*We received this book in exchange for an honest review.*
Doe Saltpeter loves The Weston School more than anything. She and her friends have spent the past three years at war with Winfield Academy, the all-boys school in the same town.
But when senior year starts, Doe and her friends learn that The West School and Winfield Academy plan to merge next year, ruining her favorite place in the world. Doe won’t stand for this, especially since Nathaniel Wellborn III’s (Three’s) family is the one behind it. Of course it would come back to her arch nemesis. Three’s wealthy family can do whatever they want, meaning Doe has to go to extreme measures to change the course of history.
Enter Gabriel Wellborn, aka Wells, who might hate his cousin just as much as Doe. Wells doesn’t care about the merger, but he does have his own reasons for wanting revenge when it comes to Three. Wells and Doe pretend to be a couple and make a pact: the relationship ends when they both get what they want.
However, things aren’t so simple when Wells and Doe realize they actually enjoy spending time together. All Doe knows is she has some decisions to make concerning her head and heart.
This May End Badly is a fun romcom with a lot of pranks. First of all, we love when the fake dating trope is done well and Markum did just that. At first we wondered if Doe and Three might have chemistry, but Doe’s relationship with Wells was super swoonworthy.
The story had some more serious topics as well, which surprised us. Doe opened up with her mental health after her parent’s divorced when she was in middle school. It made The Weston School that much more important to her.
This May End Badly also handles the topic of sexual assault from a man in power. While Three wasn’t a great guy, he showed his best side when he learned about the perpetrator, which led to the girls and guys working together. Warning: this plot point could be a trigger.
A lot of story is light and hilarious, but we appreciated the mix of serious and silly. Doe is a firecracker and won’t let anyone push her around. We respect her tenacity. But we also enjoyed seeing her softer side with Wells. Wells was total sweetheart for most of the book. The romance is a bit slowburn and it took a while to bypass his walls. It was worth it though.
The one aspect we didn’t love was the character development of Doe’s friends. We found ourselves mixing them up because we didn’t get to know them well. It’s not a big problem though since the story highlights Doe, Wells and Three.
If you want a fun romance perfect for the start of summer, we recommend you pick up This May End Badly. It released back in April!