Cover Image: You'll Be the Death of Me

You'll Be the Death of Me

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Member Reviews

So, I've become slightly obsessed with Karen McManus? I know, I didn't see this coming either, but "You'll Be the Death of Me" is a perfect example of why. It's well plotted, lightly funny, suspenseful without being anxiety inducing, and, overall, a story that feels current and relevant.

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When three friends reunite after years of drifting apart, they find themselves at the wrong place at the wrong time and become closely involved in the murder of their classmate. McManus does it again with this thriller that will grip readers from the first chapter. The mature language and thrilling tone will keep teenagers interested, and this mystery with diverse characters will appeal to a variety of readers.

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Seniors Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all used to be friends in middle school, but now, life has thrown them in different directions. When they all run into each other in the school parking l0t, they on a whim decide to skip school and drive into the city for an adventure like old times. Once they get there however, they end up at the wrong place at the wrong time and witness the murder of classmate. As the day unfolds, it turns out each of them is hiding a secret that could spell trouble.

Once again, McManus shows that she is the master of YA mystery thrillers. While this book is a little different than her previous, it was still very engaging with all her signature twists and turns. It was fun to see all the secrets being revealed, and to see what everyone's true motives are. This was definitely a darker thriller than her other books, but this is surely to delight fans and new readers alike. I will continue to recommend her books, though I think some of the subject matters are a bit mature for younger teens.

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I loved this book. One of the best thrillers I read all year. Fast paced and well written, I was engrossed from the beginning.

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Another great YA mystery/thriller from McManus. The characters are well written and this book will surely be a hit with the YA audiences that love McManus’s books.

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Karen McManus killed it again- literally.
This was a great novel everything Karen writes is incredible. It was interesting and intriguing following along with these characters. I can’t recommend this enough

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Although written in the signature McManus style, this novel manages to make itself stand out from her other books due to its engaging plot taking place over just one day. With charmingly realistic characters who have to put their minds together to solve a mystery while trying to mend the friendship they used to have, You'll be the Death of Me is undoubtedly a thrilling ride worth accompanying the book's trio on.

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Karen McManus does it again with this YA mystery of who killed the senior class president, Broney. Was it an overdose? Was it Ivy, who was beaten by Broney for president? Several possibilities, and the pressure is on Ivy, Cal, Mateo to figure it out before the police find them. As with her previous books, the author spins a web of several suspects and secrets in the small town. Perfect for grades 7+.

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As a middle and high school librarian I spend my days helping students find books. Karen McManus is an easy sell every time (we love her books!): Do you like suspenseful reads you can’t put down? Plot twists and characters you aren’t quite sure you can trust? YES-- students, every time, yes. You’ll Be the Death of Me delivers a book that will fly off my library shelves with just one or two sentences. Really, the cover alone or Karen McManus’s name is enough to create a long hold list.

Like her other books, You’ll be the Death of Me switches between three narrators: Cal, Mateo and Ivy who are all in a similar place on one school day: they’d rather be anywhere but at school. The switching between narrators is so effective for a suspenseful mystery because as a reader you wonder- what are the other narrators doing right now? What are they thinking about this event- is my current narrator getting it wrong?!! Aghhh! On this school day, each has their own reasons for not wanting to be there, but all three are feeling a little nostalgic about their middle school BFF group (consisting of Mateo, Ivy and Cal) that had the BEST DAY EVER. When they meet up by chance on this school day, they decide to recreate that best day. However, things are never that easy, are they? The plot moves quickly with a murder of a classmate and wrong place-wrong time scenarios for our three characters. But as a reader, you start to question, was it all by chance that they are there? The characters in this book are even more layered than her previous- 3 distinct voices- and I enjoyed seeing the characters evolve and motivations reveal as the story went on.

Here is what I love about this book. It is an experience. It isn’t a passive or fluffy read where I let the story do all of the work and can figure out the ending from the first chapter. This is one where I am pausing, asking questions, going back a few pages to see if I missed something, and constantly looking for clues. Every chapter I change my mind about who is guilty. There is a point in the middle of the book where a phone rings and once the characters in the book see the name the caller ID--aghhhh-- I had to stand up and pace around the room as the story unfolded! Which is why I finished the book in two quick days. The dynamic ending is well worth the read and a great ending to the experience of this book.

One last thought. I love the title because it is so fitting to the book. It is a classic phrase that has this double meaning that needs context. It can be taken in a loving way- You’ll be the Death of Me could be taken as a term of endearment from a parent to a child. But it can also be taken with a different tone-- literally!! I am DEAD because of you. I feel like this is what makes this book so much fun. Who can you really trust? Who really has a sinister tone? Who WILL be the death of me?
Highly recommended if you enjoy suspenseful reads or looking for a winner for that teenage reader in your life. Thank you to NetGalley for the early copy of this book!

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Asked for this because I've read all of her other mysteries since One of Us Is Lying. Her strength is the plot twist. She starts with some normal high school kids and ends up in hair-raising murderous situations. In this one three kids decide to ditch school like they did one day in 8th grade. But this time the three friends who have drifted into their own lives find a dead body and flee the scene. Mateo is just trying to keep his desperate mom and cousin afloat. Cal was an invisible student. And there's Ivy-always trying to outshine her genius little brother. She's an overachiever but also has a mean streak. Very complicated person. The plot involves teacher/student liaisons, opioids, and a lot of undercurrents. Not particularly moving but very entertaining

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