Wednesday, November 24, 2021

ARC Review: You'll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You'll Be the Death of Me

Karen M. McManus
Publication: Delacorte Press (November 30, 2021)

Description: From the author of One of Us Is Lying comes a brand-new pulse-pounding thriller. It's Ferris Bueller's Day Off with murder when three old friends relive an epic ditch day, and it goes horribly—and fatally—wrong.

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?

My Thoughts: This was an engaging thriller with well-rounded and interesting characters. Told alternately by Ivy, Matteo, and Cal, it is the story of a very bad day. Cal, Ivy, and Matteo used to be good friends in eighth grade. But now they are seniors in high school and they have each gone their separate ways. 

Ivy is a Type A personality who is struggling in her own mind to live up to her genius younger brother. She has just lost the election to be senior class president to the class clown Boney Maroney and knows attending her rival's acceptance speech will be nothing short of humiliating. 

Matteo's life has spiraled since their eighth grade year. His mother has developed osteoarthritis and needs an expensive medicine which is beyond the family budget since a lawsuit caused their bowling alley to go bankrupt. He's working two jobs and his cousin Autumn is working three to try to keep the family afloat.

Cal has just suffered his most recent breakup and has realized how alone he is. His circle of friends only hang out by default if they can't find anyone else to hang out with. His last girlfriend has accused him of being "not real." Fact is that he's developed a crush on a very unsuitable person and needs to keep it hidden.

The three of them meet one morning when they are all late for school and decide, each for their own reasons, to ditch school and try to recreate the happy memories of the day they ditched a field trip in eighth grade and had a great time in Boston.

Things go wrong almost immediately when they follow their new class president Boney to a location in Boston and find his dead body with a syringe beside it. The location happens to be an art studio when Cal had previously gone to meet his new girlfriend. 

Then rumors start about seeing a blond woman fleeing the scene - and Ivy's blond. The three of them don't know what to do besides run and try to figure out what happened to Boney. They are all keeping secrets about various things that could help solve the crime.

This was an excellent story. I especially loved the characters who are all realistic and flawed human beings. 

Favorite Quote:
Charlie looks her up and down, then pats the seat beside him. "Sit down for a minute. Relax. You're way too tense."

Ivy crosses her arms tightly over her chest. "Personally, I feel like I'm exactly the right amount of tense for the situation at hand," she says. 
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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