Today is my stop on The Write Reads blog tour for You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M.McManus which was released on the 2nd of December.
Disclaimer – I received a copy in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.
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.
This is the first book I’ve read by McManus, although I had come across one of her other books – and considering how much fun I had with this one, it probably won’t be the last. The sheer readability of this book is definitely one of its strong suits. The premise was intriguing, and the book certainly lived up to it – there is murder, red herrings and twists and turns, and lots of secrets and things happening around the characters. A lot happens in this book, especially considering that it all occurs in a very short time frame, but again I think that fed into that readability because this book was a little like a raging river that swept you along – fast-paced, action-packed.
You’ll Be the Death of Me is a multi-POV story, and McManus did a great job with the characters. Ivy, Cal and Matteo are all interesting in their own right and felt very true both to their ages and to their situation. Of the three I think I connected best with Ivy and Matteo, more because there were specific aspects of their lives that resonated with me, more than Cal being left behind because McManus manages to balance the three of them very well. There is also a great dynamic between the three of them, one that changed as secrets were revealed and drew from their past friendship, and it just gave the story a strong foundation. The character development itself is done via an unusual approach because due to the short time-frame of events it isn’t happening in real-time so to speak, but that is not to say that these characters haven’t grown. As we learn more about how these three used to be, and how their relationship had been, it is clear that they have grown in the time apart – shaped by that friendship, the growing apart and events in their own lives. It was nice to see those differences as they came back together, and how that played into who they were now – so while they might not grow too much throughout the immediate plot, the development is there.
My main issue with this book is that it doesn’t quite convince me to suspend my belief enough to be completely suckered into the plot. Perhaps that is just me rather than the book, and I will say that the characters, the pacing and the pull to find the answer did a great job of keeping me invested and wanting to find out what happened, but it didn’t stop me from pausing now and then because of moments and discoveries that just felt a little too contrived and while not all the twists were predictable (which I enjoyed) it did result in the ending feeling a little anti-climatic as though the pieces fit together a little too smoothly to bring the book to its conclusion.
Overall You’ll Be the Death of Me was an entertaining read and had the pacing and appeal of a binge-worthy thriller that you can’t look away from. Although there were a few parts here and there that didn’t hit quite right for me, I still had a lot of fun with this book, and the characters were memorable. I would certainly recommend it for anyone looking for a book that they can curl up with and consume in an afternoon, and have a fun time.
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.