This Is Where It Ends

This Is Where It Ends Study Guide

Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Marieke Nijkamp's This Is Where It Ends. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.

Brief Biography of Marieke Nijkamp

Marieke Nijkamp grew up in the Netherlands and studied history and medieval studies in university. In her career, she has tried to promote diverse young adult fiction, serving on the board of the nonprofit We Need Diverse Books and founding a similar organization, DiversifYA. Her debut novel, This Is Where It Ends, became a bestseller in 2016. She has since written another young adult novel, Before I Let Go, which addresses themes of teenage depression and suicide.
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Historical Context of This Is Where It Ends

America has the most permissive gun laws and the highest rates of gun violence in the developed world. Gun violence takes many forms and threatens Americans of all walks of life. In particular, school shootings, which target society’s most vulnerable members and imperil institutions normally considered safe, have become both flashpoints of outrage over this issue and testaments to the deeply entrenched disagreement about how best to address it. In 2018 there were 323 shootings, including three mass shootings that occurred at schools. 113 people died during shootings that occurred in schools.

Other Books Related to This Is Where It Ends

A number of writers have written novels addressing the threat of gun violence facing American teens at school. Like This is Where It Ends, Walter Dean Myers’s Shooter tracks three different teenagers through a series of events that culminates in a shooting. Jodi Piccoult’s Nineteen Minutes explores the aftermath of a school shooting and meditates on the motivations of the shooter. Even more recently, novels have begun to emerge about teenagers who face violence at the hands of the police. All-American Boys, by Jason Reynolds, tries to unravel the circumstances surrounding a police beating of a teenage boy, while Jay Coles’s Tyler Johnson Was Here chronicles the struggle of a teenage boy whose brother is killed by a police officer. Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give, about a girl who witnesses the police shooting of her friend and becomes an activist, has become a bestseller and inspired a film.
Key Facts about This Is Where It Ends
  • Full Title: This Is Where It Ends
  • When Written: 2016
  • Where Written: Netherlands
  • When Published: 2016
  • Literary Period: Contemporary YA fiction
  • Genre: Novel, young adult fiction
  • Setting: Opportunity, Alabama
  • Climax: Tomás’s decision to sacrifice himself for Sylvia
  • Antagonist: Tyler, gun violence
  • Point of View: First-person limited (several speakers)

Extra Credit for This Is Where It Ends

Dangerous Math. There are more firearms than people in the United States – approximately 120 guns for every 100 residents.

Big Picture. Studies have found that high levels of gun ownership correlate not just with instances of homicide but greater rates of suicide, domestic violence, and attacks on police.