Publisher Website - Harper Collins
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages - 304 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received from publisher for an honest review**
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.Some reviews are harder to write than others. Some books you cannot talk about in as much detail as you wish due to not wanting to spoil the experience for anyone. This Is Where The World Ends is one such novel. The synopsis only hints at the truth hidden within these pages but, once again, Amy Zhang has crafted a poignant and relevant story with her incredibly prose.
Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.
Amy Zhang's writing is lyrical and beautiful. Fans of her first novel will immediately fall into this story. Her skill as a writer is in exploring these complex themes in relatively minimal pages. Her stories are tight, condensed and every word and nuance serves the story. This is a story where words matter, and that is reflected even in the writing.
This is a novel of friendship first and foremost, as well as a mystery. The friendship in this novel is messy, magical, wonderful, and consuming. Their friendship is filled with late night adventures and inside jokes. This friendship isn't without it's flaws, and has it's ups and downs, but there is something magical about their bond. The notion of 'something more' is always there in the shadows, and you feel the genuine love and affection these two hold for each other. They balance each other and push each other out of the comfort zones.
This story is told in dual perspectives. We get to hear from both Micah and Janie (both in flashbacks and diary entries). Micah is an unreliable narrator because his memories from the night Janie disappeared are fuzzy. This creates a pretty engrossing mystery whose truth is achingly sad, and all too realistic. The use of the two narrators really works in this particular case. They both fill in details missing from the other that the reader needs to have a complete story. This style of writing is most effective when the two narrations compliment each other, and that is exactly what happens here.
Fairytales are used heavily in this novel, but not in the way you think. This isn't a revamped fairytale where once upon a time leads to happily ever after. This story is one that is all too achingly real and familiar. This story isn't a happy one and Amy Zhang's heartbreaking portrayal of what really happened to Janie is one of the more perfectly crafted parts of the novel. It felt real, infuriating, and honest.
Amy Zhang proves once again that she is a bright emerging voice in Young Adult literature. She manages to pack so much emotion into her stories while keeping you captivated by the story. I eagerly await whatever she writes next and what themes she may explore in the process. These are books that get you talking, and there is much to say about Janie and her story.