Worst Day Ever!

You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

Publication Date: November 30, 2021

Summary from NetGalley:

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?

ARC provided by Random House Children’s via NetGalley for an honest review.


This was a fast moving and very addictive read. There is a slight homage to the 80’s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but I wouldn’t exactly say it is a recreation of that movie. The three characters certainly remind me of the movie, but that was about it. Overall this is another outstanding murder mystery that shouldn’t be missed especially if you liked the author’s other books.

The story is told from the points of view of Ivy, Mateo and Cal. They are your typical teen characters, but I still really enjoyed getting to know them all. They are all hiding secrets, and some of them even had to do with the murder mystery, which made the plot that much more intriguing.

Ivy is the smart and overachieving one of the group. She is the one that comes up with plans and discovers many of the clues. Mateo is also pretty smart, and he is the one who actually solves a big piece of the puzzle that helps him to figure the whole thing out. Cal was a great character. Most of the time I just wanted to give him a big hug and tell him everything was ok, but he does manage to hold his own with the other two and figure some important stuff out.

The plot is quite twisty and will keep you reading way into the night. There are lots of side characters that will either make you laugh or get super mad at. I loved the way the whole thing is revealed and the real culprit was a bit of a surprise. I also really liked that the story didn’t end with the big reveal, but we got to see what happened to each of the characters a few months down the line. I really appreciated that, as it always bugs me when things end with no follow up for the characters.

Another stunning book by this author. I really hope that this isn’t a standalone. One of the storylines at the end was left open, and I hope that means that there will be a sequel as I really want to see how all of that resolves.

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