Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be best friends but their bond dwindled. When they decide to skip school together they hope to relive the Greatest Day Ever that started it all. But once the day begins it starts to spiral into chaos and they have to rely on each other more than they have in a long time. Helping solve a murder is definitely something that bonds you for life...
Thank you to The Write Reads, Penguin, and Karen M McManus for including me in their Ultimate Blog Tour for the new release You'll Be the Death of Me. I've always loved McManus' books, I pre-ordered this months ago and completely forgot until the email came through! Her writing is always so engaging and her plots are expertly planned out with incredible twists so I jumped at the chance to be a part of this tour!
It's clear that McManus has tapped into whatever pool of genius there is for writing young adult thrillers because everything she writes is incredible and an easy four stars. Stepping into the world of Ivy, Mateo and Cal felt like slipping into a warm jumper, the writing is so familiar to me at this point and she explains everything so perfectly that it feels easy to read. I do believe that I'm a little above the average age of her target audience but it doesn't stop me from falling in love with this book.
With You'll Be the Death of Me I was obviously expecting the murder mystery aspect, it's the tagline of the novel, but I wasn't expecting the level of detail to the mysteries surrounding the three core characters. Everything seemed to knit together and play a key part in the overall story. I'm amazed by McManus' ability to connect every revelation to the other without creating a boring and easy to anticipate narrative.
For the first time when reading a McManus book I actually didn't immediately connect to all of the characters, which actually seemed intentional. McManus stepped out of the typical mindset for these characters and made their flaws clear and key to their personalities, making a redemption arc for them a concept for readers to follow throughout the novel. In particular, my hesitation lay with Ivy. She was depicted as this typical high-achiever but only because of the pressure she got from her parents to live up to Daniel, but her actions always pointed toward jealous and impulsive which put all three of the main cast into the trouble they find themselves in. As the narrative progresses she definitely finds her feet and her own identity which inevitably creates an epic conclusion alongside Cal and Mateo.
Once again, McManus knocks it out of the park with her new release. I could find a couple of niggles but nothing could really distract me from the exceptional plot, and even more exceptional character depiction.