In “Where You End” by Anna Pellicioli, readers meet heartbroken Miriam who, in a fit of rage, pushes over a priceless Picasso metal work. The only witness to Miriam’s crime is a strange girl, Paloma, who bribes Miriam into taking pictures of her young brother in exchange for silence. Paloma explains to Miriam that she ran away from home and that she only wants the pictures so that she can see how well her brother is doing. The rest of the novel takes readers on an emotional rollercoaster as Miriam tries to come to terms with her feelings for her ex-boyfriend, Elliot, and her rash actions towards a famous piece of art.
In the beginning, I became so depressed when reading about Miriam’s longing for her ex-boyfriend, Elliot, and her anger towards him at quickly finding a new girlfriend. It was easy to sympathize with her during the first few pages but after a while it felt like the story was just droning on. However, after the stress of her situation gets to her and Miriam dethrones the priceless statue, I felt like the story well-needed jumpstart. Once meeting the mysterious girl who saw her push the Picasso statue, Miriam now gains company in her misery. She and Paloma share a secret and this bond helps to distract Miriam from her broken heart. Miriam begins to investigate the life of her new runaway friend and, ultimately, realizes that her story is not the only one being told.
While I was annoyed by Miriam’s whining about her lost relationship, I loved her personality. She is introverted yet very spunky. She’s witty without coming off as rude and her interests in art and photography made it even easier for me to relate to her. What I think I liked the most about Miriam’s character is that she constantly questions everything. She tries to rationalize what made her push the statue. She questions the logics of marriage and relationships and she tries to understand the reason behind people’s actions.
Even though “Where You End” focuses primarily on Miriam’s adventures in discovering herself, who this mysterious runaway is and the many questionable wonders of life, I admired the fact that the author took the time to develop the secondary characters in her novel. While Elliot is Miriam’s fixation throughout the novel, we get an idea of who he truly is when she explains why they broke up. I was with Miriam all the way when I first read about her failed relationship but, as the rest of the story unfolds, it’s revealed that it’s Miriam who was being unreasonable. She expected Elliot to be just like her. She expected him to be as passionate about art and photography like she is. What she failed to realize at the time is that Elliot never once tricked her into believing he was anyone else. He shows her how passionate he is about music and the “underground scene.” He is always clear about his intentions and who he is.
By the end of the novel, Miriam finally begins to understand this. I also liked how the author introduced Elliot’s new girlfriend, Maggie. When Miriam has to sit next to her in class, she describes Maggie as “not your typical villain.” Maggie comes off as your average teenage girl (not the one that is depicted in typical teenage movies); she’s not the gorgeous bitchy girl who goes around flaunting her popularity or her friends. As described in the novel, Maggie is the kind of girl who is “balanced. Very Very balanced.”
One of my favourite characters that didn’t have a large part in the book but still a significant one, is Miriam’s mother. Her mother is shown as the perfectionist who is traditional and who holds Miriam up to certain standards. While the author could have made Miriam’s mother one-dimensional, she adds in splashes of personality along the course of the novel. When Miriam comes home one evening she finds her mother sprawled on the couch with her hair out, a cigarette in hand and Miriam’s pictures all over the living room. This is scene easily unnerves Miriam because she isn’t used to seeing her mother looking like an average woman. She’s used to a condescending and overlord mother not a mother who seems like she’s had a life before giving birth.
Needless to say, I loved this. “Where You End” by Anna Pellicioli packed the right amount of drama, heartfelt emotions and realism that I always love in a Young Adult novel. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, you’re seriously missing out.
Publisher: Flux; 1 edition (June 8, 2015)
Length: 312 pages
Genre: YA Fiction
Completed: February 2016