It’s time for a new McManus thriller!!
I really enjoy this author’s thrillers, my favourites being Two Can Keep a Secret and The Cousins. So I’m always keen to get my hands on the latest one. I totally devoured this in a day 😌👌🏻 and I really enjoyed the chaos element to this. The three main characters manage to make a huge mess, confess their worse secrets, and stumble into a drug ring ALL because they decided to skip school for one day. Stay in school, kids.
The story is about Ivy, Cal and Mateo, who used to be friends but drifted apart as highschool progressed. They decide to replicate this One Great Day where they skipped in 8th grade and never got caught — and skip again now, as seniors. Ivy is avoiding facing the guy who one class president instead of her. Cal is desperate for friends again. And Mateo wants to forget all his problems at home with his cousin doing sketchy things and his mum suffering from severe chronic pain. So what could go wrong, right? WELL GLAD YOU ASKED–
Basically, they stumble upon the murder of one of their classmates and it’s a huge case of: here in the wrong place, wrong time. Someone tips the police off that a “blonde woman” was there (Ivy is blonde too) and so she’s sort of “wanted”. While Cal and Mateo make the dumbass decision to flee the scene crime, etc etc. It just goes so wrong, so fast.
Okay so all of the characters were kind of…awful. I don’t mind this in thrillers, because the plot is more what I’m interested in. But as they unwrap their layers of foolery, you kind of go 💀👌🏻 gee, kids, ever make a good decision ever. Mateo was truly my favourite because he’s really just trying to help his family. 🥺 Cal annoyed me because he has great dads and a nice life and YET THE THINGS HE DOES. Ivy is the straight A uptight student, and totally ruled by her insecurities. A realistic character, honestly, if so self-involved. (Also her brother, Daniel? Dislike.)
The mystery element relied on them making a LOT of mistakes. This isn’t a Nancy Drew trio, let’s just say 😂 They find answers by accident or from sheer blundering into them. There’s lots of double-crossing each other and evasion too, so it makes for a page-turner. I was disappointed by the end though — the villains got sorted out in mere chapters and were so incompetent it was hard to be scared of them. So while it’s not a thriller here to be hardcore or spooky or worried for the main characters’ lives, it IS one that’s twisty and captivating and leans into the real life everyday issues teens face too. Plus murder on the side.
Overall, a totally fast-paced and twisty thriller that I rocketed through! Engaging writing and train-wreck characters you can’t look away from — definitely fun.
Thanks to Penguin Australia for the ARC!
Title: You’ll Be the Death of Me
Author: Karen M. McManus
Date Published: 30th November, 2021
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Genre: YA Thriller
Purchase: Book Depository, Blackwells
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Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day.
Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out–he’s been working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up…. again.
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 and go into the city. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say…
Until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school–and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common. They all have a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.
Now they’re all wondering–could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?