Everyone has a comfort zone. In terms of reading, that could be a favorite book, a dependable genre, or a reliable author. For some, the go-to is a traditional teen romance. Add the twist of a raging prank war between two rival schools and all the drama that follows, and you’ve got Samantha Markum’s “This May End Badly.” This book’s humor and plot twists keep this somewhat long read thoroughly entertaining.
There are many characters involved in this novel’s elaborate prank war including main character Dorothy “Doe” Saltpeter, her best friends Gemma, Jade, Sumi, and Shawn, her arch nemesis Nathaniel “Three” Wellborn, and his cousins Gabriel “Wells” Wellborn, Christian Page, “Baby” Page, “Biers” Biermann, and “Joc” Biermann. All of them, whether they like it or not, are players in this ongoing — and quickly escalating — game.
On top of this centuries-long battle between Doe’s all-girls high school Weston Academy and Three’s all-boys high school Winfield Academy, their headmistress and headmaster have announced there will be a merger of the schools over the summer, meaning next year (right after they have graduated) it will be one large co-ed school. Doe is adamantly opposed to this merger, wanting to preserve Weston pride for future generations of girls. But when push comes to shove with sexual assault allegations piling up against a Weston teacher, she realizes she might need to look for help in places in which she vowed to never cooperate.
This book was layered with different plots all criss-crossing from start to finish. Little things throughout the story end up coming back around, so it’s important to be observant. Not to worry, though, because the book’s slower pace and detailed writing will keep readers glued to the pages until the end.
The simultaneously sweet and engaging story makes this book a great read for lovers of romance with a twist.
Note: do be prepared for innuendos/sexual references and mentions/actions of sexual misconduct by characters, as they appear often.