”
At my school, we drilled having an actual intruder in the school. Where to hide, what to do. We drilled to the point of an administrator walking the perimeter of the school as if they were the shooter. We never had to use those practices, but at least we knew what to do if that happened.
This book was like watching a movie of a school shooting. 1 hour. That’s how long this book takes place for. And it felt like it only took me an hour to read it. It obviously took more like 4.
I like and dislikes this book for a number of reasons. I guess I really liked it because it tackled bullying and homophobia and the fact that everyone is affected by the shootings. But i disliked the multiple points of view and the twitter feed and emails. Plus there was some confusion between the characters at points and I wanted to know more about the shooter considering 4 of the characters had intimate knowledge of him.
Without getting into details, because I really feel like this book needs to be gone into blind, you go on an emotional roller-coaster and by the end, you aren’t really sure what you just experienced.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting and i so badly wanted more from the characters themselves. There were times where the story rushed, things suddenly happened and I was like “wait, how did we get here?” and that is not a feeling I like.
This Is Where It Ends breaks your heart and has it thumping at times, but overall it was a rather good read. The characters are expertly written. A point of view from the sister of the shooter? Yes please. The students deciding to take the school back (maybe…)? Yes time infinity. And this book had all of those awesome elements. I just wish it took a bit more time with certain moments especially when it came down to the action scenes. They felt rushed and almost as if the author wanted to get back to everyone talking or thinking about things.
This is a trigger book, and it is probably intended to make you feel uneasy. Being a parent, I obviously felt uneasy at points. It didn’t make me dislike the book in any way, I think I just didn’t like the characters or the story enough to want to know more about them. It’s a solid 3, but I so badly wish the story line flowed a little easier.
Needless to say, this really is a book that high schoolers should read. It makes a deep impact and really puts those issues into perspective. My daughter is going to read this when she hits that age and in know it will impact her greatly.