Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

You’ll Be The Death of Me
by Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Random House Children’s Books
Imprint: Delacorte Press
Release date: November 30, 2021
ISBN: 9780593175866

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be best friends in middle school. Now estranged 11th graders, they come across each other and decide to skip school to relive ‘the best day ever’ from middle school. However, what began as a fun ditch day, quickly turns into real life danger – far beyond the walls of high school – and with real life consequences.

This mystery  begins with the cover itself and the plot is dramatic and includes a gossipy nature.  While the immediate mystery of the day deepens, so does the backstory of family relationships and secrets among these former friends. Chapters are short with alternating voices and the pace stays fast and intensifies as more secrets are uncovered.

Teens who like quick-paced mystery will like this more mature mystery from Karen M. McManus. The high school drama with cliques continues, as well as relatable pressures of grades and family expectations, with which teens will relate. Most of the novel, and action, occurs in one day which implies a quick read. While high school stereotypes are present, the characters have depth. Teens will appreciate the shared elements of the high school experience and the unseen twists and surprises with this latest mystery.

Fans of contemporary murder mysteries, such as How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao and People Like Us by Dana Mele, will not be disappointed.

– Sarah Carnahan

Other Nominated Titles

  • The New Girl by Jesse Q. Sutanto (February 1, 2022)
  • Roxy by Neal Shustserman and Jarrod Shusterman (November 9, 2021)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.