“The bitingly hilarious, heartfelt This May End Badly takes your favorite fake dating trope and adds plenty of downright delightful shenanigans that’ll have readers tearing through the pages.”—Emma Lord, New York Times bestselling author of You Have a Match
Pranking mastermind Doe and her motley band of Weston girls are determined to win the century-long war against Winfield Academy before the clock ticks down on their senior year. But when their headmistress announces that The Weston School will merge with its rival the following year, their longtime feud spirals into chaos.
To protect the school that has been her safe haven since her parents’ divorce, Doe puts together a plan to prove once and for all that Winfield boys and Weston girls just don’t mix, starting with a direct hit at Three, Winfield’s boy king and her nemesis. In a desperate move to win, Doe strikes a bargain with Three’s cousin, Wells: If he fake dates her to get under Three’s skin, she’ll help him get back his rightful family heirloom from Three.
As the pranks escalate, so do her feelings for her fake boyfriend, and Doe spins lie after lie to keep up her end of the deal. But when a teacher long suspected of inappropriate behavior messes with a younger Weston girl, Doe has to decide what’s more important: winning a rivalry or joining forces to protect something far more critical than a prank war legacy.
This May End Badly is a story about friendship, falling in love, and crossing pretty much every line presented to you—and how to atone when you do.
What’s it about (in a nutshell):
This May End Badly by Samantha Markum is a complex and moving romantic comedy about Doe (short for Dorothy) and her friends during their last year at The Weston School. Doe is the queen of pranks against the rival boys’ school, and she has big plans for her senior year.
What I Enjoyed:
The aspect I loved the most about this story is how much is going on. The story is told by Doe, and since she is a complex young woman with a complicated mind, I think it is only natural that the story would cover a lot of ground. But it does so in a way that I could easily follow, and everything happening worked to keep the pace quick and hold my attention.
I also enjoyed the combination of less severe plotlines with more serious ones. The pranks against the boys’ school and the rivalry between Doe and Three (her male counterpart) are funny, witty, and entertaining. The stunts reminded me of pranks that go on today during Senior prank day, though loads more creative. These fun events are interspersed with the more serious issue of a male teacher who makes many girls feel uncomfortable and whom there have been rumors about for the whole five years he has been at The Weston School. I like to say this plotline is unrealistic, but it is not unusual in high schools today. These different threads form an entertaining story that is lots of fun as well as a tool for bringing awareness to an issue that is often swept under the rug.
I love a good enemies-to-lovers tale. This May End Badly develops a remarkable story of a fake relationship turned real. I was mesmerized and ultimately emotionally invested. I loved Doe and Wells individually. Together, they were just perfect with their witty banter, undeniable chemistry, and unwavering support.
What I Wish:
I don’t have anything that I would change about this story. I found it highly entertaining with a touch of reality, making it easy to suspend disbelief. The story flowed easily, and the characters were all interesting to read about.
Doe is the main character and tells this tale through 1st person narration. She is full of passion, especially when protecting the underdog and righting all of the world’s wrongs. Being a born leader, Doe is never happier than she is when her friends are around her. She is loyal, committed, and not scared to do things that are heard – whether they be right or wrong. The complexities and layers that form this character are so compelling that I couldn’t help but feel for her as she became her own worst enemy and stood by her as she struggled to find her way through challenges.
The support characters are also well-developed and create a lovely story about friendships, how messy they can be, and how rewarding they are.
To Read or Not to Read:
If you are looking for a fun read with complex characters and entertaining situations, this is the book you must get today!