Book Review: This is the Way the World Ends

05.09.2023 | Wednesday Books
Rating: 4/5 stars


You are cordially invited to spend one fateful night surviving an elite private school’s epic masquerade ball.

As an autistic scholarship student at the prestigious Webber Academy in New York City, Waverly is used to masking to fit in—in more ways than one. While her classmates are the children of the one percent, Waverly is getting by on tutoring gigs and the generosity of the school’s charming and enigmatic dean. So when her tutoring student and resident “it girl” asks Waverly to attend the school’s annual fundraising Masquerade disguised as her, Waverly jumps at the chance—especially once she finds out that Ash, the dean’s daughter and her secret ex-girlfriend, will be there.

The Masquerade is everything Waverly dreamed of, complete with extravagant gowns, wealthy parents writing checks, and flowing champagne. Most importantly, there’s Ash. All Waverly wants to do is shed her mask and be with her, but the evening takes a sinister turn.

Fans of end of the world type stories are going to love this YA thriller take that features queer and disability representation. Our main character, Waverly, is there to win readers over from the start and take them on a whirlwind of chaos. I enjoyed how Wilde created a badass group of friends to support Waverly. Each one has a distinct personality and background that add elements to the story and plot. There’s also a great cast of more secondary characters who are there to thwart some part of this group’s plan. 

This story has tons of twists and turns throughout. Some you’ll definitely have to suspend belief for to fully embrace them, but they’re downright fun to read about! Wilde keeps the reader on their toes, never quite letting you know what might come next. I loved guessing about the motives of certain characters or what the friend group would choose to do next. 

Readers be warned: I highly recommend walking into this book blindly because the synopsis gives away major plot points that don’t happen until later in the story. 

A huge thank you to Wednesday Books for my gifted copy!

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