Title: This Is Where the World Ends
Author: Amy Zhang
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.
Using a nonlinear writing style and dual narrators, Amy Zhang reveals the circumstances surrounding Janie’s disappearance in a second novel.
Well, haven’t we heard and read this before? I know, this seems like a typical story. A girl and a boy in their teenage years with their capricious minds, stuck in their hypocrisy and ‘I thought I know you’ kind of friendship. However, the blurb may suck but that doesn’t necessarily mean the story does, too. Do not judge the book by its back cover! (or reviews, for that matter) Reviews are pretty much opinionated. It’s personal preference. What I might think is great may look mediocre to you and that’s okay! It’s good to read different insights.
Amy Zhang doesn’t just write, she does it really well. As someone who breathes in poetry, I must say that Amy didn’t disappoint.
“because the earth is really just a bunch of body holes waiting to be filled, and neither of us can ever find a place to fit except with each other”
“I’m in so many pieces that there’s nothing left to hold”
“Embers. Most people are just waiting for a breath to coax them to life”
I really love how this is written as well. The two exchange narrative between Micah and Janie might be confusing at first but after a couple of chapters, you’ll get the flow of it. I like how Janie is the before and Micah is the after. For me, it gives more depth to the story.
The look into Janie’s journal is interesting too—with those sketches and metaphors and happily-ever-after’s and the universe doesn’t give a shit. I mean, that’s just how the world goes, isn’t it?
Okay, I gotta admit, this is not one of the best plots out of thousands and thousands of bookshelves. It’s just average. Nothing to fuss over about unless you are a feminist like me. There’s a part in here that will trigger you. This can be that one of the many that cries for justice and equality. Janie didn’t find her voice, but in her words, she found and lost herself. That’s how vital her journals are to the story. It adds up to how well Amy penned this.
The story probably just revolved around them so it might bore you but I don’t know I like it. Not something like 5 stars and all but still worth a read.
The title’s relevance to the story is there. The quarry is where the world ended for them. They made each other their world that it dragged them down, separated them in a sad and tragic way.
“The world doesn’t end. They move on.”
If you have read John Green’s Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, you might find Alaska and Margo in Janie’s character. I keep saying that Margo is the journey, Alaska is the last destination; the dead end; the lost case. Janie is a mixture of both girls. And the same as the first two, I hate the self-centered girls who only think of ‘finding’ themselves without considering the feelings of those who will be left behind. Though, Janie, didn’t actually leave, she gave false signals to Micah (surprise! so Paper Towns!) She also hates her parents (I warned you~). She dates the jocks and doesn’t want to be seen with Micah in school but goes to him at night for adventures and talks. And that makes Micah your Quentin (really, I told you so~).
Janie loves metaphors and Skarpies and fire and rocks. Micah is your typical shy and awkward kind of guy who spends most of his time with his only friend mentioned here, Dewey. Even before the incident with Janie, it’s clear that he’s got an only friend at school. Micah’s mum died and he’s not really close to his father. I guess that’s what makes him feel uncomfortable with people since he’s not even at ease in his own home.
Some people are saying that they hate Janie for using Micah, I think not. I honestly think she loves Micah but she’s afraid that it may affect their friendship so instead, she’s sometimes a bitch to him and she dates Ander in school. If you will see it this way, Janie might think that Micah deserves better, someone better than her. But her selfishness can’t let Micah go because he might be her biggest ‘the one that got away’. If you get where I’m coming from, that’s how I understand it. Janie has nothing but her journals. She may be surrounded by people but she doesn’t really like where she is right now. She is so lost that she can’t even understand herself.
“..you have to understand yourself before you can understand anything else”
Janie lives inside her fairytales because it’s her escape. Her world revolved around Micah too when they used to be neighbors but when they moved out I guess it kinda hit her that there’s a vast world outside them two. She refuses to see that so she escapes from the reality she’s in, but, shit happens and she knows it’s time for her to face it and grow up. She did—in a wrong way.
She has all my sympathy. I hope we all know how to handle things no matter how hard those are. I hope we all know how to seek for help or just talk to someone. I just hope our world doesn’t end the way Janie and Micah does.
Quote to Ponder
How many times can a person explode?
“..and the world exploded and rebuilt itself without that particular detail.”
I don’t know how many times we can break but still survive the pain. I think it’s beautiful that we are both weak and strong. We break down then we lift ourselves up. Life is the infinite cycle of death and rebirth. We burn down to ashes and we explode back to life.
The only thing I like about the book is probably Amy’s style in writing and the metaphors and the occasional quotable quotes that will really make you think and reevaluate your life. Though, maybe, my perspective about this will change if I haven’t read John Green’s works first. It may be unfair to criticized it this way. I can’t help it.
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