When I pick up a Camille Pagán novel, I know two things for certain. I know that I’m going to meet some quirky and complex characters I won’t dare forget, and I know that every emotional note is going to hit that perfect sweet spot between humor and heartache. Other than that, I never know what to expect from the unpredictable journey I’m about to embark on. I just hold on tight and enjoy every second of the ride, and that’s exactly what happened with Pagán’s latest novel, This Won’t End Well.
This Won’t End Well introduces us to Annie Mercer, whose failed chemistry career and fiancé’s sudden solo trip to Paris leave her with a firm resolution: no new people. Between her former boss trying to sabotage her, her best friend trying to heal her with a crystal pyramid scheme, and the man she loves on the other side of the world in need of space, there’s no reason why she should let anyone else in. Of course, that’s before Harper Brearley, a Holly Golightlyesque Instagram influencer, moves in next door. Believing that Harper may be in trouble, Annie has a hard time keeping her distance, and when private investigator Mo shows up and enlists Annie’s help, she can’t very well say no if it means keeping Harper safe. With her “no new people” resolution broken before it even starts, Annie’s life shoots off in a series of unexpected turns that call into question her choices, her past, and even who she loves. This humorous and heartfelt novel hooked me from the very beginning, and I couldn’t put it down.
Camille Pagán has a knack for creating characters that capture the messy and confounding experience of what it means to be human, and Annie may just be her best heroine yet. From chapter one, my heart went out to her, and as every chapter peeled back a new layer of her life, I wanted nothing more than to see her find not just a happy ending, but the right happy ending for her. Every person in her life, from her absentee fiancé, Jon, to her best friend, Leesa (and her crystals), to her mother to Harper is so much more than they appear at the outset, highlighting the fact that we never really know what a person is going through until we see things through their lens. This Won’t End Well kept me guessing about what was going to happen until the very last page, but more importantly, it kept me in the throes of Annie’s emotional journey—laughing with her, crying with her, and rooting for her.
This Won’t End Well is a beautiful, heartwarming novel about compassion, sympathy, and understanding—both for others and for ourselves. If you’re looking for a madcap ride filled with humor and heart, I can’t recommend this book enough.
This Won’t End Well releases on February 25 and is available for preorder at Barnes & Noble, your favorite indie, Amazon, or wherever books are sold. For more on Camille Pagán and her wonderful books, visit camillepagan.com and follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.