Review: This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

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3/5 stars

I think the author is really good at creating unreliable narrators just like she successfully did with her debut novel Falling Into Place. Though I still prefer her debut novel a lot more than her second book, Amy Zhang’s writing still incredibly impresses me. I have no doubt she’s really a 50 year old literature teacher trapped in a young adult’s body. I love the way she connects scientific theories with personal and social problems people usually deal with.

But a few weeks ago, I had this conversation with a Goodreads friend about how books should always come with a trigger warning especially when they’re dealing with sensitive issues so readers will know what they’re getting into. Let me warn you now that the book deals with rape and honestly not recommended for readers who don’t want to be sad. That said, This is Where the World Ends I think is still a pretty compelling novel with a strong plot and intriguing narrative modes, an insightful and significant YA contemporary that discusses ugly realities young people go through in high school.

Janie reminds me of a lot of our notable YA contemporary heroines like Margo of Paper Towns and Hannah Baker of Thirteen Reasons Why. For others, these references might be the reason not to read the book while for others, this detail might be intriguing. At some point, the relationship between Janie and Micah reminds me of that of Clay Jensen and Hannah Baker’s.

My two major problems about the book is one, how the narrative POV confused me several times. Yeah, I know they’re called unreliable narrators for a reason but the diversion and mystery sometimes annoyed the heck out of me. The second is its lack of any proper resolution leaving me really depressed like there really isn’t any justice left in this world. It’s just so damn sad. *sniffs. This is ultimately why I’m only settling for three stars.

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