You’ll Be the Death of Me: A Killer Read


Photo Courtesy of Naia Komori ’24

Over winter break, I was longing to open up some books, so I chose to read One of Us is Lying and its sequel, One of Us is Next, by Karen McManus (both of which I’d highly recommend). I loved this author’s style of storytelling, and both books kept me turning page after page. They left me wanting more of the teen murder mystery genre, so I decided to check out McManus’s newest release, You’ll Be the Death of Me, which came out at the end of November. It’s a standalone novel that’s unrelated to One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next, but it has the same type of mystery and suspense that I enjoyed in those books.

You’ll Be the Death of Me is written from the perspectives of three high school seniors—Ivy Sterling-Shepard, Mateo Wojcik, and Cal O’Shea-Wallace—who were close friends back in middle school but drifted apart. Ivy works hard to maintain her academic status, but she just lost the election for student body president to her classmate who ran as a joke. After his mom’s business closes down, Mateo’s two jobs are exhausting him as he tries to support his family. Cal doesn’t have any real friends, and he was stood up again by his sort-of girlfriend. One day, the three run into each other before school and decide to cut class, all wanting to escape their own problems for a while. However, their liberating day together is off to a rocky start that turns rockier when they catch sight of one of their classmates skipping school and follow him, only to find him dead. As Ivy, Cal, and Mateo reconcile their past, work together to unravel a tangled mystery, and figure out what happened to their classmate, their own secrets and those of others are revealed.

You’ll Be the Death of Me was yet another page-turning story from Karen McManus, filled with suspenseful chapters that kept me wondering what would happen next. I always enjoy books written from different perspectives because it allows the reader to connect with multiple characters and look at the story in different ways. This format is especially effective in mystery novels since the reader gets nuggets of information from each character and can piece them together as the story progresses. I didn’t feel as strong of a connection to the characters in this book as I have to characters in McManus’s other books, but they were interesting to read about nonetheless. One interesting thing about You’ll Be the Death of Me was that the whole story took place in one day, except for the last several chapters that showed the aftermath a few weeks later. This was different from One of Us is Lying and One of Us is Next, which spanned over a longer period of time (months or weeks). Because of this, You’ll Be the Death of Me was action-packed and the mystery was quickly established. A downside to the book being so fast-paced was that it might seem unrealistic for three teenagers to do everything they did in one day, and it also didn’t allow much time for significant character development. However, it was still an entertaining and exciting read. The author does a great job of connecting everything in the story and creating suspense and plot twists. Even in the last chapter of the book, she dropped a bombshell—it revealed the answer to the last small mystery left in the book, and it was something I wasn’t expecting at all.

Overall, I thought You’ll Be the Death of Me was an engaging book, and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys murder mystery stories, thrillers, and romance. With suspense, plot twists, and constant action, it’s a great choice for the next time you want to read a new book. If you read and like You’ll Be the Death of Me, check out some of Karen McManus’s other books as well.