book review

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

Lena has her killer style, her awesome boyfriend, and a plan. She knows she’s going to make it big. Campbell, on the other hand, is just trying to keep her head down and get through the year at her new school.
When both girls attend the Friday-night football game, what neither expects is for everything to descend into sudden mass chaos. Chaos born from violence and hate. Chaos that unexpectedly throws them together.
They aren’t friends. They hardly understand the other’s point of view. But none of that matters when the city is up in flames, and they only have each other to rely on if they’re going to survive the night.

This was another random pick from Libby.

This was a startling book to read in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests. It was a fast read, but intense and stressful.

The story is told through the eyes of Lena and Campbell, two very different girls who both happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time during an out of control fight that breaks out between opposing fans at a high school football game. The fight is racially charged, stemming from an incident that happens before the book begins. After it becomes apparent that the fight has become completely out of control and shots are fired, the two girls end up taking off into the chaotic night in an attempt to find their loved ones and make it home safely.

I sort of liked this, but like I said, this was a stressful story. From the beginning to the end, there was very few breaks from the intensity. As the action starts very quickly, there’s not much opportunity to get to know Lena and Campbell before they were thrown together, and the story ends almost as suddenly so we never find out what happens the next day and the days to follow but we learn enough about the girls throughout the story to get a sense of who they are, who they were, and based on the information, we sort of get a sense of what they go on to do do.

This is the type of book that stays with you after you finish, and the longer you think about it, the more thoughts and questions come to mind. I actually finished reading this twenty days ago, and when I started this review I was worried that I wouldn’t have much to say, but as I started writing I realized that this had stuck with me far more than I had expected.

The rating I gave this was four stars. It was well earned and I think if it had been a little longer with a bit more details it would have been a five star read.