This Is the Way the World Ends: A Novel (Hardcover)
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 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?
“[This] YA thriller with Secret History-meets-7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle vibes features a lovable and badass queer autistic heroine caught between the glitz of her prestigious school’s gala, a gruesome murder, and a global tech blackout.” –Autostraddle
"Intrigue is threaded throughout...[a] thought-provokingly relevant thriller." –Kirkus Reviews
“Wilde fashions a claustrophobic atmosphere that heightens the cultish horror happenings.. [a] hair-raising dystopian chiller.” –Publishers Weekly
“Quickly grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. It’s a bold move to set the story over a single night and it pays off in dramatic fashion. Jen Wilde has written a thrilling tale about privilege, power, and the different routes our future may take, depending on who has the controls.” –Vincent Ralph, New York Times bestselling author of Lock The Doors
"Propulsive, unique, and a main character that jumps off the page. I needed to know what happened next." --Goldy Moldavsky, author of The Mary Shelley Club
“A wild, anxiety-ridden ride through New York's elite prep school scene. Dark academia turns sideways in this compelling, suspenseful, romantic thriller.” -Wendy Heard, author of She's Too Pretty To Burn
“A dark, twisted Cinderella story featuring the most spunky, lovable heroine. You’ll finish these pages long before the clock strikes midnight.” -Julia Lynn Rubin, author of Trouble Girls