At the End of Everything by Marieke Nijkamp – Book Review

What happens when a pandemic more deadly and contagious than Covid races through the world and a bunch of teenagers are left to their own devices in a juvenile treatment centre? That is, not quite a jail, but certainly a long way from freedom.

I loved the concept of this book. I’m a big fan of YA books of teens without adults having to deal with survival (like Gone by Michael Grant or The Enemy by Charlie Higson) because of the questions it raises. What are the things that adults do that children take for granted, and can they get their act together in time to have enough food and shelter and everything else required to survive? In this case, with an illness so devastating, would the people that work at the facility take the time to put things in place for the teenagers or just abandon them? Would anyone remember them or be able to help? Or be willing to help? Would the teens fall naturally into certain tasks, or would some things just not get done? This is an interesting take on all of this, adding in seamlessly LGBTQIA+ characters as well as characters with disabilities.

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