Books

Book Review | Until the End

Title: Until the End: The Party; The Dance; The Graduation (Final Friends)

Author: Christopher Pike

My Review:

During my pre-teen and early teen years, Christopher Pike was one of my favorite authors. Over the last few years, I have been really happy to see that Christopher Pike’s books have been re-issued so that a new generation can discover the stories that I used to read over and over again.

One of the newest to get repackaged in omnibus form is the Final Friends trilogy, which is now called Until The End and contains all 3 books which were originally published in slim editions: The Party, The Dance, and The Graduation. I am only now reading the Final Friends trilogy for the first time; there are still quite a few other Christopher Pike books that I have not yet read as well.

The Party, the first volume of this 3-part omnibus, introduces us to a group of California teenagers whose high schools recently merged together. In an effort to solidify their union, Alice and Polly McCoy throw a party while their guardian is out of town. 30 kids from each of the separate schools have been invited, but personalities clash. The Party is pretty slow paced and is mostly just a way of introducing all of the characters. There are so many of them, that at times it is really hard to keep them all straight. Once I got going, though, the vital characters began to stand out more: Michael Olson, Jessica Hart, Sara, and the puzzling Bubba and Clark. If I’d read these books when they had first come out and were individually published, I would have been all sorts of frustrated. The Party ends with someone’s death, which some believe to be a suicide, and others believe to be murder. It is very reminiscent of my all-time favorite Pike trilogy, Remember Me. At this point in the trilogy, I had a pretty good idea of what probably happened to the dead teenager.

The Dance, the second volume in Until the End, has the students of Tabb High recovering from the shock of their friend’s death. Michael is still questioning if the death was a murder or a suicide, and begins to investigate Polly’s boyfriend, Clark. Nick, the African-American basketball player, seems like he has something to hide. Sara begins to organize the school’s homecoming, which then ends in an accident that appears to be no accident at all. I felt that The Dance was also pretty slow, and that it focused on so many unnecessary details. I was more curious than ever about Clark, but little else is revealed, other than he is seemingly capable of some rather twisted events. Who is Clark, and what are his ties to the students of Tabb High?

The Graduation is the final volume in Until the End, where the truth finally comes out. Michael is still bent on determining what really happened to his friend. Graduation is finally here, and class president Sara has an unforgettable party planned for the graduating class. On board a cruise boat headed for Catalina, the events of the party will finally be revealed in an explosive manner. Until the End was a bit of a miss for me; too many happy endings for all of the characters, including the ones that are not all that likable.

*I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this novel.*

Jennifer

Jen currently lives in Utah with her family, and enjoys reading and writing in her spare time. She is active on popular book websites including paperbackswap.com, Goodreads.com, and luxuryreading.com.

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