Janie and Micah have been friends forever, their bedroom windows opposite each other. Yet Janie’s friendship doesn’t extend to school where keeping up appearances means she barely acknowledges Micah. When her family moves to the other side of town, they can see their world slipping and then one day Janie disappears. Micah wakes up in hospital and can’t remember what happened. She wouldn’t have left him, would she?
Amy Zhang’s writing is beautiful, poetic and emotional. I love reading her words even if the plot feels a bit meandering. Broken down to the main points, This is Where the World Ends probably sounds quite clichéd and predictable, but it was still a pleasure to read.
Janie is manipulates her friendships with Micah. We probably wouldn’t like to admit it, but her behaviour probably isn’t all that unusual. I bet loads of people had childhood friends who they love but don’t want to be seen with at school. The fact that she doesn’t completely dump him means that she does care, deep down at least, and her journal entries reflects that.
Like many high school stories, it’s about trying to stay on top of the social hierarchy. When something awful happens, Janie feels she has no choice other than bury it. The fairy tales she writes for her English project portray what she really feels.
The Metaphor, which Janie decides is a metaphor for their life, is a pile of rocks in the quarry where she and Micah meet. You keep trying to climb to the top but, the harder you try, the further you fall. As the story continues, the Metaphor grows smaller.
The story feels like it is mostly told by Micah but the narrative is split between them, slowly revealing what happened and getting to see Janie’s side of the story. Because there’s always two sides to a story, however much you want to side with one person. Despite how much I may have disliked Janie’s behaviour, my heart broke for both of them.
This is Where the World Ends will be available in the UK via HarperCollins 360 with an early digital release on 22nd March 2016 and the paperback following on 21st April 2016. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review.
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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.
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