"[A] compelling story of terror, betrayal, and heroism… This brutal, emotionally charged novel will grip readers and leave them brokenhearted."--Kirkus ReviewsThis is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Release Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
No one wants to think about a school shooting, yet they occur all too often. When Columbine happened, we said "never again." And then came Sandy Hook. As a teacher, it never fails to cross my mind on a daily basis that I could be walking into a situation where I will encounter a school shooter. It seems, though, to get pushed to the back of mind as the year progresses uneventfully. Not until we have our annual lockdown drill is it brought back to the forefront. As I sit silently with my students in the corner of the room, we look at each other and wonder, "what if this were the real thing?," and we pray that we never know the answer.
In this book, four students from Alabama's Opportunity High School provide a timeline of the events of a school shooting. They are all connected to the shooter, Tyler, in some way (sister, girlfriend, girlfriend's brother, and ex-girlfriend). Each tells his/her perspective of what happened on that tragic day. The timeline is told as a flashback, which helps to provide some clarity of the plot of the events of the day, and the description of the events doesn't lose any intensity. While we hope we only ever read about such tragedies in fiction, school shootings are more common than ever, and this book helps to shed light on those connected to a school shooter as well as the decisions made (both heroic and tragic) amidst chaos.