Title: You’ll be the Death of Me
Author: Karen M. McManus
Release Date: 2/12/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 56
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free copy from Penguin Platform ,via The Write Reads Ultimate Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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
McManus really is deserving of the moniker the ‘Queen of Teen Crime’. Reading her Mysteries are like combining the skilful pacing and plot reveals of an Agatha Christie combined with the perfect amount of teen angst. You’ll Be the Death of Me is a perfect example of what not just YA mystery but what mystery genre can be.
The finesse for the mysteries construction is perfectly paired with fabulously inner monologues of the characters as they deal with all the perils of teenage years, from friendships to family, school to social climbing, responsibility in varying levels. All of which add up to complex and interesting characters to read about. I found myself both loving and hating aspects of all the characters which I think is a sign of good writing. I would be upset for them, happy for them and also frustrated with them too. I liked how we rotated through the three perspectives giving us insight from all three angles.
I love how McManus plays with the tropes and twists they stereotypes into compelling mysteries. My favourite in this is how she perfectly balances the “just tell an adult“ Trope, every reasoning as to why these teens find themselves not asking for help is really well thought out. The Plot itself is just awesome. The Ferris Buller vibes in the beginning are just perfect and then we quickly pivot into our trio getting pulled into the mysterious death of on of their classmates, the panic and fear of being a suspect, who is really to blame and uncovering all manor of secrets, some big some small, some completely unrelated, protecting friendships, family and themselves as they try to figure out what happened.
McManus is also the Queen of plot twists, she throws so many curve balls at the reader that I really couldn’t see where this one was going. Just when I thought I had it figured out she would through a twist, a red herring or double back just to leave you guessing even more. I devoured the second half of this book in hours as I couldn’t put it down.