November 1, 2021

Book Review

You’ll Be The Death of Me

reviewed by Chelsea Hofmann

Three friends who have grown apart. A chance to reconnect. A ditch day gone horribly wrong.

In Karen McManus’s You’ll Be The Death of Me, three high school seniors reconnect after years of living their own lives. Ivy, the smart and driven runner up for class President feels like she will never be as good as her younger brother. He is smart but a slacker, and Ivy feels like she’s always having to prove herself. Mateo is your typical high school heartthrob, with good looks and a charming personality. He is also working two jobs to take care of his sick mom and try to support his family. Then there is Cal, a friendless outsider who wants to go back and relive one of the best days of his life. When he sees his chance, he drives the trio to Boston for a ditch day.

But this isn’t just any ditch day, but a day that begins with witnessing a murder. Is it a case of the wrong place at the wrong time, or do these three have something to hide? What follows is a frantic chase to find out what happened in the abandoned warehouse and to find out who is responsible. But everyone has secrets, and sooner or later, those secrets will come out.

In a similar format to her other books, You’ll Be The Death of Me switches between three perspectives to tell the story. In her signature fun YA plot build, McManus slowly shares details through each of the three narrators. I enjoyed that she wrote each character in a distinctive way and made them each individually relatable. The reader is never sure who to trust, who has hidden motives, and what is really going on in the bigger picture.

With a hint of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, this story is a fun twist on being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Teenage gossip and drama is paired with an underlying story full of drugs, affairs, and even a mole spying on everyone. The pacing keeps the plot moving briskly and the plot is fun and relatable. I recommend this book to fans of McManus’s previous books and other fun YA books such as Five Total Strangers or A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

Thank you to Delacorte Press and Karen McManus for my ARC of this book. Opinions are my own. You’ll Be The Death of Me comes out on November 30, 2021.

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