The One About Killer High Schoolers: ‘You’ll Be The Death of Me’ by Karen McManus | Book Review

First of all, this is my FIRST book tour– very exciting times!

So a big thank you to Penguin and TheWriteReads for my giving me the opportunity to take part of this tour, as well as providing me with an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) in exchange for an honest book review!

I highly encourage you to check out the reviews posted during the first couple of days of the book tour, and you can find all the book bloggers who took part on @TheWriteReads on Twitter.

Now, let’s get onto the book review….

You’ll Be the Death of Me

by Karen M. McManus 

Book Length: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

Publication Date: 30th November 2021




Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day.

Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out–he’s been working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up…. again.

So when Cal pulls into campus late for class and runs into Ivy and Mateo, it seems like the perfect opportunity to turn a bad day around. They’ll ditch and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say…

Until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school–and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse.

It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common. They all have a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.

Now they’re all wondering–could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly–and fatally–wrong.

First of all, I have to admit that I am already quite a bit of a Karen McManus fan. I read ‘One of Us is Lying’ and have had plans to read her next books even before I got the chance to review this book. Karen McManus is probably one of my favourite Young Adult authors, so I had pretty high expectations for this book

and I am so glad to announce that ALL my expectations were met.

This book was such a well-written, twisty, young adult murder mystery that had me putting of my dinner just so I can read a couple more pages. There is so much to unpack from this book, but first let’s talk about the mystery element. Like I said, I thought this was a pretty well-written book. Karen McManus has rightfully earned the title as ‘YA Mystery Queen’ has a gift for creating suspense without dragging the pacing. There was never I moment where I felt bored or uncommitted to finding out what happens next. The author leaves small hints here and there (that you can easily catch if you know where to look) without giving away too much and leaves you yearning to find out how the next revelation connects to the rest of the plot. I also really enjoyed how there were subplots for the characters that can still be linked back to the main plot– like, they weren’t given this storyline just for the sake of it, and instead formed part of the larger part of the overarching plot.

Speaking of characters, let’s talk about them.

‘You’ll Be the Death of Me’ follows three main characters; Ivy, Mateo and Cal. These three used to be close friends, but eventually grew apart. They decide to meet up and ditch school, but coincidentally wounded up in the immediate vicinity of a murdered dead body. The chapters are divided into the three characters’ perspectives and it’s interesting to see, not only the mystery unfold, but also their own secrets exposed through the character’s eyes. Despite the initial almost one dimensional introduction to the characters, where the characters don’t really seem that interesting, you can expect character development by the end of the book. It was really nice to see that the author leaves space in-between uncovering the mystery to develop the characters individually without compromising the main plot.

This is a book that you can pick up at anytime and just get lost in. I love the fact that we get three perspectives and the chapters jump in between the characters. With some chapters ending in shocking revelations or plot twists, the abrupt change to another perspective just had me glued to my seat unwilling to put this book down until I find out what the hell happens next.

Karen McManus is clearly a very talented thriller/mystery writer, and although most of her work has been within the YA genre, I do hope to one day see her explore the New Adult/Adult thriller genre. I would love to see her work with older characters instead of High Schoolers just because I know this means the author can incorporate darker and more twisted themes in her books. For now, I am more than content with Karen McManus’ work within the YA sphere, and I’ll be doing my best to catch up and read her other works. I cannot wait to read more from her.

4 stars.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Again, thank you to Penguin and TheWriteReads for inviting me to take part of this book tour. It was an absolute blast reading this book and preparing for this tour. Make sure to check out my fellow book bloggers’ reviews as well!

‘You’ll Be The Death of Me’ is available for pre-order now and due to be released on November 30 2021

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 or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

Is ‘You’ll Be The Death of Me’ by Karen McManus on your tbr? Do you read Young Adult thrillers/Mysteries?

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