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This Is Where It Ends
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the New York Times bestseller This Is Where It Ends, by Marieke Nijkamp, is a brutal and terrifying story of a high school shooting. Taking place in only 54 minutes and told from the perspective of four students, it unfolds in chapters covering one to three minutes. The four, whose lives are all linked to the teen shooter, tell their stories in real time as well as in flashbacks that examine what may have motivated the rampage. Because the novel takes place in under an hour, the violence is almost unceasing, giving the reader few emotional breaks. Dozens of students and teachers are killed or wounded. Many of the shootings are graphically described. Tyler kills both randomly and by singling people out. As for strong language, "f--k" is used a few times.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Tyler Browne's mother has died, his father drinks, and he's dropped out of school. On the first day of the spring semester, he returns to his high school in the small Alabama town of Occidental to exact revenge on anyone who may have bullied or slighted him. Four students narrate THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS -- Tyler's sister, Autumn, and her girlfriend Sylvia; his former girlfriend, Claire; and Sylvia's brother, Tomas. Tyler is outraged at Autumn and Sylvia's relationship, mourning the loss of Claire, and determined to even the score with Tomas. As the students and teachers remain trapped in the auditorium, will anyone step up to lead an escape?
Is it any good?
Intense and compelling, this debut novel balances the senseless violence of a school shooting with uncommon acts of courage and compassion by a diverse cast of characters. The students come from a range of ethnic and religious backgrounds (white, Latino, African-American, Christian, Muslim) and sexual orientation.
It's initially a bit difficult to sort out the characters and their relationships to one another, but once that comes together the interweaving of their stories gives insight into how Tyler went from a loving and supportive brother to a remorseless killer.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what students should do if a shooting happens at their school. If you have a chance to be a hero and help others, should you take it? In a dangerous situation such as a school shooting, how do you decide if an action is heroic or reckless?
How do you feel about the relentless violence in the novel? Is necessary to tell the story and for realism?
Do you think intense media coverage has contributed to the increase in school shootings? What should be done to identify and get help for teens who have this much anger and rage?
- Author: Marieke Nijkamp
- Genre: Contemporary Fiction
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, Great Girl Role Models, High School
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
- Publication date: January 5, 2016
- Number of pages: 285
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.