You’ll Be the Death of Me

Listening Library. Nov. 2021. 952p. $63. ISBN 9780593208359.
Gr 9 Up–Three high school seniors—best friends in middle school who haven’t really connected in the past five years—reunite for one day of fun, which quickly turns to horror. Ivy was the perennial class president, until she lost in her senior year to Boney Mahoney, who ran as a joke. Puerto Rican-American Mateo is burned out by working multiple jobs after school to help his sick mother who needs expensive medication. Cal’s mysterious new girlfriend is once again a no-show at the donut shop. The three meet by chance in the school parking lot and decide on a whim to cut school together, in an effort to repeat an epic day they had in seventh grade. But things go terribly wrong when they stumble on Boney’s dead body and Ivy is reported as a suspect in the murder. They have 12 hours to find the real murderer—and a fateful day ensues. Multiple talented narrators control the story: Rachel L. Jacobs reads the part of Ivy, Anthony Rey Perez is Mateo, Max Meyers performs Cal, and Malik Rashad narrates segments of “Carlton Speaks,” a student-run podcast. Together they create an audio with relentless suspense. Jacobs’s Ivy is an angsty overachiever who feels like a loser; Perez performs Mateo with the right mix of world weariness and resignation; and Meyers reads Cal as an easy-going slacker who quickly gets in over his head. Shocking secrets are revealed throughout the day, changing the dynamics among the friends.
VERDICT A must for fans of McManus’s previous books and anyone who enjoys unconventional murder mysteries. Teens will devour this thriller with its nonstop action and constant revelations.

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