This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang
Publication Date: March 22, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
[Special thanks to the publisher for the review copy!]
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 Vivian 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 is the first Amy Zhang novel I’ve read.
I can sum up this review in two words: mind-blown.
You see, this book was written as if it was a fairy tale.
If you only watch adaptations of fairy tales on TV, you’ll think this book is a pretty light read. Fairy tales are fancy and magical…on TV. Or on the movies.
But if you read the actual books, the real stories could ruin your childhood. And you’ll realize why they present it that way. They can’t actually show the ugly truth to four-year-olds. You can’t make them read books like this…yet.
Real life, people.
This one is fast-paced. You can help but turn the page because you need to know what happens next. A piece of the puzzle is revealed in every chapter, and once you hold the big picture, you can’t help but stare at it, because WHOA.
If you try to examine the cover of the book, you’ll realize it actually gives away the dark theme of the book. It’s something the previous generation wouldn’t want to talk about, but it’s slowly being given a voice by this generation – through books like this, and even Tumblr posts (if you know what I mean).
I got the chance to be in their minds, Janie and Micah. It’s chaotic and sad but their friendship is what I loved the most. True friendship, like true love, is not easy. It demands acceptance of flaws, and it may even require sacrifice at times.
There were times when I got confused, times when I didn’t actually understand what was happening. I guess that’s just because I haven’t experienced the worst parts of life yet. I haven’t gone through something as dark as the characters did. But I know that there are people who would find themselves within the pages. And this book would be a mirror to them.
I think I should read Falling Into Place, because Amy Zhang left me in awe. This is Where the World Ends is not supposed to be enjoyed – it’s supposed to be thought of and understood. It holds a message for us all. Contrary to what’s on the cover, it’s not a light read. But books like this are the ones that really make an impact. Books like this break the barriers between fiction and reality.
Final Rating: 4/5
Bad news: everything ends.
Good news: everything ends.