This Is the Way the World Ends

Jen Wilde

This Is the Way the World Ends
Little, Brown Book Group
United Kingdom
9 May 2023

This Is the Way the World Ends

Jen Wilde

Fans of One of Us Is Lying and The Hazel Wood are cordially invited to spend one fateful night surviving an elite private school's epic masquerade ball in Jen Wilde's debut thriller, This Is the Way the World Ends.

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 dean. So when her tutoring student and resident 'it girl' asks Waverly to attend the school's annual 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.

Waverly's fairy-tale has turned into a nightmare, and she, Ash, and her friends must navigate through a dizzying maze of freight elevators and secret passageways if they're going to survive the night.


Waverly is an autistic scholarship student at a prestigious school in New York City. In order to get by, Waverly tutors her wealthy classmates. That’s how she meets Ash, the dean’s daughter. They start a secret relationship, but then, one day, Ash ghosts her and Waverly has no idea why. Desperate for answers, she agrees to go to the school’s annual fundraising masquerade ball, pretending to be Caroline – the student she tutors and also the school ‘it girl’ – who just wants a night off. There she will be able to confront Ash and finally get some answers. The ball is everything Waverly could imagine: beautiful people wearing beautiful clothes while eating fancy food and guzzling champagne. But then, things start to get sinister. Waverly discovers that the ball is far more than just a fancy event – it’s a celebration of the end of the world. And suddenly Waverly is fighting for her life and the lives of everyone she cares about.

I have been a huge fan of Jen Wilde for many years and couldn’t wait to read This Is the Way the World Ends. This is Wilde’s first dystopian thriller and she absolutely nailed it. It’s fast-paced, and will make you laugh and gasp at the same time. In true Wilde fashion, there is a diverse cast of characters, including queer, disabled and chronically ill characters. It’s an analysis of the privilege of the 1% and their rejection of anyone outside of their ideas of ‘perfect’. So hold on, this book is one wild ride! Fans of Karen M. McManus and Becky Albertalli will devour this book. Perfect for ages 13+

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