How It Ends – Catherine Lo


There are two sides to every story.

It’s friends-at-first-sight for Jessie and Annie, proving the old adage that opposites attract. Shy, anxious Jessie would give anything to have Annie’s beauty and confidence. And Annie thinks Jessie has the perfect life, with her close-knit family and killer grades. They’re BFFs…until suddenly they’re not.

Told through alternating points of view, How It Ends is a wildly fast but deeply moving read about a friendship in crisis. Set against a tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing, the novel shows what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.


Let’s be clear here: I loved this book from the beginning. I love books set in Canada. I KNOW PEOPLE who went to Sir John A. McDonald Secondary School. This friendship was beautiful and flawed and real. I was ugly-crying on a plane from Hong Kong to Toronto and probably making all my seatmates uncomfortable. Jessie and Annie, they made quite the pair.

And then everything hit the fan. And it made me so disengaged. Really Annie, you have to know better than that, for your own sake. I’d like to think health education is better than that. And how could you push everyone away and resent them for it? You are so, so lucky to have Jessie’s persistence. I don’t think you actually deserved it.

Jessie was also blind and obsessive in her own ways. Boys, bullies, friendship, her own hang-ups.. it got a little too cyclical for me. I don’t like how heroically she was depicted after a certain violent act. Violence isn’t the answer.

I also struggled to believe that people could be so mean, or so cowardly (I think you know which antagonists I am talking about). It was just a little too exaggerated and a little to young to me. Such a shame, since it started off so promisingly.

Related Reading

  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston
  • I’ll Give You the Sun – Jandy Nelson
  • The Last Boy and Girl in the World – Siobhan Vivian

Rating: 3/5


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