Book Review: This is How We Change the Ending

Vikki Wakefield

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

published: 16th June 2020
spoilers? nope


I have questions I’ve never asked. Worries I’ve never shared. Thoughts that circle and collide and die screaming because they never make it outside my head. Stuff like that, if you let it go—it’s a survival risk.

Sixteen-year-old Nate McKee is doing his best to be invisible. He’s worried about a lot of things—how his dad treats Nance and his twin half-brothers; the hydro crop in his bedroom; his reckless friend, Merrick.

Nate hangs out at the local youth centre and fills his notebooks with things he can’t say. But when some of his pages are stolen, and his words are graffitied at the centre, Nate realises he has allies. He might be able to make a difference, change his life, and claim his future. Or can he?

This Is How We Change the Ending is raw and real, funny and heartbreaking—a story about what it takes to fight back when you’re not a hero.

The willingness to expose wounds is a sign of privilege. Vulnerability is a survival risk, so you don’t show it.

Galley provided by publisher

CWs: domestic abuse, child abuse

Every time I rate a book 3 stars, I come across the same problem: how do I review a book I had no particularly strong feelings about?

Let me start by saying this book was good. Vikki Wakefield is an accomplished writer and creates characters you won’t be able to help but root for.

So why did I not feel it so much?

Firstly, books about everyday life rarely appeal to me. This one, I picked up because years back I read and enjoyed another of hers, Friday Brown. But generally, those books rely on their characters to drive the plot and, for all that character-driven books can be excellent (like Melina Marchetta), all too often they fall short for me. And that was the case here. For all that I liked the characters, I couldn’t muster any love for them.

It possibly didn’t help that the plot promised by the blurb didn’t actually kick in til around two thirds through, and then failed to amount to a whole lot besides. In fact, there were a number of plot points that felt unfinished like this, as if they were introduced and then forgotten about. But some of that was down to the style of the book and some because they weren’t really the focal point of the story.

Besides all that, I did enjoy this book, and if a character-driven story is up your alley, then this would definitely be one I recommend.

2 thoughts on “Book Review: This is How We Change the Ending

  1. Yes, I feel you. I recently reviewed a book and though I enjoyed half of it, I had no strong feelings for it. Even when I was writing the review, any words were hardly coming out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh i know i could hardly even write this much for it…. it’s a shame bc i remember liking another by this author a lot better and now i’m wondering if it’s an actual book thing or if my tastes have just changed

      Liked by 1 person

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