This Is Where It Ends

“Fear and survival are two sides of the same coin. Dad taught me that. These last two years he proved it again and again. Terror is our strongest force, because we’re only afraid when we have something to lose – our lives, our loves… our dignity. It’s been such a long time since I felt afraid.”

Title: This Is Where It Ends

Author: Marieke Nijkamp

Series: Standalone

Publication: January 5th 2016 by Sourcebooks Fire

Pages: 292

Source: Publisher in exchange for a honest review

 

Summary from Goodreads:

10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama’s high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03
The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05
Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

 

My Thoughts:

Well… that just happened. Gosh, I don’t even know what to say because I am feeling so many different things at once. This is one of those reviews where I had to walk away for a while before I could even think about what to possibly say – and as I write this, I am still trying to process everything running through my head. This Is Where It Ends is phenomenal and terrifying. Reading it shook me to my core to the point where I had to vent to my father about how upset and uneasy I was. This was not an easy read in any way, shape, or form. It is hard hitting, covers a difficult subject matter, and will toy with your emotions to bring you to your breaking point.

This Is Where It Ends takes place over an excruciating 54 minute period of the day. But, it is those 54 minutes in which everything changes. It doesn’t take very long to kill a lot of people, it doesn’t take very long at all – but the fear these characters felt and the trauma they experienced made this book seem like it took forever. Each new chapter, or window of time, I had to double check how much time had passed for I felt as if I were stuck inside of infinity with them. Told through four different points of view, This Is Where It Ends takes you on a wild journey through a living nightmare.

I think the hardest part about reading this book, besides the obvious, was the sheer helplessness of these students. I don’t mean helpless where they couldn’t defend themselves or others, I mean helpless as in the terror of not being able to protect someone you love. Each of the narrators had a sibling involved in the event, that or someone they loved dearly. I don’t want to talk about who the shooter is because it is sort of a spoiler, you don’t know until the book wants you to know. I can give a basic run down, though. Claire is the shooter’s ex girlfriend and during the shooting her younger brother is trapped in the auditorium with the other students while she is safe outside with the police. Sylvia is Autumn’s girlfriend and her brother Tomas was in “detention” so she has no idea where he is – but she knows the two of them are main targets. Autumn, the shooter’s sister, is completely terrified for Sylvia and for her brother despite what he is doing. And then there is Tomas, the self sacrificing hero that I can’t talk about without wanting to cry. So, you see, each and every one of them was connected in some way – and that made it all the more painful.

One thing that Nijkamp did very well was illustrate the deep bonds of family – both the family of our blood and the family we choose. She created these amazingly complex, heartbreaking characters and threw them into the hell fire of a school shooting. Their reactions, the character’s reactions, were so real that I found myself completely destroyed by the events that were taking place. Each shot fired was a shock straight to my heart. The writing is beautiful, the story is gut wrenching and hard to swallow. Nothing about this book and what it was trying to showcase is sugarcoated – it is raw, real, and will keep you clinging to the edge of your seats while simultaneously begging for mercy.

I do not know what else to say about this book other than the fact that you need to read it as soon as humanly possible (or inhumanly if you’re just that awesome). This Is Where It Ends is a hard hitting novel about loss and the fear of what you hope is impossible or that will never happen to you. This book confronts issues head on and then tackles them to the ground with a brutality that will both surprise you and make you cry out for more. This, as I have said, is not an easy read. Nor should it be. This Is Where It Ends is perfect and it is the only way a book like this should ever be. Skillfully weaved together with tragedy and hope, This Is Where It Ends is one hell of a book to kick off the new year.

“Together, we’ll get out. Together, we’ll survive this. Together, we’ll be strong enough to face whatever comes our way. This is where it ends.”

 

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Waiting On Wednesday # 15

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted each week by Breaking the Spine and lets us spotlight a book that we are eagerly waiting to be released.

This weeks Waiting On Wednesday is Passenger by Alexandra Bracken!

Publication: January 5th 2016 by Disney-Hyperion

Summary from Goodreads:

passage, n.
i. A brief section of music composed of a series of notes and flourishes.
ii. A journey by water; a voyage.
iii. The transition from one place to another, across space and time.

In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home . . . forever.

Do I really need an explanation as to why I’m so excited for this book to come out? Historical fiction, fantasy, and romance? Hells yes. I have been squealing in my seat ever since I heard of this book, and that book trailer… ugh. I cannot wait for Passenger.

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Amazon

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Teaser Tuesday # 15

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading

This weeks Teaser Tuesday is for This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp!

“Fear and survival are two sides of the same coin. Dad taught me that. These last two years he proved it again and again. Terror is our strongest force, because we’re only afraid when we have something to lose – our lives, our loves… our dignity. It’s been such a long time since I felt afraid.”

“If you cooperate, some of you might go home today. All you have to do is listen carefully to what I’m saying. No screaming, no running, no phones, and certainly no attempting to disarm me. Today, you’ll all listen.”

Goodreads

Amazon

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Thicker Than Water

“No one knew her. No one cares about her. No one cares about finding out who did this. They just care about how much they hate me.”

Title: Thicker Than Water

Author: Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Standalone

Publication: December 29th 2015 by Kensington Books

Pages: 322

Source: Netgalley

Summary from Goodreads:

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Garretts Mill there had just been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her best friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers.

Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden…

 

My Thoughts:

Hmm…. I’m still trying to sort out how I feel about this book. I love the Elemental Series, trust me – the Merrick brothers rank pretty high up there on my list of favorites. But, Thicker Than Water – despite being just as much fun as the Elemental books – fell a little bit short for me in the overall scheme of things. In all honesty, I did love the book – I blew through it in a matter of hours. There were just a lot of little nit picky things and an overall sensation of meh that plagued the electronic pages of my kindle.

I think the one real bright spot in this whole fiasco was Thomas. I could care less about Charlotte, the paranormal aspect (more on that later), and everything else that went on in this book. Thomas’ inner monologue was a tough one to get through, but it was also something that was completely relatable. He is alone. So alone that he might as well be stranded on a desert island with nothing to help him escape – in fact, that is exactly how he feels. His mother has just been murdered, he’s a suspect, and no one seems to give a damn about him or his grief. Thicker Than Water kicks off at his mother’s funeral – it made me cry. He doesn’t even get to attend the funeral for a reason I am not going to explain because it will just piss me off more. Thomas on his own is a very interesting character. He is scarily intense, quite stubborn, and a giant ball of sunshine (sarcasm). No really, Thomas is probably the only reason I kept reading this book besides the name on the front cover.

Charlotte… lord, you don’t want me to get started on Charlotte. I hated her. There, I said it. Shoot me and come after me with your pitchforks. I hated her, I really hated her family –  I just loathed her entire existence in the book even though this was supposed to be a romance. I swear Charlotte’s only purpose for being included in this book was to screw with Thomas. She is literally the cause of his entire downfall and she doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass. She is a pushover, a stereotypical Mary Sue in disguise, and the epitome of why I sometimes hate Young Adult literature.

As usual with a Kemmerer book, the plot was outstanding. There is an overtone of mystery and danger that keeps the pages turning at light speed. When I started this, I had no idea what this was about. I saw Kemmerer’s name, clicked request, and did a little happy dance when I was approved. I have to say, the book is one hell of a page turner – despite the person I want to strangle( see what I did there?!?).  My one problem in the midst of all this amazingness, besides Charlotte, was the sudden onslaught of unnecessary paranormal bullshit. The book was fine, and I probably would give it a higher rating if it had just stuck to a contemporary real world fiasco – but no. There had to be supernatural stuff involved, bah humbug. The whole supernatural empath thing was such a let down! It wasn’t well thought out or developed, it was rushed, and it was just overall stupid. I had come to expect undeniable realism with the supernatural in Kemmerer’s novels, so talk about a serious let down.

Overall, I am torn on what to think or feel about Thicker Than Water. It had the good, the amazing, and all the horrible things it possibly could have had. Thicker Than Water both will keep you up at night and interested, but it’s female protagonist will also make you want to repeatedly hit yourself in the head with a sledgehammer. With a disappointing and anticlimactic ending yet an exciting and heart pounding lead up, Thicker Than Water is best left alone unless you really just want to kill some time. Like a few hours. Seriously.

Fandom of the Month Club: December 2015

Guess what guys?

It’s the end of the month, and that means Fandom of the Month Club boxes are arriving in the mail!

It is a basic subscription service: every month they send you something. But, Fandom of the Month is entirely centered around Fandoms (The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, etc.). You can sign up and check them out here: Fandom of the Month Club.

GUUUYYYSSS!! This month… this month, holy crap the force is strong with this month. See what I did there? Do you see what I just did? That’s right people… this month’s theme is:

 

CUE SCREAMING AND FLAILING LIGHTSABER FIGHTING!!! *pew pew pew*

I love Star Wars…. love it, love it, love it! This is not a trap, it’s quite real.

 

Okay, so, you all know the drill. LOOK AT MY PRECIOUS! Look at it… look at it!

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The post card this month is awesome, I mean, it’s got the freaken Death Star on it.

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Then we get this adorable Chewbacca magnet, and it’s just ugh! It’s so cute! (But I also really love Chewie)

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Then we also have the amazing bag these things come in. R2D2!! AHHHHHHH!!!!! *flails*

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Now we’re getting down to the good stuff… the jewelry…

First things first, there is this amazing bracelet. It, obviously, says “May the force be with you.” Therefore, I shall wear it for all eternity.

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Next we have a necklace with, you guessed it, C3P0 and R2D2 *cue more squeals* These are the droids I am looking for, I promise you that.

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Annnnd last but not least, LIGHTSABER EARRINGS! Holy crap, I absolutely love these things. Also, check out my cookie cutter’s skills. Badass, am I right or am I right?
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Star Wars is bae and always will be bae. I grew up watching the original film, was weeping for humanity through the prequels, and have recently had my heart torn out by The Force Awakens – these movies and this universe is something I will always cherish, same as the jewelry.

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Life is good.