Although This Is Where It Ends, a YA novel by Marieke Nijkamp, was published by Sourcebooks Fire almost six months ago, it is having a moment. Actually, the book is having 54 days of special moments, through a summer promotion recently launched by Sourcebooks, called the “Every Moment Counts Challenge.” The promotion, which launched on June 15 and concludes on August 7, encourages participants to create “as many ‘moments,’ ” – or instances of connecting with others – as possible during these 54 days. To give participants a little incentive to share their progress along the way on social media – #thisiswhereitends and #everymomentcounts – prizes are being given out, with Sourcebooks randomly dispensing gift cards and book-related swag, including posters, galleys, and book bundles.
The challenge was inspired by the theme of the novel itself: life is short, and one should take advantage of every minute. This Is Where It Ends tells the story of an Alabama high school student armed with a gun who takes his schoolmates hostage in a locked auditorium. He spends the next 54 minutes killing some, while sparing others. The story is told from the perspectives of four teens, each of whom has had a fraught prior relationship with the gunman. In its review, PW called This Is Where It Ends “an engrossing, unrelenting tale” that might be too intense for some readers, but “unquestionably leaves an indelible mark.” It has also struck a chord: it has sold 40,000 copies to date (with 86,500 in print); rights have been sold to date in German, Dutch, Italian, and Spanish.
Sourcebooks decided to issue the “This Is Where It Ends Challenge” this summer because the company received feedback from a number of teachers and school librarians about their students’ strong emotional responses to it. The company wanted to “do something this summer that would both inspire and challenge” those readers, publicity director Heather Moore told PW, relating an anecdote relayed by one teacher that the book was passed through an entire group of students in four days. A librarian who, after suggesting that students read copies, encountered a line outside her office the next morning of teens wanting to discuss the book.
“If nothing else, we hope this idea will remind folks how important it is to make the most of every moment, and that even small acts – an inspirational note, a compliment, a call – can have an enormous impact,” Moore said.