One for the Books “This is Where it Ends”


Caleb Buford

Kaitlyn Craig, Columnist & Human Interest Coordinator

10:00 AM. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

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

10:03 AM. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 AM. Someone starts shooting.”


This is the moment where hundreds of lives change forever. The unthinkable happens, and no one knows what to do. This is the premise of the novel “This is Where it Ends” by Marieke Nijkamp. The book follows four different student’s perspectives over the fifty-four terrifying minutes these tragic events take place. Tyler is a kid that has always been different. He doesn’t have the same mindset as the other people in Opportunity and he mostly stays to himself. The mixture of that, his mother’s death, and his mental illness, he exploded. He decided he wanted to make everyone in the school notice him and realize he does exist, and they will never forget him.

Claire is Tyler’s ex-girlfriend and she’s a track star and JROTC member at Opportunity High School. She is outside of the school when the shooting occurs with some other track members practicing for the upcoming meet. Autumn is Tyler’s sister and she lives for dance. It is her passion and one of the only places where she can escape everything going on in her life. She is locked inside the auditorium and she attempts to talk to Tyler and make him feel remorse for his actions and make him realize that he is the only family she has left and that she loves him. Tomas and his friend, Fareed, are inside the school during the shooting, but they are not trapped in the auditorium like everyone else. They pull a lot of pranks and are not the people you would normally consider gallant heroes. They also picked on Tyler a lot in the past, which makes them feel guilty throughout the book. Sylvia is Tomas’ fraternal twin and Autumn’s girlfriend. She is also stuck in the auditorium and she is still haunted by a traumatic event involving Tyler at Junior Prom.

This book is very fast paced and attention holding. It was an enjoyable read, though the split between four different people’s perspectives got kind of confusing every once in awhile, which made me think a little less of the novel as a whole. This is also a very mature and intense topic, so it is targeted for older teens and adults. The first half of the book was very interesting and detailed, but I found the second half, especially the ending, very rushed and unsatisfying. But if you want to formulate your own opinion or find out more, we have copies in our own Manchikanti library.