Book Review: This is Where it Ends

A look at the heart breaking story by Marieke Nijkamp

Jazlynn Oyler, Copy Editor

Trigger warning: The book discussed in the following review deals with situations and topics that may be sensitive to some readers. 

When I first picked up this book I had an image in my head on how the book was going to turn out. It definitely was not what I expected. I was at the edge of my seat throughout the book and I felt almost terrified.

Many people disliked this book and described it as an insult to survivors. Although a book can’t fully capture how someone may really feel in this kind of situation I thought it was laid out very well. This book was only supposed to be a “what if” scenario, while also shedding light on school shootings.

The book switches between four characters’ viewpoints. With all four of them being connected to the antagonist. 

It starts with the students returning back to school after a winter break, and all the students gathered in the auditorium for a welcome-back assembly. This being the perfect opportunity for the antagonist, Tyler, to get back at the people who made him feel outcast and alone.

Autumn, Tyler’s younger sister, and Sylv, Autumn’s girlfriend, are stuck in the auditorium and become targets. Tomás, Sylv’s twin brother, skipped the assembly and is stuck outside the auditorium trying to find a way to free his sister and the other students. While Claire, Tyler’s ex-lover, is out of harm’s way but is trying to find a way to help the kids inside; including her brother. The four students work together to survive. 


Sylv keeps mentioning something that had happened between her and Tyler earlier that year. No one besides her knows. She keeps the idea that she’s the one he’s looking for in her mind. It later get’s revealed that he had raped her in order to end hers and Autumns relationship. 

Tomás is only focused on saving his sister. He is willing to risk his life for her. He doesn’t have much hope for himself and the future and believes that if anyone is going to live it has to be her. He had a chance to escape but went back to buy time for Sylv and his friend Fareed. 

Autumn’s only thought is Sylv. Her entire life is set around Sylv and dance. She has hopes of getting out of her hometown Opportunity, Alabama so she can reach her goal of becoming a dancer. She wants to leave behind her abusive father and family and that includes Tyler. 

Claire is on the track team. She had a practice during the assembly, hence why she didn’t get caught in the auditorium. She’s a part of the JROTC following in her older sister’s footsteps. Her younger brother Matt, who is stuck in the auditorium, becomes one of Tyler’s targets and later on passes away.