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Ratings and Book Reviews (10 72 star ratings
10 reviews
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Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
72
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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 4 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!
  • 7 person found this review helpful

    7 people found this review helpful

    7 of 13 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.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Well told

    I hate the fact that we live in a world where school shootings happen. I have mixed feelings about the fact that a book like this even exists because I don't want to use a tragedy as entertainment. I have had a review copy of this book for years but never got around to it. My daughter actually encouraged me to read this book because she thought it was well done. I didn't grow up in a world where school shootings happened with alarming regularity but my daughter has and it is something that she thinks about. I found this to be an engaging story and a really quick read. This book is told from multiple points of view while a school shooting is taking place. We see what is going on in the locked auditorium and outside of it as well. This is a tragic story filled with needless death but there is also a bit of hope and a few individuals that prove to be heroes. This book doesn't really get too deep into why the shooting happened but I can't think of a good reason or one that would make sense so I am okay with the decision to focus on the students fighting to survive. The story did have a few problems. Students do call 911 as things start and the police in this little town must have been out having a few doughnuts because it takes them forever to actually get to the school. I had some pretty big issues with that delayed response and I think it made the story very unrealistic. I also never felt like we got to know any of the characters very well. I didn't want any of them to die but I wasn't particularly emotional when it happened either. I did really like the fact that this audiobook was narrated by a full cast. Each point of view had its own narrator which made it very easy to keep track of who the focus was on. I thought that each narrator did a fantastic job with the story. I know that I liked this book a lot more because I decided to listen to the audiobook. I would recommend this book to others. I thought it was a well-told story despite having a few issues. I wouldn't hesitate to read more of this author's work in the future. I received a digital review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A must read

    Disturbing at the same time beautiful. This book shows the thruth of schools shootings all too well and the lives that it affects before, during and after the tragedy.
  • 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.
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