This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum | ARC Review

Hello and happy Monday! I hope that you are all having a good start to your weeks! I got to read an advance copy of This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum recently, and I loved it! It’s a really fun book, with a lot of important messages and themes. This May End Badly comes out tomorrow, April 12th, and if you’re a fan of YA contemporaries, then it’s one I definitely recommend. I’m so excited to tell you all about my thoughts on this book today, so let’s get into the review!!

The One True Me and You

Author: Samantha Markum

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: April 12th, 2022

Genre: YA contemporary romance

Storygraph | Goodreads

*This review is spoiler free.*


“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.

I received a digital advance copy of this book from the publisher, Wednesday Books, in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions and my review.

This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum is is YA contemporary romance about Doe, a high school senior who goes to The Weston School, an elite private academy for girls. Weston girls also happen to be in a generations-long prank war with the students of the neighboring school, the Winfield boys. When it’s announced that Weston and Winfield are going to be merged, the feud becomes much more chaotic than ever before, and Doe is intent on stopping the merger by winning the prank war, after all these years.

Three is at the top of Winfield, and is Doe’s nemesis. She will do anything to stop him and to win, so when she comes up with the plan to fake date his cousin, Wells, she dives in without a second thought. But things with Wells get more complicated, and Doe ends up in a messy web of lies while trying to keep up her end of the deal with Wells, and well trying to end the merger.

And, when worse things unfold at the school than just the merger, Doe has to decide what she really is willing to sacrifice for the merger, what might be more important than preserving the legacy of the Weston girls, and what she is willing to do and to fight for.

This May End Badly is a fast paced and entertaining book, with complex and diverse characters, and a plot full of countless twists and turns.

Doe is the main character: she is a lovable, flawed, complex, and really, really messy person, with a lot of passion and dedication towards being a Weston girl. She attends The Weston School because her mom went there, but also because at her school in her home town, she had a really hard time. Doe really struggled with her parents divorce, and after her parents separated, her classmates found out that Doe’s dad was bisexual, and was dating a man. This had always been just a part of Doe’s life, but she faced a lot of bullying for it, and many students would call her dad slurs. Eventually she had to leave, and that was how she got to Weston. The Weston School had become her home, and had been a safe place for her. She had also thrown herself into the prank war her freshman year, and it had consumed her life from then on.

Doe starts fake dating Wells when she find out about the merger, in an attempt to make Three, her nemesis in the prank war, jealous. The only thing that Wells wants in return is help in getting a precious family heirloom that wrongfully was given to Three.

Both Wells and Three have more depth than you would first imagine when meeting them, and both of their characters end up being fleshed out really well. You learn a lot about their family, and what it really means to be one of the Wellborns; the privilege, wealth and horrors of growing up as a Wellborn cousin. As their stories unfold, and as Doe learns more, it gives her a perspective on the cousins that she never thought about before.

Samantha Markum’s writing so beautifully captures Doe’s spirit and personality, and weaves it to tell the story of This May End Badly in a really great way. Having the book told from Doe’s point of view is such a perfect way for the book to be written; you get the facts of what’s happening, while also getting a lot of Doe’s own thoughts about the events, and what’s happening. I also think that the pacing of the book is really good; there are never dull moments, and the larger plot points and plot twists are spread far enough apart that they aren’t all crowded together, but not so far apart that the reader gets bored.

Samantha Markum was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where she got her great literary start writing Newsies fan fiction in middle school.

She went to high school and college in Florida, where she mostly just collected sunburns, and eventually moved to Los Angeles so she could complain about how much she missed In-N-Out once she left.

She currently lives in her hometown of St. Louis. When she’s not writing, she can be found begging her dog for attention, buying too many candles, and ignoring the dust bunnies gathering in her house. When she is writing, you can find her staring at the wall in search of inspiration.

She is the author of This May End Badly and You Wouldn’t Dare.

Follow her on Twitter for bad jokes and Instagram for bad pictures.

Website | Goodreads

This May End Badly is a fun and exciting YA contemporary romance, with a perfect balance of serious topics mixed in with hilarious plot. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good YA contemporary romance, and anyone just wanting a fun book!

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum? What is your favorite YA contemporary romance? What did you think of this review? Chat with me in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “This May End Badly, by Samantha Markum | ARC Review

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