Wednesday, October 27, 2021




The Hope Juvenile Treatment Center is ironically named. No one has hope for the delinquent teenagers who have been exiled there; the world barely acknowledges that they exist.

Then the guards at Hope start acting strange. And one day...they don't show up. But when the teens band together to make a break from the facility, they encounter soldiers outside the gates. There's a rapidly spreading infectious disease outside, and no one can leave their houses or travel without a permit. Which means that they're stuck at Hope. And this time, no one is watching out for them at all.

As supplies quickly dwindle and a deadly plague tears through their ranks, the group has to decide whom among them they can trust and figure out how they can survive in a world that has never wanted them in the first place.


This book hits really close to home by centering around a government shut down due to a respiratory disease that reads as being so much worse than Covid. Taking place in Hope Juvenile Center which is situated in the middle of the Ozark mountains cut off from civilization. Once the virus hits, the teens find themselves abandoned after the guards up and leave.

It did not bother me to read a book such as this so close to the happening around us here. I was lucky, Covid never hit my family, of the four or five different houses in my family, we buckled down and stayed home and none of us caught the virus. I imagine however that this book could be a major triggering point to some people because of the realism of the story. It is funny, if I had read this book before 2020, I might not have thought it so realistic, never have we experienced something like this in our lifetime, so I figured it would almost feel a bit dystopian to me.

The story is a very character-driven slow burn. The events that happen are slowly fed to the reader, paced throughout, but as you read, the dread and tension will be felt on the pages.

 The characters in the book do a great job of taking hold of the situation and have strong wills and resilience. The writer has chosen very diverse characters for the story, for instance, a deaf girl, and another trying to find a God that will be accepting of their queerness. They are all written fantastically with different personalities and abilities but it is great watching them grow and learn to work together. I would have liked a bit more backstory on the characters however, I felt this would have given them each a bit more depth, and a chance for me to know them better.

The one thing I really enjoyed about At The End Everything was the author’s inclusion of things that drove the story forward but were not actually written as the story. Included were phone transcripts and a few other things that seemed to give the story a realness to it.

I do not read a lot of YA books, but this one surprised me and drew me in. It was heartbreaking, and despite that these teens were left to survive alone with sickness and other harsh obstacles surrounding them, this book is also full of hope, love, and survival.

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