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


Three former friends are having a pretty crappy day so far. Ivy Sterling-Shepard lost student council election to idiot Boney Mahoney. Mateo Wojcik is exhausted from working two jobs and taking care of his mom. Cal O’Shea-Wallace needs to cheer up after his crush stood him up for breakfast. The three run into each other in the parking lot before school and decide to skip today. After all, it’s senior year and what could they possibly miss?

Ivy, Mateo and Cal head into Boston to relive a day they spent together years ago, but quickly, things don’t go as planned. Is that Boney in Boston? It is and the three decide to follow him into an abandoned building. The same abandoned building that Cal’s crush works out of on Tuesdays for her art.

But in the short time between when Boney enters the building and the trio, Boney winds up dead. The trio didn’t see anyone else, but there’s Boney and a syringe on the ground. What happens in the building starts a chain reaction. Ivy freaks out, Cal tries to protect his crush and Mateo just wants to keep his name out of the headlines.

In the course of a day, Ivy, Mateo and Cal have to find out what really happened to Boney and clear their own names before the cops find them.

You’ll Be the Death of Me is basically Ferris Bueller’s day of day off, but with murder. We love all of McManus’s books so we had high expectations going in. Unfortunately, we didn’t love this one as much as her others. However, this is still a good book, we’ve just been spoiled by her phenomenal ones like One if Us is Lying and The Cousins.

Let’s start with our favorite part: the setting. We loved following along with the events that happened in Boston since Christy knew all the locations in the city. We also liked the fictional town of Carlton, which we imagined as Weston, Massachusetts, a suburb west of the city. The story couldn’t have taken place anywhere else.

We had mixed feelings about the characters. We liked Ivy, Mateo and Cal overall, but we didn’t find ourselves cheering them on the entire time. Ivy and Mateo felt a little too much like Bronwyn and Nate to us, but lesser versions. Cal did have good comedic relief though and we did find ourselves big fans of Ivy and Cal’s friendship. We also wish the minor characters were developed more. We wanted to learn more about Autumn Wojcik, Daniel Sterling-Shepard and Charlie St. Clair

Now, the mystery. We liked it, especially the ending, but it felt a little predictable compared to McManus’s other books. And it took a little too long for her to introduce the mystery. That being said, we liked the plot twist she threw at us in the final chapter the most.

As you can see, we had mixed feeling about the book overall and probably would have liked it more if it was a debut book. However, it was hard not to compare it with the other McManus books. If you like mysteries and books that take place over a single day, then you’ll enjoy You’ll Be the Death of Me.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐.5/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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