ARC Review: This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It EndsAuthor:  Marieke Nijkamp

Genre: Young adult, contemporary, realistic fiction

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Publication Date: January 5, 2016

292 pages, hardcover

Check out the full synopsis on Goodreads.

This is an important book about a super relevant subject. The subject matter is terrifying and heartbreaking and I’m sure it’ll hit close to home to a majority of the people who read it because who hasn’t seen or heard about the ridiculous amount of school/public shootings this year?

It’s absolutely disturbing. Much like the shooter in This is Where It Ends is meant to be. He is bent on revenge against a school that never cared for him and who smiles wryly as he shoots people in the head. But I wanted so much more from this book. It wasn’t until the last 30 pages or so that I actually felt anything for one of the characters. I had no connection to any of the characters. I didn’t feel like I was in Alabama or that any of these people were from there (the diversity and treatment of it is something I could go on and on about for paragraphs, but I’ll just say NO NO NO NO). I felt like I was being talked at the entire time – I wasn’t shown how these characters were feeling, the absolute terror the students in the auditorium must be feeling.

I really only felt engaged in the scenes where the shooter was present, particularly with the dialogue between him and his victims – when he stands on the stage and demands that his fellow seniors raise their hands; when he yells at his sister and says he’s always been alone; when he hunts down his victims like prey. It’s upsetting and disturbing. Well, actually maybe I only wanted it to be upsetting. But we never really understand him; we don’t get inside his head to see why he is doing this. We are told he wasn’t always this way, but all we ever see or hear is about the horrible things he’s done – he’s evil, vile, disgusting. We don’t know what made him snap, why he decided this is what he should do. The book doesn’t delve into the supreme complexity of this situation, and I just don’t think that TIWIE is a good portrayal of the psychological reasoning behind something like this. It felt very superficial.

We also get a million flashbacks and inner monologues from the four main POVs. I know this is to build backstories for these people we are meant to care about, but I really wish that we’d gotten a bit more of this before the story began versus shoving them into the chapters and disrupting the flow of the narrative. I feel like my heart should have been pounding throughout – the whole story happens over the course of just 54 minutes; I should have been on the edge of my seat.

The bottom line: For all of the really serious issues that are brought up – from the actual shooting to rape to racism, I felt nothing was actually discussed. I had barely any emotional connection to anyone, save one character. The subject matter is so important and the book had TONS of potential, but I was disappointed in the execution.

Rating: 4.5 – between Eh. This is bad and Take it or leave it.

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel (because when you love a debut you just are ITCHING to get your hands on the author’s second book) or Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut (no one hit wonders heeeere!)

This was one of the easiest Top Ten Tuesdays in a while. I doubt many of you will be surprised by anyone on my list. I’m very vocal about my favorites. All author names linked to Twitter.

Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli    Mosquitoland by David Arnold    My Heart & Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga    More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera

THE BECKMINDAVERA – Becky Albertalli  // David Arnold // Jasmine Warga // Adam Silvera

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh     Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon     The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes

Renee Ahdieh // Nicola Yoon // Stephanie Oakes

None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio     Made You Up by Francesca Zappia     The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I.W. Gregorio // Francesca Zappia // Stephen Chbosky

Which debuts have you excited for their sophomore novel?

Waiting on Wednesday: Shallow Graves by Kali Wallace

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

Shallow Graves by Kali WallacePublisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Author: Kali Wallace

Release date: January 26, 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads: For fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma, a gripping, hauntingly atmospheric novel about murder, revenge, and a world where monsters—human and otherwise—lurk at the fringes.

When seventeen-year-old Breezy Lin wakes up in a shallow grave one year after her death, she doesn’t remember who killed her or why. All she knows is that she’s somehow conscious—and not only that, she’s able to sense who around her is hiding a murderous past. In life, Breezy was always drawn to the elegance of the universe and the mystery of the stars. Now she must set out to find answers and discover what is to become of her in the gritty, dangerous world to which she now belongs—where killers hide in plain sight and a sinister cult is hunting for strange creatures like her. What she finds is at once empowering, redemptive, and dangerous.

Tense, complex, and wholly engaging, Shallow Graves is a stunning first novel from Kali Wallace.

Why I’m excited: This is the perfect one to be looking forward to during the week of Halloween, isn’t it? We really need more awesome zombie books, and this one sounds perfect. Plus – cults, monstrous humans, revenge, and something for fans of Holly Black and Nova Ren Suma? Count me in. I’m a sucker for a good book about how horrible people can be. If that makes me weird, so be it. Bring on the creep factor.

Agent Stefani, reporting for duty for Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts

AgentStefani

Hi, lovelies! This post is all about this amazing feature that Talina from Sassy & Dangerous created called Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts! The S.F.D. is a top-secret organization (okay, it’s a debut author street team) that helps authors dominate the book world and succeed in brainwashing their readers (Kidding! Maybe…).

Over the past few weeks, Talina has put together a team of highly trained professional debut supporters and the S.F.D team has been planning a way to destroy reader’s TBRs, which is totally going to kick butt. Although there was a slight delay due to a giant, angry green problem, (TOP SECRET clearance needed for more details!) everything is now back on course. With the help of a few other agents, our plans are finally being launched.

Sassy’s Fangirl Debuts (S.F.D. for short) is a fun, unique way to help readers keep track of all the debut authors and their new books that are coming out, and it is also a way for authors to promote their books and get readers interested. The feature, which Agent T has decided to make it into a debut author street team, will include author interrogations, (interviews), confidential file exposures (guest posts) and the radioactive surprises (giveaways) which will all be posted on her blog, Sassy & Dangerous.

Agent T’s highly skilled team of agents will be going on special missions that will include fun, awesome posts to feature these lovely debut authors and their books. Tomorrow will be the agents first mission, so don’t forget to stop by my blog tomorrow and to also check out the list of rest of the agents blogs below!

Talina, our fearless leader // Emily // Heather // Eileen // Karina // Deanna
Claudia // Kaitlin // Jasmine // Angel // Bex // Melissa // Kaitlin S. // Aila // Jess // Jaime
Lauren // Lizzie // Erin // Aimee

Make sure you come tomorrow morning to see the results of our first mission. 🙂