GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Book Review: At The End Of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp | I Smell Sheep

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Book Review: At The End Of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp

At The End Of Everything
By Marieke Nijkamp
January 25, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ASIN: B091572X47 

ISBN: 9781492673156
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.

Teenagers arrested or needing help, but not deemed hopeless, are sent to the Hope Juvenile Treatment Center. Where they soon learn to follow the routine. Up at six, the movement line, headcount, and breakfast at seven. Two wings have school in the morning, the other two in the afternoon. Lunch and dinner at set times, with bedtime at nine. It never changes. 

The novel is in first person, with the name of the character at the top of the page, as several tell the story from their viewpoint. The main three are Grace, Logan (both she and her sister, Leah, were sent to the place), and Emerson (a binary character). I liked that all three actually grow in their characters, unlike many books where the main characters never do. 

One night the teens realize all the staff is gone and the teens have been abandoned. Grace has one of the kids, a boy nicknamed the Professor, use the warden’s computer. They learn a terrible plague is happening, and that the warden knew and left them there to fend for themselves. A group of kids leaves, those remaining work to take care of themselves, especially when one of the girls, Leah, comes down with the virus.

Intense thriller, with danger from either the virus, adults, or one of their own, this Young Adult has many elements that might be considered disturbing to some readers, including death. There are warnings at the beginning of the book. But the story is good, and I really learned to like some of the girls and boys, especially the main characters. Since the author admitted having Covid and working on this book during the pandemic lockdown. You see the parallels between the story and people's real-life reactions (like one of the kids' uncles who said it was all a government conspiracy--not real) when they are dealing with so much death and being forced on lockdown. Except for the virus in this story is a lot scarier and deadlier.

Most would not want to read a book about a pandemic while we are going through one, but this was a good book, with likable characters. And can be enjoyed by young and older adults.

I gave At the End of Everything 4 sheep

Reviewed by Pamela K. Kinney

About the Author:
Marieke Nijkamp is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels, graphic novels, and comics, including This Is Where It Ends, At The End Of Everything, Critical Role: Vox Machina – Kith & Kin, and The Oracle Code. Her short stories can be found in several anthologies. She also edited the anthology Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens.

Marieke is a storyteller, dreamer, globe-trotter, and geek. Before pursuing her lifelong passion for writing, she majored in philosophy and medieval history. She loves to go on adventures, roll dice, and daydream. She lives and writes in Small Town, The Netherlands.

Marieke is the founder of DiversifYA and was a founding sr. VP of We Need Diverse Books. Find her on Twitter.

No comments:

Post a Comment