2 stars · fiction

This Is How It Ends by Jen Nadol

This Is How It Ends

author : jen nadol

pages : [hardcover] 320

summary :

If you could see the future, would you want to? After the disturbing visions Riley and his friends see turn out to be more than hallucinations, fate takes a dangerous twist in this dark and suspenseful page-turner.

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?

review :

I read through the entirety of this book, even though I was tempted to not finish it. Unfortunately I’m disappointed that I pushed myself to finish because the ending was set up like there might be a sequel to this, which I definitely wouldn’t read. There weren’t many things that I ended up liking about this book; the good portions ended up being few and far between.

First of all, I didn’t really like the characters. They were distinguishable from one another, which was nice, but for some reason I never really ended up caring for them. Even when events in the book finally began to escalate, I still wasn’t concerned for the characters. That’s something that can definitely break a book for me and because the plot was slow to build, with lots of blank space between moments of intrigue, this was a big thumbs down for me.

The summary of this calls it a ‘page-tuner’; I’d say that it’s anything but. It takes a long time in the book for the characters to actually get to the binoculars that give them visions of the future. That part was interesting, but then there was a lull in the action for a while. The characters were often repeating themselves and having uninteresting conversations in between the binocular scenes, too. They’d take several pages to talk about something, broach a subject that could go nowhere because none of them have any answers, and I’d find myself skimming the pages because it was a whole lot of text where nothing was coming out of it.

I don’t know who to recommend this book to. Perhaps there are people out there who’d liked it more than I would but no specific group is coming to mind. This book reads like it’s a half-formed idea. There’s a chance that if I pick up another of Nadol’s books, I’d have a different or better experience with it, but at this point I’m not sure if I’ll try reading more by her.

2/5 stars


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