You’ll Be the Death of Me (ARC) (Review)

Hello friends! Today I am THRILLED to be bringing you a review of Karen M. McManus’s newest contribution to the world of murder mysteries and whodunnits: You’ll Be the Death of Me! Please take of yourself first before reading this book…while there are no explicit trigger warnings given, but these are some I’ve identified while reading: on-page death of a character, reference to drug dealing/drug usage, inappropriate student/teacher relationships, mention of blood and needles, underage alcohol consumption, hostage situations, and gaslighting.

Tour banner courtesy of TheWriteReads

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.

Skipping school is generally frowned upon, but after hearing about Ivy’s upsetting presidential election loss, Mateo’s mom’s osteoarthritis diagnosis, and Cal getting dumped at a vegan smoothie shop, I think a little free time is in order. Things are going fine until Cal (not smart move on his part) decides to take his estranged friends to an art gallery where his sort-of girlfriend rents space.

As all murder mysteries do, this story has a ton of red herrings to try and distract the reader and the characters alike from arriving at the identity of the guilty party.

Ivy — a high strung girl who suffers with a case of perfectionism. Her brother was recently acknowledged as a gifted student and skipped a couple grades. She is blonde. Ivy has often felt overlooked and “less than” since her brother’s genius level brain was acknowledged. She pours her all into student government to *feel* something. Except, she didn’t win this time. Boney Mahoney beat her, and he ran as a joke….

Mateo — a Hispanic-Polish kid with a major chip on his shoulder. His mother was recently diagnosed with osteoarthritis and has been skipping taking her meds like she should because she can’t afford it. Mateo and his cousin (who’s been adopted by his mother) Autumn have taken up multiple jobs to help with bills and the like. Mateo’s has been holding a candle of love for someone and their feelings have gone unrequited….or so he thought.

Cal — child of two fathers (we love representation) in a sort-of-kind-of illicit relationship with someone whom he can’t talk about….who is also blonde (which is important). One of Cal’s dads is the headmaster of a school and a hardcore warrior against inappropriate student-teacher relationships…so how would he react to know the war he’s fighting is in his own house?

So what happens? The estranged buddies decide to skip school and go into the city for a day. When they spot a classmate, who should be at school giving his victory speech for winning the high school presidency, going in to a building that should be abandoned, but not coming back out, our three are nosy and go investigate.

A report is given that someone saw a blonde woman enter the building after the deceased, and that blonde person is probably the cause of death. That’s all fine and good except the only female-bodied person who went into the building after the victim is Ivy, and unfortunately for her, she’s a blonde.

These amateur sleuths manage to put together pieces of each of their pasts to come to an answer about who’s to blame for this heinous crime, and who that supposed blonde woman is that killed [redacted].

This book all starts off from one bad decision that spirals into a dozen others. Lines are crossed, enemies are made, friendships are put to the test. Can these used-to-be friends come together long enough to solve the twisted web of lies that killed their classmate, or will they end up in a body bag next?


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 http://www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

You’ll Be the Death of Me has just released in the US on November 30 via Delacorte Press, a Penguin Random House company & December 1 via Penguin in the UK & Australia. You can purchase a copy of You’ll Be the Death of Me using my Bookshop affiliate link here, or at any of your favorite bookish retailers!


Big huge thanks to PenguinUK, The WriteReads Tours, and the author for the chance to read this amazing book!

Published by stacialovestoread

I’m a firsttime blogger and a lifelong reader. Join my journey here, and on my bookstagram @stacialovestoread!

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