#BookReview: At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp @mariekeyn @sztownsend81

Hi everyone! Today, I have a book review for a great read from an author new to me, Marieke Nijkamp. Here’s my review  >>>

About the Book:

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From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where It Ends comes another heartbreaking, emotional and timely page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day…they don’t show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There’s a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they’re stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.

My Review:

🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Gripping Read but needs a bit more TLC

“We are the last ones. Leah and I squeeze into the hallway just in time for movement line.” … from this intriguing opening sentence, the reader is drawn immediately into the world of a bunch of delinquent teens, locked in a privately-run, but government sanctioned, correctional institution. When a deadly plague breaks out, these poor kids are cast aside and forgotten.

The book is very much character driven rather than plot driven, and I loved it. The narrative is written in first person, and switches between a few of the characters. Each shift has its own chapter and the whole thing flows well. This is an absolute gem of a book, but unfortunately, a lack of careful editing and proofreading let it down somewhat. I hate when this happens. Otherwise, this would be a solid five-star read for me. It says a lot about the great storyline and skill of the author to bring these teens to life for me that I still gave this read a resounding four stars. Some of those issues relate to passive writing, split infinitives galore, missing words, extra words, crutch words, etc. However, lots of lines stuck with me, and here are a few I loved … 

“I didn’t think I had issues. Or needs beyond what we all have. Purpose. someone who listens.” 

And … 

“It’ll be my ninth time in solitary this year, including two forty-eight hour cooldown periods. Every time I come out, I feel a bit less like me, a bit less like a girl with dreams bigger than this place.” 

And … 

“I love silence. Silence is what makes music. But this silence is uncomfortable and threatening.”

And … “… inaction in the face of injustice is injustice all the same.”

This book addresses a number of current social and woke issues such as gender, non-binary identification, skin colour, and culture, etc. I felt these were handled well. All in all, I found this a gripping read and one I struggled to put down. For definite, I will check out more books by this author, and At the End of Everything gets a solid four stars from me.

***

NOTE ON RATINGS: I consider a 3-star rating a positive review. Picky about which books I give 5 stars to, I reserve this highest rating for the stories I find stunning and which moved me.

5 STARS: IT WAS AMAZING! I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! — Highly Recommended.
4 STARS: I WOULD PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER — Go read this book.
3 STARS: IT WAS GOOD! — An okay read. Didn’t love it. Didn’t hate it.
2 STARS: I MAY HAVE LIKED A FEW THINGS —Lacking in some areas: writing, characterisation, and/or problematic plot lines.
1 STAR: NOT MY CUP OF TEA —Lots of issues with this book.


I’d love to hear what you think of this review. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

 

For anyone interested, here are the Amazon links …

 

UK … https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

US … https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08R8XRTB2/

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DG Kaye

Loved this review Harmony. Like you, I enjoy character driven stories. I’m going to add this book to my list, despite your taking a star away for editing oops’s. I’m drawn to the story and I want to brush up on editing 🙂 Hugs xx

D.L. Finn, Author

Sounds loke a page turner. Too bad about the editing.

CS Boyack

Sounds like an interesting tale. I’m strongly considering a return to first person for one of my stand alone stories.

Jacquie Biggar

I’m getting a real taste for first person stories if they’re done right. This sounds like an interesting read, thanks.

Jan Sikes

What a fascinating setting for a story! Sorry, the mechanics of the book let you down but sounds like the story was solid. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one, Harmony!

Michael

Thanks for sharing the information, and a great review, Harmony! It really sounds a wonderful, and thrilling timely read. Will make a note. Best wishes, Michael

Joan Hall

I enjoy character-driven fiction. Thanks for sharing your review, Harmony.

Priscilla Bettis

It sounds like the characters are in a grim situation. Good review (as always!), Harmony!