This May End Badly is such a fun young adult novel. There is a prank war, a fake relationship, strong friendships, and some major character growth along the way. I honestly devoured this book. It was absolutely hilarious and kept me on my toes as everything came together.
The prank war has been going on for years between two historic prep schools: Weston and Winfield. Weston is an all girls school; Winfield is an all boys school; and when it announced that the two schools will be merging the following year, it is not received very well. Especially in the case of the main character, Doe who feels that Weston is her safe haven. Determined to not let this happen, she tries to escalate the prank war to prove that the two will not work well together. These pranks are hilarious; and also involve some much banter between the characters.
It is the banter that brings forth the fake dating troupe between Doe and Wells. Wells is the cousin of Three, who is the head of the Winfield pranks. Three and Doe cannot stand each other; and Wells suggests that he and Doe start fake dating each other to get under Three’s skin. He also has an ulterior motive involving a family heirloom. Wells and Doe are so good together. I loved watching their dynamic change. It does get a little bit messy and it all so good!
Something else that gets a bit messy is the friendships within this story. There is a core group of girls that Doe has been friends with for so long. They are her co-conspirators for the pranks and are also some of the realistic people in her life. They are not afraid to tell her like it is, especially when things are getting way too complicated. This dynamic felt so realistic and I loved how it pushed forth character growth in Doe as she determines what is truly important to her.
There was one thing that pulled me out the story. It involves the sub-plot of the creepy teacher who is lurking around the school. Although it does pull the characters together with a common goal, it also just felt so cringeworthy. Perhaps that was author Samantha Markum’s plan? If so, well done. There was just something about it that didn’t fully vibe for me. It may have been a necessary plot point to bring everything together but, I just feel like it could have been handled in a way that didn’t break up the story.
Doe wasn’t always an easy character to follow but her intentions are usually pure. She just had a tendency to get in over her head. This May End Badly gives the character of Doe alot of room to grow. The boarding school location is also perfect for character growth and the hilarious prank war. There was just so much good in this book and that makes for a wonderful debut novel. I look forward to seeing what the author comes up with next.
Rating: 4 Stars
*I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.**