Blog Tour Book Review: YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME by Karen M. McManus

I received an eARC from the publisher as part of the blog tour in exchange for an honest review. It has not affected my opinions.

Blog tour graphic with title in white on purple splodge next to image of book on white
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 4 stars
Series: standalone


Book cover for YOU'LL BE THE DEATH OF ME: title in purple on white with three shilloutettes without heads above

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME is another twisty thriller from Karen M. McManus, following three friends who drifted apart, but impulsively decide to bunk off from school… and stumble into a murder scene.

Unlike her other books, it pretty much takes place in one day, with all these secrets spilling out between the three as the pressure mounts. Everything possible that could go wrong for them does, and the potential entanglement of loves ones spurs them to look into things that snares them into the mystery. They’re not actively searching for what happened – it’s not a conscious “we must solve this” investigation. Rather it’s “we need to work out what is happening around us as this makes no sense from the snapshot we’ve got” which then drags them into danger.

The scattered excerpts from the youtube vlog of two of the characters’ classmates made me giggle a lot. OK, yes, they are a powerful way of speaking about the role of social media in stoking misinformation, rumour, false news, and conspiracy theory. (And also the “local news channel” that’s looting for entertainment than serious, fact-checked reporting is also a very pointed example.) But these segments can be both a serious message and also quite funny.

They are so perfectly spot on for how cringe-y and attention seeking that sort of thing can be (like reporting from a party and having classmates “{mug] for the camera.”) The back and forth between the exaggeration-prone Ishaan and his co-vlogger Zack who’s keeps trying to get things back on track was great. And also the low-budget elements (and teacher dodging) were brilliant additions.

I think that humour in thrillers is a really good craft idea – a bit of lightness so you don’t get too tense and have to stop. Plus it helps with pacing to not be nail-biting all the time.

There’s a longer denouement than usually for thrillers, I think. The mystery is wrapped up a lot earlier than I had expected and then the fall out happens. There are interpersonal things to wrap up, naturally, but I liked that the longer ending gave time to shine a spotlight on the ways some people wriggle out of consequences by being so stone cold, but playing the media and the justice system.

In all, it was a very enjoyable read and I look forward to the next thriller from Karen M. McManus.

Read my reviews of other books by Karen M. McManus:


One of Us is Lying:

2 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review: YOU’LL BE THE DEATH OF ME by Karen M. McManus

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