Monday, May 29, 2017

THIS IS WHERE THE WORLD ENDS BY AMY ZHANG - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, This Is Where The World Ends by Amy Zhang.


This book won't be for everyone. I wasn't sure it was going to be for me for a bit, but then I started to love it.

The story follows the perspectives of Micah and Janie. They're best friends who don't associate with each other in public but behind the scenes they are partners in crime, bringing good things to good people and forcing karma on those who've done wrong. Life is going pretty good until Micah wakes up in the hospital with no memory of what happened before. He soon finds out there was a bonfire at Janie's house, he was there and no one will tell him where Janie is.

This book is told in a non-linear way. The After chapters are in Micah's perspective where he tries to piece together what happened and is sprinkled with glimpses of the past. The Before chapters are in Janie's perspective and tell the story of what happened leading up to the night of the bonfire, filling in the gaps of Micah's memory. Like with Zhang's debut novel, Falling into Place, I really enjoyed the writing style. I know for some it is all over the place but I liked the way she worked to slowly put the pieces together.

It doesn't take a genius to see the toxicity in Micah and Janie's relationship but the way Zhang writes the nuances of it create a setting where you can't always see the lines of this toxicity. I mean, they don't interact in public, but they are always there for each other, no matter what. This depiction of a toxic relationship shows that the poison isn't always so easy to see but can still be just as effective.

Character-wise, I liked both characters. Micah was a good character, I don't know if I would really say he was a super dynamic character, I'm not sure I know him, but I did like how Zhang portrayed him most of the time. I did, however, really like Janie. She was just on the cusp of a manic-pixie-dream-girl but without pushing it over the line. She was very pessimistic, but I think that was why I related to her so well. She loves fairy tales and make-believe but at the end of the day, she is a straight shooter. I really appreciated how Zhang would bring her character to the edge but didn't push her over the extreme.

I absolutely loved the way Zhang played with fairy tales in this book. At first, Janie wrote her life as a fairy tale, broken down to what happened in perhaps a not so happily ever after way. But then as the book progressed, Janie begins to write the fairy tales as they would have happened in modern day. If the prince didn't make it to the princess in time, if the mermaid drowned, if the fairy tale ended differently. These little snippets throughout the story were great additions and I thought Zhang worked them in wonderfully.

My only complaint about this book is that it's not really about the apocalypse. I mean it's kind of about the end of the world in some aspects but it's about the end of the character's worlds.

Overall, despite the other negative reviews on this one, I loved it and highly recommend.