Title: All This Could End
Author: Steph Bowe
Age Classification: Young Adult
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release: February 1, 2013
Nina Pretty has an unconventional family and a strong desire to get as far away from her mother as possible. Nina loves reading, wants to do well in school and one day work with animals. All she wants is a normal life, but Sophia, Nina’s mother, is pretty insistent that they live their lives on the run and rob banks before moving on to the next town.
Sophia’s father got her started in the life of crime and were a father-daughter team until he was caught. Not one to sit around, Sophia continued the family tradition.
Paul, Nina’s father, is a school teacher that takes short term positions to facilitate their on-the-run lifestyle. Too in-love with Sophia to stand up to her, Paul instead allowed himself to become her partner in crime (literally) and for their children to be dragged into it too.
Tom, Nina’s twelve-year-old brother, has not been old enough to join them on a robbery until this one. Nina wants to protect him from the life her mother has already forced her into, but he seems eager to please Sophia.
Then there is Spencer, a boy at her school with a kind heart, a love of strange words and family problems of his own. Spencer’s mother has left, his father and sister have stopped talking and Spencer is struggling. He is a friend Nina wants to keep and she is the supportive friend Spencer needs and deserves, but how are they to move past Nina holding a gun to Spencer’s head?
The story shows a psychological form of child abuse and relationship abuse that is often not as obvious as physical abuse. I thought this was a wonderful inclusion as it shows how damaging narcissistic people can be. I also liked that the bank-robbing aspect did not feel over the top as it allowed the story to flow.
The story was told through both Nina and Spencer’s POV which provides the reader with insight into both of the characters lives. I also liked that the prologue starts the story off with the robbery that sees Nina holding a gun to Spencer’s head before the flicking back to nine months before that events. We know this situation occurs, but not how it all came to be or what will happen next. This element was particularly intriguing for me and made up for the fact that Nina and Spencer’s parents angered me.
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Until next time bibliophiles!