Sunday, January 24, 2016

Review: This is Where it Ends

Title: This is Where it Ends
Author: Marieke Nijkamp
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Rating: 4.5 stars

Goodreads | Book Depository 

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.

The auditorium doors won't open.

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.

This book gutted me in a quiet and unexpected way.
            The actual story is told over the span of 54 minutes, yet there is so much history encompassed in these pages; the kind of history that speaks to what kind fo town Opportunity is, the legacy of its families, and, of course, the intimate lives of the narrators of this event. There are multiple POVs but it was never confusing and I felt like I was not only able to get to know each character but really connect with them. By the end of the book, felt regret, mournful, and relief alongside them- a rare feat for any author to accomplish, especially in such a short amount of pages. I’ll be honest, I’m usually quite picky about books that have a lot of flashbacks but this one pulled it off amazingly well.

I really enjoyed this story, not only because it was gripping in a horrifying can’t-look-away kind of way. The author did a great job fleshing out all of the characters and I wanted to applaud the different representations she included to give a true multifaceted view of how all of this came to happen.

There are tough themes in the book like bullying, abuse, and sexual assault and by the end there is so much regret and heartbreak. This book is dark, diverse, maybe controversial, and hauntingly real. A powerful debut by Marieke Nijkamp, and one that has me looking forward to her future works. 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

2015.... So that happened

Hello, blogosphere!

Wow, looking back on old posts, it's actually been over a year since my last post. And to be honest, for a while, I really didn't think I would get back into blogging. I'm in my third year of university, and in the past two years, I just wasn't able to find the time to read as much for pleasure as I used to. Between my coursework and extracurriculars, blogging took a backseat for a while, but it was always there in the back of my mind, keeping track of ideas for posts that I never had time to write.

Starting this year, I made a list of resolutions (bookishly-related, of course) to hopefully get me back into blogging. Not only do I miss the warm network of fellow book bloggers, I miss writing creatively. Along the way to getting an English major, I've started to feel like I'm only ever churning out critical responses and close-readings. In the span of this unfortunately long blogging slump, I've definitely had the luck of discovering some fantastic YA novels that I can't wait to finally write about.

In addition to just getting back into blogging, I've also discovered some new platforms I'd like to further explore. No worries, I fully intend on still posting here, it is my original brainchild after all. But if any of you are so inclined, feel free to follow me at my tumblr as well: Joy in Translation
I've found that the tumblr layout really works for me, especially when it comes to doing short photo posts or mini-updates. I'll be posting pretty much the same content (reviews, musings, etc.) on both blogs, but I may have a little extra stuff on my tumblr!

So, going into this new year, here are my 10 Resolutions: of 2016:

  1. Read 50 books this year (aka my Goodreads challenge)
  2. Start book blogging again! 2 reviews a month minimum 
  3. Finish a journal
  4. Make better grades
  5. Revive a piano piece that I can whip out at future dinner parties
  6. Stop being such a procrastinator 
  7. Document my life
  8. Work out regularly 
  9. Learn how to cook something fancy 
  10. Memorize a sonnet 
I'll be using my blogs as a way to keep track of these goals and, hopefully, in the time that I was away, I learned to be a better writer hehe.




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