This is the Way the World Ends by Jen Wilde

Published: May 9, 2023
Wednesday Books
Pages: 269
Genre: Teen & Young Adult Horror
KKECReads Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Jen Wilde is the queer, autistic author of QUEENS OF GEEK, THE BRIGHTSIDERS and GOING OFF SCRIPT. Jen’s books have been published internationally, translated into multiple languages, and released as audiobooks. Their first book, QUEENS OF GEEK, was shortlisted for the 2018 Rainbow Book List.

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 when Waverly stumbles into a secret meeting between the dean and the school’s top donors―and witnesses a brutal murder. This gala is harboring far more malevolent plots than just opening parents’ pocketbooks. Before she can escape or contact the authorities, a mysterious global blackout puts the entire party on lockdown. Waverly’s fairy tale has turned into a nightmare, and she, Ash, and her friends must navigate through a dizzying maze of freight elevators, secret passageways, and back rooms if they’re going to survive the night.

And even if they manage to escape the Masquerade, with technology wiped out all over the planet, what kind of world will they find waiting for them beyond the doors?

“I don’t know how much more of this night I can take.”

Waverly is a scholarship student at a very prestigious private school. She knows she isn’t like the other students, but she also knows this will help her chances of getting into Yale. Befriending one of the popular girls leads Waverly to attend a ball, pretending to be Caroline. If only there weren’t so many secrets.

This book started really strong but then went all over the place. I was not expecting the turn it took.

The characters were all interesting and different, and I liked Waverly and Pari a lot. This was a bit of cult and sci-fi mixed with teenagers and wealthy followers.

I feel like the build-up happened so fast and didn’t make sense. It felt rushed, and if parts were more fleshed out, this could be a really good story.

Overall, it was an easy read, and the writing kept me engaged.

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