This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
What's it about?
Janie and Micah have been friends since they were in elementary school, ever since Janie moved in next door. They crawl between each other's bedrooms and sneak out in the dark of the night to go on adventures, pull pranks and lay under the stars at the local quarry. Even though their friendship is perfect, they still keep it a secret from everyone at school. Since Janie is outgoing and popular and Micah is more of an introvert with a much smaller social circle, they feel that hiding their relationship is for the best. When Janie's family moves, even though it's only a few minutes away, the two of them begin to grow miles apart. Micah's world begins to fall apart when he wakes up in the hospital with holes in his memory and he discovers that Janie is missing. In order to find out what happened to his best friend, he will have to expose their bond and in the process, he'll uncover some disturbing things that happened to Janie that may shed some light on where she went and why. One way or another, this is where his world will end.
The story is told in a nonlinear style, from dual POVs and it includes Janie's journal entries to help unravel the mystery.
First of all, I have to say that Amy Zhang is an incredibly talented young writer who has a HUGE future ahead of her. She has a gift with words that many would kill for. I am a huge fan of hers. Her first book, Falling Into Place, was one of my favorite books from last year (check out my review HERE), so she set the bar pretty high. While I did enjoy This Is Where the World Ends, it didn't have quite as big of an emotional punch as Falling Into Place. My issues were really with the plot and ending. It could have used more plot development and the ending didn't have as much wow factor as it could have. It just kind of. . . ended. I pretty much knew what was going on from the start, so I was hoping for a big emotional bang at the end, but I didn't really get one. I do have to mention that the actual subject matter of this book is VERY heavy, and it does include rape. I don't want to give away too much more, but I had to give a heads up on that one. It had the potential for emotional intensity, but it didn't quite get there for me, but like I said, she set the bar really high with her first book, so it was still a compelling read. It could have used a little more mystery and a bigger bang at the end, but all in all, I'm still glad I read it for Amy Zhang's gorgeous writing. It is a quick read, and so is Falling Into Place, so I recommend checking out both if you haven't already. I will definitely be checking out and looking forward to whatever she has to offer next.