For the students at Opportunity High School, the beginning of the semester “talk” by principal Trenton, is so predictable, that some of the upper class can actually recite it by heart. Autumn and Sylv, who have been best friends and are now girlfriends, are both anxious because of the empty seat next to Autumn. Autumn’s older brother, Tyler, is supposed to be coming back to school today after dropping out. Sylv isn’t looking forward to his return because she has had some really bad encounters with him…not that she’s told Autumn about them.
What no one knows at that moment, is that Tyler does plan to return to the school, right after the principal gets done with her speech. He also plans to padlock the auditorium doors and not let anyone out – until he says his peace. And his peace will involve a gun, with lots of rounds of ammo.
This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp starts off like a sprint but quickly becomes a jog as the main characters do a LOT of reflecting on their own lives and situations and how each of them has come to be where they are. The book covers 55 minutes, plus some at the end of the day, and while one would think that would make for a fast pace, that isn’t true. So much is going through the minds of the students, the urgency can at times be lost on the characters, even though, as a reader, you might find yourself screaming at them to pay attention to, you know, the GUN!
Still, the premise will be appeal to many readers…just don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Recommended for mature 8th graders and up due to situations and content.