Until the End by Christopher Pike
Until the End is not one book; it is a compilation of the Final Friends trilogy written by Christopher Pike in the late 80s. In the first book, The Party, a group of friends host a get-to-know-each-other party and someone dies. The death is ruled a suicide but one of the dead person’s friends doesn’t believe it. The second, The Dance, is the friend trying to figure out what actually happened. In The Graduation, the final book, the mystery is solved. The end.
My opinion: meh.
I was expecting this book to be full of suspense and intrigue; something I wouldn’t want to put down until the final page was turned. Unrealistic expectations, I know, but I wanted something exciting and I honestly thought a murder mystery would be it. I was wrong.
I know I mentioned this in another post but I’ll say it again: I can’t stand when books take forever to get started. Yes, I understand there’s a lot of background info that needs to be given and the foundation for the story needs to be set but when reading these books (especially one and two) I felt that that was pretty much all there was. Each book is around 300 pages and I swear it was like I was reading 200 pages of whiny teenage problems, 70 pages of set-up, and 25 pages of solid story. One contributing factor I think would be the multiple side stories that are not mentioned in the blurb. Guy 1 likes Girl 1 who likes Guy 2 but then decides Guy 1 is better. Girl 2 likes Guy 3 but Girl 3 is trying to steal him away. The drama! The whining! Can someone please shut up already and get on with the whole death thing? No? Great.
Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t that the subplots were bad. In fact, they’re probably the main plot in something else I’ve read. It’s just that they were so unexpected and, quite frankly, kind of irrelevant. More emphasis was put on the characters’ personal issues than was put on the mystery itself—the very reason I read the book in the first place!
One thing I did like about it was the ending. I’m a big fan of plot twists; I love when the thing you least expect is what happens. That’s exactly how Until the End ended. The mystery’s solution turned out to be something that hadn’t even crossed my mind, something that picked out little, seemingly insignificant details and strung them together to create something completely surprising.
All in all, the only reason I’d recommend it is to get to read the ending. Honestly, you could probably skim everything before and it wouldn’t make much difference, just take up less time. One thing to add though: if you do read it, keep in mind the time this was written (80s). It talks about things like electroshock therapy and such, things that more modern society has disregarded or discarded. I was reading it thinking about today and some points were confusing to grasp. It wasn’t until I’d finished the series that I discovered it had originally been written in the 80s and things started to make more sense.
Click here for the book synopsis on Goodreads