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  • Geraldine McCaughrean

Where the world ends


Set in 1727, nine boys and three men set out to Hirta, where they go every summer to hunt birds. However, no one comes to rescue them and they find themselves abandoned with no other explanation apart from that the world has ended.

Most of the boys started to hallucinate and many and they were certain that God had forgotten to bring them up for judgement day.

However, the story follows Quill, a boy who keeps thinking straight and does not believe the world has ended.

The book is about the hardship of the boys and the battle of survival. Hunting birds- their first purpose of the exhibition - has to stay intact. That is the only way they can survive. I thought the story was written incredibly realistically but also incredibly well. The imagery, symbolism and descriptions in the novel were amazing and it made the book much deeper. It is such an amazing, breathtaking story which also contains devastating truths and outcomes.

The different beliefs and stories assumed about what had happened to them were really interesting, because even all the men (who were meant to be the leaders) had unique ideas as to why they had been abandoned. As a reader, I had no idea what the outcome would be and I thought the ending was incredibly clever and almost dramatically ironic.

The story is based on true events and as the author says in the back of the book, this was an event which no one ever questioned what life was like trying so hard to survive after having no explanation as to why no one was coming for you. It was based in St.Kirta, a place in the British Isles, which I didn't know about before. This alone was interesting because after reading the book I now have the knowledge of both a place and event which I had none of before.

However, I sometimes felt I was not particularly excited to pick up the book and read and sometimes felt confused on what exactly was going on: if it was imagination or reality. Also, sometimes all the characters names got a little confusing and I almost felt there wasn't enough character development so I couldn't link a character to there exact characteristics.

Having said that, due to the storyline and the book being about boys being abandoned on one island, you wouldn't expect a lot of character development and by the end, a lot of my confusion was made clear. It was written extremely well and very properly. So, if you are into American rom-com style books then this is not how this is written. But it is extremely unique so I would recommend teenagers should read it because the way it is written is great!

It is extremely meaningful and also tragic. A book which although I found sometimes dragged on a little, was also gripping in the plot and such a good subject. Although it was incredibly sad at times, was also full of hope and I think it gave a really good message that there is always hope. It was full of twist and new tragedies, new achievements and new explanations every chapter which made it really interesting.

Overall, a good read which is incredibly thought-provoking and interesting. I would recommend to teenagers age 12+BUY IT:


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