Where The Staircase Ends by Stacy Stokes is a beautifully intricate novel about society, individuality, and the mysteries of life.
After a terrible rumor is spread all over the school by none other than her best friend Sunny, Taylor wants nothing more than to die and escape the social hell that has become her life. Until she actually dies, that is.
Now stuck on an enormous stone staircase with no way to turn back (literally), Taylor is forced to climb, unsure of everything around her. As she ascends the cracking marble, Taylor is transported back and forth between her new reality and events in her old life, reliving both good and bad scenarios. From sleepovers to breakups and beyond, Taylor is given a new perspective on her life and the decisions she has made.
I have to be honest: When I first began reading Where The Staircase Ends, I was almost positive that I wouldn’t be able to fully enjoy it. The book holds a lot of “teenage girl drama”, which is typically something I find extremely frustrating to read. However, I believe every book deserves a fair chance, and so I powered through the first several chapters. And fell in love. In addition to becoming a serious page turner, the book is deep-minded and metaphorical as well. (The number of annotations I made… *sigh*)
Stokes does an impressive job at blending the transitions between past and present, making the novel flow almost effortlessly. There was never any *unanticipated* confusion, although the plot does keep readers hanging on a ledge! The characters are relatable to the point where I suffered from more secondhand embarrassment than I think I ever have before… which is a rare occurrence. The most beautiful feature of Where The Staircase Ends, however, is the juxtaposition of the mundane things in life to what is really important in the end – for people often fail to realize how precious life is until it is ripped away in one sense or another.
I recommend Where The Stair Case Ends to those who fall in love with novels such as The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and If I Stay by Gayle Forman.