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Ratings and Reviews (5 45 star ratings
5 reviews
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Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
45
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  • 5 person found this review helpful

    5 people found this review helpful

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    An Interesting Read

    It’s hard to know what to expect from a novel about something so horrific, and often times I can only legitimately compare it to novels about wars and warfare. People never completely heal from things like school shootings, and the impact of these events is beyond comprehending. It’s easy for media to sensationalize these moments where humanities darkest side shows itself but often it neglect the reality at play. The shooter isn’t human because he or she becomes this villain needed to complete the role of mass murderer. The family of the shooter is often questioned because how could they, another injured party, allow such a thing to happen? How could they raise their child in a way that would make them want to take another’s life? Suddenly the victims and the families of those involved are scrutinized by everyone and life is never the same, even if they want it to be. There were some parts of this story that I found a little hard to believe. First, it was the time frame that the massacre happened. I’ve done my research, so don’t judge me when I say this, but it is highly improbable that a shooting like this could have lasted fifty-four minutes. That is just fact. The more recent deadly shootings in school lasted at least five minutes and at most twenty. This stems mainly from the fact that there are a lot of things at play, like everyone having a cell phone and the response time that police departments have tried hard to maintain. Fifty-four minutes is unreasonable, mostly because it’s a kid with a gun, no explosives (which typically would cause such an intense delay), and what would appear to be an unlimited supply of ammo. This leads me to frustration number two, where on earth was the shooter getting all of the bullets? Now, I am no gun expert but my brother is and I know that not only is ammo heavy, but it’s hard to carry enough to do as much damage as the shooter did, especially given the time that it takes to reload and so on. It sort of reminds me of movies where a heroic character has a bow and arrows, and in the heat of battle, he never runs out. Don’t forget that he has killed numerous enemies, far more than the arrows he’d been carrying in his quiver. So, there’s that example. The characters were interesting to me, but not because of their intense characterizations or beautiful backstories. They were interesting because they contradicted themselves frequently, and on the other hand, they all seemed to know each other so well that it was baffling. The contradictions were evident from the beginning, mainly because they would say, “this is the only thing that matters to me”, and the next sentence would be, “this other thing is the only thing that matters to me” which drove me up the wall. This was especially prevalent in the Autumn and Sylvia sections. It was kind of fascinating reading how the character seemed to know exactly what the other one is thinking and the reason why it wasn’t annoying was because it felt genuine. Overall, I felt like it could be an incredible novel. It delves into a darker side of high school life, but the author doesn’t necessarily make it about bullying as the media often says school shootings stem from. The varying perspectives was interesting but I would have liked to see someone’s point of view that wasn’t in the group of friends with the shooter — an objective individual that didn’t hate or love him. I think that would have made the shooting feel more realistic because more often not it is the innocent bystanders that suffer the most.
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    This Is Where It Ends

    This book is controversial, there is no doubt about that. You will either love it or hate it, I don't see any space for middle ground. As for me, I loved it. It's a dark book, full of terror, anguish, courage and incredible heartbreak. Told from four different perspectives, you are with the characters as they try to survive, and learn from a series of flashbacks just what might have happened to start this. This story isn't "perfect", there are things that I would change. For a start, you never hear from Tyler himself. Do you need to? Not really, because things are explained. Would it be necessary? No, because you have enough information given. Would it benefit the story? Possibly. The tweets as well - some of them I could identify and place the characters involved, but some of them, I had no idea who they were. They had an impact on the story, for sure, but just who were they? Jay and Keviin are the ones I'm thinking of here specifically. That being said, this book gripped me from start to finish. I had to re-read the last 25% because I was ugly-crying and kept missing what was happening. I don't know if this book is a fair description of what has actually happened at too many schools to mention. I didn't start this book thinking that. I started this book thinking it was a work of fiction, based on events that MIGHT have happened. As a fictional story, it packed a punch to me. I loved it but I can see how it won't be for everyone. I can honestly say that I haven't read anything like it before. * I received this book from Sourcebooks Fire / NetGalley in return for a fair and honest review. * Merissa Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A good but heartbreaking YA read

    *I received copies of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinions.* I was super excited about this title going into it. I think YA needs to look at the more difficult parts of being a teenager and school shootings have definitely become a serious concern for teens. I did enjoy this book overall but I was let down a little as well. I found I didn't really connect with any of the characters. I did find myself concerned and anxious about what the outcome would be but it was more an overall sadness, for the school and the community, rather than the specific characters it was focused on. This book was still incredible but I will warn, it's not for the faint of heart.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    It broke my heart

    This book is beautiful and diverse. I saw myself reflected in these characters and I cried.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    4.7/5

    This book is really good and it really shows you the pain and struggle of losing somone close to you and the horror of a school shooting. The only thing that kind of let me down was the confusing tweets. I know they had impact on the story but I didn't really understand who was saying what and that slighty annoyed me. I was actually in tears at one point beacuse of it and it really made me think. I enjoyed that it was in 4 people's point of view and I adored the relationship between Sylvia and Autumn. It didn't really have much of a plot but I really enjoyed reading it and devoured it in 1 sitting. I think Marieke should write a sequel showing the aftermath of the shooting, the impact of so many people's deaths on there family and how the rest of the city reacted to the school and to Tyler. Thank you so much for writing this Marieke Nijkamp <3 <3
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