Review: This Is How It Ends

This Is How It Ends
This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Riley and his friends are gearing up for their senior year by spending one last night hanging out in the woods, drinking a few beers, and playing Truth or Dare. But what starts out as a good time turns sinister when they find a mysterious pair of binoculars. Those who dare to look through them see strange visions, which they brush off as hallucinations. Why else would Riley see himself in bed with his best friend’s girlfriend – a girl he’s had a secret crush on for years?

In the weeks that follow, the visions begin to come true…including a gruesome murder. One of Riley’s closest friends is now the prime suspect. But who is the murderer? Have Riley and his friends really seen the future through those mysterious binoculars? And what if they are powerless to change the course of events?

Things I loved:
The plotlines – Yep, more than one, and straddling two genres, mystery and science fiction. On one hand is the murder that happens in the town, and one of the group being a suspect. On the other hand is the fact that the murder was foreseen by that very suspect through an extraordinary pair of binoculars. Alongside these two major plotlines are well-built character arcs for Riley, Natalie and that racer girl (I can’t remember her name!). I loved how the author kept the mystery right until the end, culminating in solving a bigger mystery than was seen from the start. The twist is that what was thought important was unimportant and a trivial thing turned out to be major. Though with a slow pace, the story developed quite well, and was interesting from start to finish.

Things I didn’t love:
Riley and his drama. Man, he is a downer and his self-pity gets irritating at times. He and Sarah didn’t really make sense, and the whole future thing kind of made it a given, thus not allowing the romance to develop naturally. Trip was a character that wasn’t explained, and I felt quite miffed at this, considering other characters were fleshed out so well and he is relegated to only being represented as an arrogant jock. The murder reveal was a bit fizzled out, but then there was that other mystery so it was balanced, I guess.

Verdict: Layered plot and well-written characters make me love this book, but I warn against the drama.

Received an ARC from Simon Pulse via Edelweiss. This does not affect my opinions or review

View all my reviews


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