Cover Image: This May End Badly

This May End Badly

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Member Reviews

This book was such a great read and I couldn’t put it down. It was super cute, I loved Dorothy and Wells. 🥰 Just what I needed! I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s story telling and writing and am definitely going to have check out more by her. 

I liked how I could picture the characters, their interactions and the places. I also liked how she highlighted the intersections of gender identity and the show of activism for all to feel safe - that was cool especially for seniors in high school. The plus side was that the book still felt light & cute overall - makes me want to go find someone to flirt with 😆 

I also really appreciated how it showed the consequences of her lies in real time and how she was manifesting her anger and sense of belonging into saving her school. I am hoping for a college prank wars sequel. 

I received this eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This story was a fun story about a rivalry between a boys and girls boarding school. The main character Doe experiences many important growing up experiences including making mistakes, relationships with family, first loves, and being a good friend. I appreciated the resolution of the story in that the story worked to problematize predatory relationships of teachers/persons of authority. Some of the characters were underdeveloped with spotlights that could have been added throughout (Shawn and Christian). Overall, I appreciated the simple romance between Doe and Wells along with the relationship dynamics between Doe and Three, Doe and her parents, and Doe and her friend group.
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I absolutely adored this book! There are funny and strong female characters, cute and unexpectedly sweet guys, and an all out prank war between boarding schools. The lead girl Doe isn't perfect and is realistic and entertaining. She's snarky and bold and even though she gets a bit too obsessed with the pranks, she is loyal to her friends and the girls at school.

The story plays out over the course of Doe's senior year at Weston, an all girls boarding school. Doe is ready to make the most of her last year and come out victorious in the prank war against the Winfield boys' school. When she learns that the schools will be merging into one next year, Doe panics and seizes an opportunity to get under her enemy's skin.

The whole plot idea was so much fun and had a lot of originality in it. There's also a slow burn romance that I loved and some great friendship goals. I'm stunned that this is a debut novel and I can't wait to see what comes next!

I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all opinions are my own. Thank you to Wednesday Books and NetGalley for the copy.
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What a cute little romance. It was adorable and quirky. Couldn’t put it down, I did enjoy reading it it was just a little too slow for me
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This was a wonderful teen romance aimed for high school students. With a great divide between Weston and Winfield, it has become tradition between the two campuses to play pranks, and compete with each other but what happens when a merger threatens to bring together these two rivals? This was a light hearted story of discovering who you are, realizing who matters most to you, and coming together to beat a greater evil... all mixed in with a fake dating trope! This book was a delight to read!
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Doe and her friends love their school ,Weston and they love  pranks. However they hate their rival all boys school. They are thrown for a loop when their headmistress announces they will be merging with Winfield Academy the following year. She comes up with a plan to protect her school from the Winfield boys. She even reaches out one of the boys to help her with her plan. Wells is the cousin of her arch nemesis Three. Together they make a plan to take down Three. Wells and Doe start to fake date and feeling start to change. Together they have to decide what is more important the school, pranks or their feelings for each other. I really enjoyed this book for the most part. The pranks were fun to read about and unique. I found the dialogue to be witty and realistic. I didn't enjoy the prevy teacher side story or the way it was kinda just thrown into the mix of what is a sweet ya story.
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Really enjoyed this one! It was a just what I was looking for. Definitely will recommend to friends.
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A campus novel with a plot that ranges from fun (pranks) to serious (sexual assault allegations against a teacher). I wanted to like this book more than I did. I think what bothered me was that the character dialogue was too mature and complex to be believable for teenagers. That's not to say that teens don't have complex thoughts or mature ideas -- they do. It was mostly a dialogue style thing here. And in contrast, the main character came off as fairly immature so don't pick up this book if you can't handle characters making poor decisions and lying outright to defend them.
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First of all thank you to Netgalley for an ARC of this book! I was thrilled to get it and thoroughly enjoyed the read!

I was truing to think of other books to compare this too and it gave me similar vibes to the book Slingshot that I received as an ARC last year and came out this past Spring. If you love YA drama this book is going to be for you! This lovely read is full of that YA drama and angst, but has great rivalry to it as well which is fun. I had three things I really enjoyed about this book though! Minor spoilers ahead if you haven't read the book yet! 

First off, I LOVED this idea of rival schools that find out they suddenly will become one school. What I especially loved about this was that it was an all girls and all boys school rivalry right across the street from each other. I loved the history of the pranking, the "leaders" of these schools and how intense that rivalry was to them.

I also loved the teen angst. Sometimes I get frustrated with how angsty authors write their characters but these characters gave me the perfect amount. I didn't feel overwhelmed by too much angst but they still gave the vibe that they are teenagers. As weird as that was to read, it was weirder to write, because I love a good teen angst story! 

Finally the characters. I loved the background of these characters and how they worked together. I ADORED that Markum threw us in right in the midst of the rivalry with them and as the story goes we learn more about them and how they got to the schools and how they got to be who they are. It was wonderfully written and kept me interested in the character stories the whole read.

Overall a great YA read and a fun one! If you love teen rivalry, angst and romance this one is a must!
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I wound up liking this book after a bit of a rough start.  I found the main character really high strung and immature during the first few chapters, but she went through a lot of growth during the story so I came to realize it was intentional on the author's part.  This book artfully weaves issues like bullying, LGBTQ, and even grooming and sexual abuse, into the storyline and it never feels heavy handed or preachy.

I'm a sucker for the "fake relationship" trope.  And even though initial set up of the fake relationship didn't feel fully realized or articulated to me, I thought the arc was well done and their interactions felt genuine and made me smile.  Ultimately, I really wanted a lot more of it.  The story felt crowded with the main characters core friend group, other students, teachers, parents, and friends parents.  I wish it had been whittled down a bit more so we had more time with fewer characters- especially Doe and Wells.
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This was very very cute and exactly what I was looking for in a ya book. I loved the characters and i especially loved the main female character throughout the book. I genuinely enjoyed myself and this was nothing short of a 5 out of 5 star read!
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This was such an amazing book! I’m so glad I got to read an early copy. I loved how it covered divorce, putting aside differences and moving on. Doe was such a great character. She had her ups and downs but she always came back around. I loved the pranks between the two schools and that Three and Doe finally worked together to get ride of that pervert teacher for the good of the younger female students. The themes were awesome. It was well written and I loved the ending. Overall, such a good book. I would definitely read again.
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What a fun read! 
This isn't your typical boarding school story full of snobby rich people. It's about a group of girls at an all girls school who love their school and will do anything to protect it. Based on the blurb you'd think it was only about this rivalry between the boys school across the street, but there's way more to it. I felt like I was reading a tv show. The way each section of the story was written flowed so well. You'll love every character and especially Doe as she is the main one. I instantly felt like I knew these characters and being alone side them was so much fun. Samanthas writing will make you not want to put this one down.
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Do you ever pick up a book and feel your younger self shriek? This is another YA book I wish had been around when I was 16. It tackles heavy subjects, is at times adorable and forays into friendship and relationships in an honest way. 

The sheer terror of being in grade 12 and having to face down the end of your high school career was so relatable. Really open and honest conversation about safe spaces for queer people and big shoutout to the bi representation 🎉

A quick read and another book im so glad the teenagers pursuing the YA section get to have a chance at.
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YES!!  This is going to be a book to watch in 2022! Who doesn't love a fake dating genre where lines of communication get crossed.
The beginning chapter was hard to get into as there were a lot of characters introduced, but soon the story grabbed my interest. I liked how predictable outcomes in this genre didn't happen, which led to some surprises in the storyline along the way. The main characters were likeable with entertaining dialogue.
I absolutely seeing this being a huge hit as everyone would love to have a story happen to them like this at some point in their life.
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Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with an e-ARC of this book.

cws/tws: grooming, sexual harassment, biphobia (background)

This May End Badly by Samantha Markum is a fun contemporary romance that follows Doe, a girl from an all girls boarding school, Weston, with a bitter prank rivalry against the neighboring all boys boarding school, Winfield. To get on the leader of the Winfield boys’ Three’s nerves, Doe decides to fake date his cousin, Wells (and if you’ve read enough romances you can probably see where this is going). Tensions are high. However, when a teacher’s inappropriate behaviour with a minor comes to light, everyone is forced to band together to fight for what’s really important.

This was a really quick, enjoyable read for me! The premise is exciting and the execution is amazing! Before I get into my likes and dislikes and otherwise thoughts though, I thought I’d qualify this with a few things: perhaps the rival schools thing will lead some readers into thinking that this is supposed to be an enemies-to-lovers romance. Don’t go in assuming this! It does, however, deliver well on the fake dating portion of it. Also, take the content warnings to heart! While the novel veers more on the light-hearted side, it does deal with some pretty heavy topics so I’d keep that in mind. This book is probably more appropriate for slightly older teens. Finally, sometimes the book is less about the romance and how the romance (or perception thereof) affects Doe’s other relationships. I personally loved this, but some people might want a book that focuses more on the main relationship.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about what I loved (which was a lot)! Firstly, the characterization is done so well. Doe is a very messy and flawed protagonist, and she sucks in many ways but you’re rooting for her anyways (or, at least I did). She’s flawed in a very realistic high schooler way and she does things that I would highly disapprove of but you can tell that she wants to be a good person. And Wells - well, he’s great! Again, definitely flawed but also so genuine and kind. I loved the side characters, from Doe’s friends to Three and his crew.

Secondly, I adored Dorothy and her friends! They reminded me of my own friend group in the sense that they had different goals, disagreed with each other and bantered, and there was palpable tension and conflict. The friends aren’t caricatures - they feel like actual people.

Also, the dialogue felt natural and real. A lot of YA books have teens speaking in ways that they really don’t in an attempt to appeal to the audience when it does the opposite. I didn’t feel that way in this book at all - everything seemed like something real high schoolers would say.

The book dealt with grooming and sexual harassment in what I thought was a fairly sensitive way - again, I would take the content warnings to heart - which I know is often difficult, especially in youth literature.

There are a few things that I didn’t love: There was a line comparing homophobia to racism which when I read it I was like “white woman moment,” but it was also just a single line. Also, I wish we got a little more accountability for Doe’s actions towards her loved ones, but in comparison to other books, she definitely gets more consequences, so these two things weren’t too obstructive to my enjoyment of the novel.

4.25 stars! I’d for sure recommend it.
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Okay I thought this was very well done. Yes there were some issues along the way, but I was sucked in from the first chapter and did not put this book down all day. None of the small issues stuck in my head or hindered the reading experience. I was heavily laughing during many of the conversations I highlighted a ton. I enjoyed Doe’s growth through the school year, and how her relationships with her friends and family improved. The ending was sweet, I liked the dual plot going and how it tied together. I recommend.
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I had a difficult time getting into this book, but once I did I was absolutely hooked and could barely put it down! We follow Dorothy Saltpeter (Doe) on her senior year at the all-girls Weston boarding school. Early in the school year, they discover that Weston will be merging with the Whitfield Academy all-boys boarding school across the street. Doe thinks this merger is an absolute insult to the legacy of Mallory Weston and forward thinking for women to get an education, and she must put an end to it.

In addition to the merger, Doe and Three (Nathaniel Emeric Wellborn III) are the leaders of continuing the prank wars that are so ingrained in Weston/Whitfield life. Doe decides that as a senior, and with the schools merging, she needs to take her pranks to the next level. This, ultimately, is the plot line that drives the story forward. Following Doe's obsession with the pranks, her creative execution of the pranks, and her friends and foes that all get involved is something that kept me engaged the entire time, and really threaded the beginning with the end.

Of course, this story also includes a few teen relationships and lust and love. I was really rooting for a couple of the characters while reading, because I felt like as a reader, we were seeing their genuine sides, which the characters in the book were often missing. This was another thread that really brought the whole book together, but more in terms of character cohesiveness than plot. 

Finally, I loved that there was a lot of forward thinking acknowledged in the novel that never felt forced. It was integrated with the plot so effortlessly, but just the mere mention of bisexuality, lesbians, transgender, and more, is something that isn't always done or done well. Though only a small part of the story, I was so pleased to see that it made a way in, especially in a young adult novel. The only thing I didn't love so much were the character's nicknames. They all made sense, but for some reason it really bothered me. I also actually prefer the original title, Weston Girls Take No Prisoners, after reading the novel. 

I absolutely think this book will be one of the ones to watch in 2022 and I would highly recommend it. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press (Wednesday Books Imprint) for the Advanced Reader Copy of this book.
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This one was sort of hit and miss for me. I loved that it was a boarding school and rivalry between the girl and boy school. The pranks were fun and the characters were all well developed and interesting. Even with all this something felt iff for me? Perhaps the pacing? I’m not sure but mid way I started to lose interest a little. But, it was still an easy and quick read.
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Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. 

TW: SA, predatory behavior 

So first off, I just want to say that I DNF’ed this book at 56%. I was really excited to read this because the premise sounded super interesting, but I was heavily let down. The story is about two rivalry schools, Weston (an all girl school) vs. Winfield (an all boy school). Both schools have yearly prank wars against each other to prove one’s superiority over the other. There is a fake dating scheme that happens between the mc, Doe, and Wells from the rivalry school. I thought this would be a fun enemies to lovers, rivals to lovers, fake dating, dark academia story and while it is, I feel like it missed the mark. My first issue was with the main character, Doe. She was super unlikable and selfish. Her actions were purely to benefit herself, and she didn’t care about who else they affected. Second, I’m all for fake dating, but I hated the way it was done in this book. The reason behind them fake dating seemed very immature. Third, I found myself easily getting bored while reading. Lastly, there was a subplot developing about a teacher who is a sexual predator. This caught me so off guard, as I wasn’t expecting this book to deal with that issue. That alone just made me lose interest in reading the rest. While I couldn’t bring myself to finish the story, there were some things I enjoyed. I thought this book did a good job of having diversity within the characters. The prank wars were fun and entertaining. And the romance developing between Doe and Wells had its cute moments. Based on the 56% I read, I’d give this 2/5 stars.
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