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This Is Where It Ends Paperback – May 7, 2019
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About the Author
- Publisher : Sourcebooks Fire; Reprint edition (May 7, 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1492671118
- ISBN-13 : 978-1492671114
- Reading age : 14 - 18 years
- Lexile measure : HL630L
- Grade level : 8 - 12
- Item Weight : 11.3 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 1.5 x 8.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #5,598 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Review originally posted on lysskreads.wordpress.com
TIWIE could have been so much better than it was. It had so much potential to be amazing, to send a message, gain some understanding—to really see through the eyes of victim’s of school shootings everywhere.
The only emotion I got from this book was irritation. For example:
"Chris tosses me my sports drink, and I take a few gulps before discarding it. More shots break the icy air, and we run."
It’s that little key right there, “more shots.” They had already heard the gun shots inside the school. They had decided on a plan to find help. But before doing anything, they needed some Gatorade? That irks me so much. People are getting shot—their friends, siblings, teachers—but they needed to power-up really quick before finding help? No. I understand being in shock. This is not shock. This is a waste of time.
Claire. There was no reason for us to read from her POV. None, whatsoever. All we got from her is that she’s incredibly selfish. She noticed the welts and bruises all over Tyler, HER BOYFRIEND OF TWO YEARS, and instead of mentioning to someone that he was being abused by his father, she acted like the bruises didn’t even exist. Throughout the whole book, in her POV we go back and forth from flashbacks of her with “kind-of-good Tyler, who was just ohhh so kind” (What?) to “Chris, he’s always there for me, do I like-like him, but wait is my brother okay?” Ugh. Her POV in this book is an inconsideration to the true sadness, anxiety, and complete desperation that people go through when faced with the possibility of having lost a loved one and not being able to do anything about it. She made me sick. By the way, she’s Gatorade girl.
All four of the main characters were written the same way. I actually had to go back a couple times to remind myself of who’s POV I was reading from.
I understand that Tyler was troubled, that losing his mom and the thought of Autumn moving away were hard for him to handle. I understand that he was abused, mostly in defense of Autumn. But he was also a bully, a rapist, and a murderer.
And there’s this little gem:
'He stares at me over the barrel, and the corner of his mouth twitches. A smirk. Then a smile—a smile full of delight and mischief. When he pulls the trigger, I feel the shot rather than hear it…The last thing I hear is Ty saying, “I just don’t want to be alone anymore.”'
So, let me get this straight. He’s smiling mischievously while confessing that he “doesn’t want to be alone anymore.” Right. Okay.
TIWIE was hard to finish, but not for the reason I picked it up in the first place. It had so much potential to be amazing. Instead, I’m angry with myself for reading it.
If you've been hiding under a rock recently This is Where It Ends is at the top of the NYT Bestseller's as of August 31st 2016. This book came out over eight months ago, so that should tell you something.
Together we'll survive this. Together, we'll be strong enough to face whatever comes our way. This is where it ends.
This is Where It Ends begins like most contemporaries, sharing tidbits of the characters. What a false sense of security, because minutes later, we would be worried about their lives. Taking place over the course of 54 minutes, This is Where It Ends makes you care deeply about the characters, including the one who fires the weapon. Multiple perspectives can be overwhelming but that is not the case here.
When I was in kindergarten, my community was rocked by a school shooting. Not only that, but it happened at the elementary school where I was supposed to be attending (they used a different address so I could go to a different school). I remember vividly to this day the panic from my parents and their conversation about how grateful they were that I didn't attend the school.
This is Where It Ends is not a light book to read, but it is a thought provoking book. I found myself needing to take breaks, but being unable to set it down. It underscores the need for mental health support for all youth. It shows us how tragic school shootings are - not that anyone was confused about this before. The fast paced story will keep you engaged through the end.
Chapter 1: the point of view switches FOUR TIMES. It would be fine if the author dedicated some time to make the reader get to know each character better. But it didn't happen. After reading all four points of view, I was left with a salad of facts and names in my head. Characters all spoke with the same voice, and I couldn't distinguish between them. I felt like I opened the book in the middle, because the characters didn't introduce the reader to their life situations, they talked like I knew very well who they are. While I didn't, because I am not the author of this book. Suddenly, the chapter was interrupted with an ugly grey background and a social media / sms exchange: again, I see nicknames that are not telling me who is writing to whom. And I wasn't able to figure it out. I expected there to be an important topic, but it turned out that characters just shared some stupic chatter. And the chapter... ended abruptly!!!
I felt an urge to drop the book, but I didn't want to drop it after one chapter, so I kept on reading.
Chapter 2: The author stated that "everyone has to run" and added that "teachers don't run". Author should know that "run" in this case is a metaphor which means "go quickly". Does the author think that readers don't know? Nevermind. I find out that a new character (let's call him character E) pops up out of nowhere in an office to which the character A went in secret. Was that character E in the office all the time or he just entered? The author doesn't tell. And an explanation would be very welcome. I keep reading. The character A talks suddenly about character B's confession, using the words "she looked ready to puke her guts out". Really? I know it's a book about school shooting and I don't expect elegant vocabulary, but isn't it a bit inappropriate?
I dropped the book at page 13. I really couldn't catch up with the characters as they changed so quickly and the author's style didn't impress me. I am shocked that this book has so many good reviews, I can't believe that I was the only one bothered by this horrible chaos.
Top reviews from other countries
What I was hoping for: dark, reality-fiction that socked me to the stomach with flawed characters I could really root for.
What I got: a kind of navel-gazey story about brothers and sisters.
I think I’m going to stop reading high-school-shooting books. I guess I’m never going to be able to get behind a book that treats the ownership of guns as something, like, completely normal. Because, for me, it’s not normal to have a gun in your house! I would be freaked out if I ever ended up within a hundred metre radius of a gun. It’s a gun! A metal tube that shoots bullets and is designed to kill stuff! They use them in wars! It’s like keeping an IED in your back garden!
I had the same thing with Hate List. It weirds me out when books treat something like a high school shooting as ‘something that happens’. I mean, I realise they DO happen in America, and they should absolutely be written about, in the same way that rape and abuse are written about, but I will never get my head around the tone this book (and others) use. Characters weren’t shocked or freaked out that a guy had brought a gun into school and had started killing people. They were terrified, yes. But not shocked.
Because, well ... yes. If you live in a society where you can literally go into a supermarket and buy A GUN, then you will also find yourself living in a society where crazy people use those guns to kill other people.
Christ knows, Britain is no Utopia - we’re finding plenty of ways to screw up our own country, thanks very much - but I don’t think Americans (particularly American authors and publishers) realise how weird it sounds.
Going into a supermarket. And buying a gun.
So, no. No more high-school-shooting books for me.
As for the rest of the book, I didn’t really feel it lived up to my hopes. The characters were bland. I didn’t really manage to get behind them and ultimately I didn’t really care if they got bumped off or not. The lesbian couple, who I had great hopes for, were so tepid it just made me roll my eyes. The track star and her friend/love interest were included for no good reason I could see. There was an interesting delve into the dynamics of family relationships, specifically into the relationships between brothers and sisters, but it needed some interesting characters to bring it to life.
The plot was dull. The kids in the auditorium just sat there while the mad guy picked them off, one by one. There were no mad escape attempts, no tension (astonishingly, for a book about a mass-murder).
And that ending was cringingly cheesey.
I’ve read a couple of reviews that say this book is too scary for younger readers. I wouldn’t necessarily agree. High school shootings do happen and I do think it’s right that it gets written about. But with this book, I’d have more concerns about younger teens slipping into a Boredom Coma than being kept up at night, sleepless and terrified.
Initially we are introduced to each character as they start what is supposed to be just another normal first day of a new semester. We learn a little of their hopes for the future, some memories from the past, and how their lives are all interwoven. Because there isn’t much build up to the shooting (which is great from a pacing/atmosphere perspective) it can be a little confusing getting to grips with the various relationships between all the characters and how they’re linked, but this got easier to remember as the story progressed.
The story is, as expected, unsettling, brutal and terrifying. The shooter is completely remorseless in his actions and that leaves no character safe – not even those closest to him. Through flashbacks from the various characters, we learn a little of the shooters background and what has led to him reaching the decision to attack the school.
It should come as no surprise that a lot of people die in this book, many of them characters that you grow close to through the narration, and all of them undeserving of their fate. They’re terrorised in the most brutal way by someone they know – and for some of them, someone they loved and trusted – and for things that aren’t their fault. But there is more than death here, we see some spectacular displays of bravery, of care and selflessness, and of love that there is so much emotion packed into a short book. It was incredibly hard-hitting.
I would definitely recommend this. It’s an incredibly real story and something that could easily happen in so many schools – which is as terrifying as it is heart-breaking.
My only complaint was that there wasn’t much coverage of what happened after the incident, and I would’ve liked to see a little more of the outcome and how the survivors had adjusted.
Initially, I'm very iffy when it comes to books with multiple POVs. But for this story’s case, it suited. TIWIE is a novel that gripped me at every page, portraying an all too realistic scenario, one that no one can ever imagine occurring happening in their lifetime, but has already occurred 15 in the US alone this year (source: Wikipedia).
In 54 minutes, every student and teacher present in the auditorium of Opportunity High School, Alabama, is fighting for their lives against one boy, one of their own. What was frightening about this story is that it can happen everywhere. But there's a difference between hearing about that and being thrown into such situation.
This book follows a few different characters during the hour that the shooting takes place. Each character is so completely different and so important in their own ways. I think the central aspect which I really enjoyed was the diversity of the characters. There’s a scene where Tomas is worried for Fareed and how, his faith and heritage, may portray him as a threat to the police officers was a touching moment for me because of how real it was. I really hope more authors begin to write about marginalised character because, honestly, I'm all for seeing more Muslim characters in novels.
However, I do believe the psychology behind the perpetrator’s act was a bit foolish. It boils to the simple “He was evil,” and that’s it. We never really find out why Tyler did it— he goes from being a supportive brother to someone who beats and abuses his sister. It’s too simplistic, and I think that was a fatal flaw in this novel, along with missing out a chance of looking at the psychology of teen shooters and focusing more on the cheap thrills.
Overall, it was an exciting read. Though some scenes felt strange, I don't want to judge because who on earth would know what they'd do in this situation when they don't know what else is going to happen?
It may sound remorse but as soon as I found out this book covered the events of a school shooting I knew I wanted to read it and I wanted to read it that very instant and I was devastated I had to wait for it. As a journalist, I have been in the newsroom while myself and my colleagues have been the people behind the computers trying to find people posting social posts, images and videos from such events and other events such as the Paris Attacks and Charlie Hebdo. It's my job to become involved in such an event and to want to report it. I've seen the graphic videos but nothing will ever come close to being as chilling as the eye-witness accounts regularly reported by media, and accounts such as the fictional ones laid out in This Is Where It Ends.
There's a cold ruthlessness that creeps into every corner of this book that is Tyler Browne, the shooter. The way he 'takes no prisoner' and shoots down people with a methodical ease in the way it seems most shooters do. It's frankly terrifying and I think the detached cruelty held by Browne could be quite reminiscent to how we've seen real-life shooters being described. The only problem I had with the book, and is why I knocked off a half point, is that I don't think all school students are so...black and white as Browne. We did have different view points of his character, his sister who loved him, her girlfriend who hated him, and his ex-girlfriend who had loved him once. We do see the good sides of him in Autumn and Claire's POV but I think they're always overshadowed by the implications Slyvia lays down about him. The common case of shooters seems to be the isolated white male, often with a gun fascination, who seems to think the world owes him something and he's angry he hasn't got whatever he's looking for yet. And while Tyler certainly was that, the book gave him another edge that was pure evil and I'm not sure it was 100% realistic.
I definitely felt emotion while reading it and unlike other reviews I found myself attaching myself to some characters but not all the main characters. Asha, Matt, Tomás and Farseed were a few that really locked themselves into my heart. I found myself silently begging that none of them would get hurt and I could feel my stress levels rising as I flipped each page waiting to see the outcome.
Even though they were some of the main characters, I actually didn't care about Autumn and Sylvia. I found their love story too dramatic and I think it tried to take too much away from the overall plot. I understand that their relationship was one of the things that brought Tyler to breaking point but there were other factors in there as well and well, I just didn't like Autumn and Sylvia, they irritated me and I don't even have a really good reason for that. I much preferred reading from Tomás POV. I really loved him and the whole hero thing he had going on.
Overall, I found this a great fast-paced read and once the 'action' gets going it 's very hard to put down. I literally had to throw the book away from me to force me to get some sleep for work the next morning!