A harrowing tale of violence that unfolds in a high school, This is Where It Ends tells the story of 54 minutes of terror caused by a school shooter. Told from four different perspectives, Nijkamp delivers a captivating story that engrosses the reader until the last page.
Typically, I do not enjoy reading novels told from more than one perspective but it gives this story more depth and detail that draws you into the drama that has been going on between the main characters and the shooter. One of the main characters had dated the shooter and reminisced on their relationship and the signs she may have missed that showed something deep was happening with this individual. They had a deep connection and intense relationship and it brings up confusing and hurtful feelings for her. Another main character is the sister to the shooter and although they were not always close, she is able to explain their upbringing and explain possible triggers that may have led him to snap. Not only do you find out about the hardships the shooter went through, you see a few different views of why this could have happened. There is never an excuse as to why young people bring guns to school and kill, but when these things occur everyone does want to know why and find out who they were and how they were raised.
One of my favorite parts of this story was the relationships between all of the characters. They were not all friends but during this situation, they fought for and protected each other. The selflessness that some of the characters showed was incredible. I could never imagine being in such an emotional and devastating event but they do happen in this world often. These situations tear families, friends and communities apart and reading about one, even fictional, is an emotional experience. Overall, this book is not for anyone who cannot handle violence or death but was a story that engrosses you while provoking thoughts and emotions.