Blog Tour Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus

Hello, hello friends! I’m so excited to be back with another #UltimateBlogTour with @TheWriteReads gang for You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus. Don’t forget to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour: here or click on the banner below! 😍

Special thanks to Penguin for providing an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads: You’ll Be the Death of Me
Publisher: Penguin
Publish Date: 30 November 2021
Genre: Young Adult Thriller/Mystery

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand new pulse-pounding thriller. When three old friends re-live an epic ditch day, it goes horribly-and deadly-wrong.

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Back in middle school they were best friends. 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 school and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Why did they stop hanging out, anyway?

As soon as they pull out of the parking lot Cal knows why. Ivy’s already freaking out about missing class, and heartthrob Mateo is asleep in the backseat, too cool to even pretend like he wants to be there. The truth is they have nothing in common anymore.

At least they don’t until they run into the fourth student ditching school that day. Brian “Boney” Mahoney is supposed to be accepting his newly won office of class president. Which is why Ivy follows him into an empty building, only to walk into the middle of a murder scene. Cal, Ivy, and Mateo all know the person lying on the ground of that building, and now they need to come clean. They’re all hiding something. And maybe their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all.

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.

PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY:

Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next. Her fourth novel, The Cousins, will publish in December 2020. 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.

Author Socials:
Website | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads

Note: The quotes below are taken from an advanced/unfinished copy and are subject to change in the final version.

TL;DR: At this point, I’m pretty sure that there’s no book that I wouldn’t read by Karen McManus. This was just as easy and quick to read as her previous thrillers and for me, it was just as entertaining! It does start a little slow-paced but as theories formed and the plot thickened, I sped through the rest of the book to find out whodunit. I’m pretty terrible at deducing the culprit in thrillers 90% of the time but I’m happy to say that, despite a few red herrings that threw me off the trail, this particular baddie did make it to the top of my suspect’s list! Overall, if you’ve enjoyed McManus’s previous books, I think there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy this one too! 😊

CW/TW: teacher/student relationship(s), drug dealing and drug use (opioids), murder, violence against minors


If you’ve read a McManus thriller before, you’ll probably be familiar with her formula and this one was definitely no different in that respect; but it was nice to come back to a story where I know (more or less) what I’ll get. That said, if you’re looking for something less formulaic or slower-paced, this might not be the read for you!

We have a group of three teenagers who used to be friends and have drifted over the years, but who find themselves thrown together in a twist of “fate” for what turns out to be the “Shittiest Day Ever”. The main difference between this and her other thrillers is that I found all the characters to be more flawed and a few of them frustrating and unlikeable, whereas previously, I’ve always liked all her MCs. Ivy, Matteo and Cal were an interesting group of friends because there’s more that sets them apart than brings them together. I kind of liked that they weren’t the “perfect” group of friends with perfect families and relationships though. They were messy teens who had difficult home situations, who did not-so-great things and who sometimes found themselves in terrible situations they were blind to. There was a lot of secret-keeping and somewhat dramatic reveals that further highlighted the tenuous relationship they have, and of course, there’s also a small romance.

I wouldn’t say that I had a favourite of the three, although to me Matteo was probably the least messy personally (lol), but I did empathise with them and I liked how they all grew throughout the story. Despite this book taking place over the course of a day, I still found their development realistic because it wasn’t a sudden 360 change. It was interesting how McManus flipped the teacher/student script and looked at it from a male student’s perspective when it’s usually the opposite. I liked how she also highlighted how easy it is for outsiders to view the situation simply as ‘wrong is wrong’, (because yes) but when someone is in that situation they don’t see or acknowledge the predatory behaviour or tend to believe it’s different because it’s happening to them and they’ve allowed it.

Aside from the alternating perspectives between our three main characters, there were also YouTube video transcripts interspersed every few chapters, and I’m always a fan of mixed media formats so I enjoyed that! It’s definitely a testament to the online culture these days where anyone can pick up a story and say anything they want about it—whether true or false—while gaining internet fame for it. It was interesting (and frustrating!) to see just how quickly misinformation can be spread and how the vast majority of people will unquestioningly consume it. And it doesn’t just apply to small-time/homegrown channels but sensationalist tabloids that are more about ‘infotainment’ than actual news.

Overall, I really enjoyed McManus’ new book! I’m guessing from the ending that there’s a chance for a sequel with these characters and I’d look forward to it cos that’s a slice of justice that I’d definitely like to see served! 👀

Have you read You’ll Be the Death of Me or is it on your TBR?

7 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen McManus

  1. That bit at the end of the synopsis, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with murder”, really speaks to me. I am not a big mystery/thriller reader, so McManus’ books work well for me. I think more seasoned readers of the genre have higher expectations than me. I just want to be engrossed and entertained. I like that you see sequel possibilities too. I am all for more of her books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I think McManus’ thrillers/mysteries are great for readers who don’t do much of that genre and who don’t have huge expectations for huge twists, etc. I love them and can hardly ever figure out whodunit before the end 😂 I hope you enjoy this one!

      Liked by 1 person

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