I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.This Is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Also by this author: Falling into Place, Falling into Place
Published by HarperCollins on March 22nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Sexual Abuse, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Emotions & Feelings
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A heart-wrenching novel about best friends on a collision course with the real world from Amy Zhang, the critically acclaimed Indies Introduce and Indie Next author of Falling into Place.
Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivien moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship—as long as no one finds out about it. But then Janie goes missing and everything Micah thought he knew about his best friend is colored with doubt.
Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang masterfully reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in an astonishing second novel that will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver and Jay Asher.
This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang is her second book, and well, it certainly knocked my socks off just a little bit. Zhang’s sophomore novel is an emotional read about two teenagers who exist on opposite ends of the social spectrum, yet are secret best friends, yet have this weird codependent friendship. What I am saying is that there’s some layers to unpeel when it comes to This Is Where The World Ends. This is definitely something I really appreciated.
Zhang’s This Is Where The World Ends follows Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie (you’ll see when you read it). The two were neighbors growing up, but then Janie’s parents received an inheritance and move to a richer part of town. Janie is upper crust and popular. Micah, on the other hand, is not. However, the two are very close secret friends despite their difference in social standing. When the book opens, something has happened that Micah cannot remember. He finds himself in the hospital wondering where Janie is. And so, using BEFORE and AFTER and excerpts from Janie’s journal and dual narration between Micah and Janie, Zhang takes us through what exactly happened and the mystery of where Janie went.
Micah and Janie are characters that you feel for throughout the entire book – I mean you actually really do find yourself caring about them the whole time and don’t like, roll your eyes at their drama. I thought Zhang did such a superb job developing their friendship and their personalities. I liked how Janie was the ringleader and how she had this fanciful sort of personality. I mean, she comes across as very artistic and bohemian. I read about her and just wanted her to be able to get out of her awful town and explore the world. As for Micah, I loved his devotion to Janie. I think my heart broke for him the most while reading this book for several reasons which I won’t spoil, but this kid has not got the best lot in life.
So, one theme at the heart of This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang is rape culture. I’ve been pick up on this as a theme in quite a few young adult books lately and I think it’s a good thing. I mean, I think that awareness can lead to change. Anyways, so in this book, one character does not consent to a sexual encounter and it sends the character in a spiral and makes it easier to understand why things play out the way that they do. In addition, the news of this character not consenting gets out and rumors spread that it was not rape but a case of her regretting. It’s a scenario that is all too real and plays out over and over again, and that sucks. This Is Where The World Ends does not shy away from how much that sucks or from how hard it is to be the person in that situation.
Similar to Falling Into Place, This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang is one of those read in a single day kind of books that will have you feeling emotions and perhaps considering the way you relate to other people differently. For me, I felt like maybe I should be a little bit less judgmental after reading this book. I thought that the story of Janie and Micah was such a compelling read – especially how everything plays out, and yes, it definitely still has me thinking. ALSO I HAVE TO END THIS WITH A SHOUTOUT TO DEWEY THE BEST FRIEND CHARACTER IN THIS BOOK.
Other reviews of This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang:
The Bibliomaniac Book Blog – “I didn’t expect this book to be as emotionally-charged and poignant as it was.”
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