You’ll Be the Death of Me
- Author: Karen M. McManus
- Genre: YA Mystery/Thriller
- Publication Date: November 30, 2021
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
CONTENT WARNING: death of a parent, drug use, death, murder, violence, blood
From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new addictive thriller.
Ivy, Mateo and Cal used to be close – best friends back in middle school.
Now all they have in common is a bad day. So for old time’s sake they skip school together – one last time.
But when the trio spot Brian ‘Boney’ Mahoney ditching class too, they follow him – right into a murder scene.
They all have a connection to the victim. And they’re ALL hiding something.
When their day of freedom turns deadly, it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out . . .
It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder, perfect for fans of One Of Us Is Lying and A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder. This explosive new thriller is impossible to put down.
It’s no secret that I’m already a huge fan of Karen M. McManus, but I think this has got to be my favorite one of her books so far. It incorporates so many different aspects of teen life — family dynamics, navigating friendships and dating, the pressures of school and home life, and then throws in an extra twist. Murder. Naturally, this is one of the rare blog tours that I jumped at the chance to join. You can check out other stops on the tour by following Dave @ The Write Reads.
The story is told from the perspective of each of the three main characters — Cal, Ivy, and Mateo, so we get a front seat into each of their thoughts and emotions. And there’s so much going on for each of them. Yet, they are each hard not to empathize with, and they’re all endearing in their own way. Even if they all have secrets.
We learn about them slowly over the course of the book, as well as how they factor into the story that unfolds. They’re estranged friends, yet they manage to come together to recreate a day from four years ago when they cut school together. However, this ditch day plays out radically differently — going from the Best Day Ever to the Worst Day Ever. And they have to figure out how to work together to solve the mystery of what happened to their classmate.
I was on the edge of my seat as the story played out. McManus is at the top of her game, dropping little breadcrumbs throughout the story, yet keeping our attention focused on the various subplots that are happening as well. Each of the three main characters has family issues to face, and there are relationship issues involved. I loved the way that the characters interacted with each other. The conversation felt natural and realistic, as did the characters themselves.
Even with all of this, the story delves into some darker topics as well — the opioid epidemic that’s unfortunately all too common across the country, divorce and parental abandonment, chronic illness, and financial struggles, while still discussing issues that aren’t as heavy but still carry weight, like sibling rivalry and navigating your place in the family, controlling anger, and feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Each time I read one of Karen M. McManus’s books, I’m reminded all over again why I love her books so much. She’s hands down one of the best mystery/thriller authors in the YA sphere, and I always look forward to starting one of her new books. While I’m a fast reader to start with, I finished this book in record time. I was unable to put it down, and was on the edge of my seat, wanting to find out what happened to the characters, and who was behind the murder. And despite trying my hardest to figure it out, the majority of the plot twists smacked me in the face when they were revealed.
People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.
Gasp Factor: 13
About The Author
Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times and international bestselling author of young adult thriller/mystery novels, including One of Us Is Lying, One of Us Is Next, Two Can Keep a Secret, and The Cousins. You’ll Be the Death of Me will be her next novel, publishing December 2021. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.