I don't think the deaths were even that resonant because I never got to know the characters or their relationships beyond very jagged inserts that seemed to weave in and out of the narrative without any consistency for portrayal. That made it very hard for me to hold interest in the narrative, and made the 54 minute ordeal drag out for much more time than it should've. (That's the downside of using a timeline and "head-hopping" between characters with very generous overlap and similar voicing.) Plus, when Tyler's described in the killing of his student body, the portrayal is very mechanical. I get that Tyler's actions are mechanical, that he's numb because of a number of different things (abuse, loss, neglect), but does the PORTRAYAL have to be mechanical? This is where I think Nijkamp messed that up because it didn't have to be. The scenario could've had more weight if it'd been more intimate to the character experiences. The problem was that there was NO intimacy with the characters, and an odd distance that prevailed in the narrative the entire time. It's talking at you, not showing you. Big no, no in this type of narrative.
I'm going to start with the school shooting aspect of the narrative because that's the easiest one for me to point out the problems for. "This is Where It Ends" is an ambitious narrative, narrating from the perspectives of several teens who are caught in the crossfire of a student (Tyler) who returns to school to enact revenge on his student body for "not being seen" (this is a very terse summary of it, but truth be told, Tyler has very little motivation and this I'll get into when I talk about the characterizations). It's weird how this narrative chose to tell all of its respective conflicts without much suspense or development. I felt like I was never immersed in the environment of the school or the students' experiences, more like I was talked at for the entire time of how much "potential" or "possibilities" these teens had before this madman of a character barges in with a gun and starts shooting. It's an all or none scenario, and not only unrealistic, but it skirts the complexity of the situation for what actually happens in real life.
|This Is Where I Came In|
|Studio album by Bee Gees|
|Released||24 April 2001|
|Recorded||1999–2000 at Middle Ear Studio in Miami Beach (except "Deja Vu", "Embrace", and "Promise the Earth" at Area 21 in London)|
|Genre||Rock, pop, pop rock, dance-pop, Europop|
|Producer||Bee Gees, Peter-John Vettese|
|Bee Gees chronology|
I was initially skeptical of the premise of This Is Where It Ends, books with multiple POVs usually doesn’t work well for me. Like I always say incorporating a handful of POVs is tricky. The author is juggling too
So bottom line is This Is Where It Ends was a book with a lot of potential (and a most excellent cover) that wound up being nothing special. If you want a YA book about a school shooting that is special, check out Jennifer Brown’s Hate List. I read that one back before I started reviewing, but wrote a real good one : )