February 15, 2017

[REVIEW] This is Where the World Ends

title: This is Where the World Ends
author: Amy Zhang
genre: young adult, contemporary
publish: March 22, 2016 by Greenwillow Books
purchase: Amazon B&N | Book Depository
rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
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 was an okay read.

This book has several disappointed and negative reviews that I pushed it down my tbr pile until #cramathon came. I read Falling Into Place last year and I fell in love with Amy Zhang's writing. I love her short and broken sentences and I love her non-linear writing.

I'm tired of watching, and waiting, and expecting things to work out. It never works out. It never works unless you demand. -p20

This is Where the World Ends is a novel about Janie and Micah. Popular Janie who's friends with Micah the shy music lover. They've been friends for so long but they never publicly acknowledged it. They live in different circles in school. And friendships like this infuriates me. I mean, WHY!? To not break her reputation? Does that make you real friends?

Okay, let me get through with Janie and Micah's relationship first because that's a major part of the novel. As I mention, their friendship is something they didn't publicly show. Also, they like each other (strongly not surprised though. lol). These kinds of relationship where one seem to strongly dominates the other baffles me. I didn't like Janie because she likes Micah, makes him feel it but goes out with a completely different guy. Micah, on the other hand, is a weak kid with a such potentials (or so I think) and his a go-with-flow guy. He just follows what Janie says. Such one-sided relationship, if you ask me.

BUT setting aside my hatred for this idea and to Janie (who really feels like some bitch-ass and selfish character, sorry for that), what I like about this novel is how it's written and how everything was put together. I really can't ignore how much I find Amy Zhang's writing to be engaging.

Life is messy and the universe has an awful lot of people to keep track of. Sometimes things get screwed up. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. Sometimes good things happen to bad people. -p229

This is Where the World Ends is told in dual perspective and in a non-linear manner. Janie tells the 'before' and Micah tells the 'after'. Storytelling like this are my fave -- I like the back and forth and putting together of pieces. Aside from their POVs, we also get to see pages from Janie's journal which is beautiful -- writing and presentation-wise.

I like how things were slowly revealed -- what happened to Janie, what brought Micah to the hospital, and how things ended for Micah ultimately. I find it quite difficult to really mention the real issue this novel tackled because it feels like it will spoil the book for you. But I think that things were well developed despite how ridiculous the things Janie did. However, certain events (SPOILER: like Janie being dead... you know I got that right from the second chapter. wasn't surprising. also it didn't moved me because I don't like Janie. not that she deserves what happened to her. no one deserves to be raped, in my opinion but she just isn't a very likable character for me to feel sorry and sad for) didn't surprised me despite how things were told. Actually, the way things were told made it more expected for me. I guessed it right from the second chapter. and I wasn't even using my brain by then. no bragging, really because my sister guessed it early too (and she didn't even guessed We Were Liars. i did though). I'm just saying that some twists just isn't mindblowing for me.

"Whatever you do, whatever you redo, it all ends up here. Some things are just unavoidable. No matter how hard you try, the things meant to go to shit still go to shit. Terrible things happen, Micah, and you can't stop them. You just can't" -p260

OVERALL, This is Where the World Ends is contemporary novel about an unusual friendship. I find it difficult to put into words without spoiling anything. If you're fine with toxic relationships and dual POV and non-linear storytelling, I'd say got for it. The writing was really the greatest aspect of this novel and definitely the reason why I'll read more books by Amy Zhang.

let's connect!


  1. I haven't quite figured out Amy Zhang's writing, unfortunately. So her books haven't graced my bookshelves.

    1. I like her writing but admittedly, I don't think her stories are that much of a great read. But if you're going to try one, I'd say go for her first book, Falling Into Place.

  2. I was excited to read this, but all the negative reviews made me push it down. It's good to know that you still enjoyed it. I really like unique writing styles and toxic relationships. :)

    1. Same! There're points that I like and other points are just 'meh'. But it still ended okay for me because I'm a fan of Amy Zhang's writing style :)

  3. Like Joy, I didn't really click with Zhang's first book. Sometimes non-linear writing can work for me, but often it prevents me from getting fully invested in the story. And the spoiler (yeah, I peeked). Hmmm. Not sure how I feel about that. But great review - hope you read her next book and maybe I'll try that one!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. ahhh, I'm sorry about that. Non-linear writing is a bit confusing but I still love them. I hope her next novel will be better and we both read and end up enjoying it :)


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