Cover Image: I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

I'm Not Dying with You Tonight

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Member Reviews

Thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the free book. 
This book jumps into the action from the very beginning and doesn't stop until the end. It's a story about two young women who are thrown together by circumstance at a high school football game. Lena and Campbell are nothing alike, yet they must learn to trust each other quickly to survive the night in their town. I liked how riveting and thought provoking this book is. I think it would be a great one to read with a group of high schoolers and have open, moderated discussions about. There are lots of stereotypes and racist thoughts addressed head on, and I liked how the authors were able to illustrate different ideas with the plot events. There was a decent amount of character development for Campbell. I wished there was a bit more for Lena, but I wasn't unsatisfied, either, because this is a heavily plot driven novel. It's easy to binge in a day.
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Took a bit to get into the story and the voices but overall I enjoyed it. I liked the concept of the novel and the foil between the two characters.
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From the Publisher:
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 book is perfect for:

Sparking conversations about prejudice and the racial tension that exists in America
Parents and educators looking for multicultural and African American books for teens
Fans of Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, and Jason Reynolds
My Thoughts:
This YA book is a co-written product from two female authors: Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal. It is about one chaotic night and two girls from very different backgrounds trying to survive while also facing very in your face scenarios that bring forward race relations, privilege, stereotypes and trauma. 

I like that the two authors were able to switch characters from one chapter to another and therefore bring their individual voice to the characters, but just like the awkward first day in a new school, I found the beginning of the book until the booth fight a bit stilted and awkward for both characters. Perhaps Lena and Campbell needed to play into cultural stereotypes first so that the rest of the night could show their own growth and awakening. Although I was going to abandon this book, once the need to escape school started, the story sucked me in quickly. 

I think this is another option to sit on the classroom bookshelf along with The Hate U Give, Dear Martin, and Long Way Down (in order: Angie Thomas, Nic Stone, Jason Reynolds). Another urban African American experience writer: Nikki Grimes, Between the Lines.
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This was a quick, impactful read about 2 high school students finding friendship at the height of danger. I appreciated the different perspectives provided on racial issues and the way the authors handled things like challenging the common white perspective. This is a very thought-provoking piece on a movement that gained so much attention over the last year and helped me to dig deeper into my own thoughts on the subject. While I enjoyed the story and plot, I felt the short length of the book didn't give much room for real character development, so it was hard to strongly relate to the characters before it was over, I think this could have been stretched into a full-length novel and easily been a fantastic read.
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Two teens--one Black and one white--rely on one another despite their mutual animosity when a shooting and a riot threaten their lives. 

I liked the concept of this book a lot. The dual perspective was well done, and it gave this situation a more nuanced feels. I actually would have liked this book to be a bit longer. The ending felt a bit abrupt.
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I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it was told through two different point of views. I think the fact that it was written by two authors helped the voices of the characters sound different. This was a tense book all the way through so it never got dull.
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4 1/2

Far too often lately I’ve felt like I’ve read prescient books, or perhaps that I’ve not been paying closer attention to past events. Both may be true, I am more than willing to concede.

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal is a powerful, unrelenting book that is as much a page turner as it is a force-of-nature.

Lena is a popular girl but puts all of her faith in her boyfriend, “Black”, who sometimes doesn’t answer her texts or isn’t there when she needs him. Campbell has just moved from her private school to this new town for her senior year after her mother gets a job in South America and can’t take her with her and is just trying to blend in. She and her father are just trying to make ends meet.

Where Lena is street-wise and knowing, Campbell is naive, used to a safe space. Lena believes that Campbell has everything going for her, Campbell knows that’s not true. During the course of a very harsh night, both girls learn a lot about each other, realizing that the knowledge they possess about each other before is wrong, very wrong.

When I say that this book is unrelenting, I mean it. Never does it let up. A few scenes in and you just need to buckle up and hang on. Even when you think things are about to let up and the girls are safe and sound, you’re wrong.

The girls irritate each other at times, frequently, but they come to have a better understanding of each other, and may even grow as close as people can be through the difficulties they encounter. They accept and even defend each other even though before this night they would probably have never even contemplated friendship. They see their own preconceptions, their misuse of words, their misconceptions.

I liked how this novel was told from both points-of-view and in two different voices. The voices sounded realistic to me. The ideas felt real. I felt like Lena and Campbell were presenting their worlds very realistically and that I could feel their realities. I also felt that their sharing was real.

I did feel that maybe the novel ran a bit long, that at one point I reached saturation, but maybe that was intentional. Maybe we all need to feel a beyond-saturation point in order to fully comprehend this experience. Maybe we need to go that extra bit just to *feel* in a world that has become so inured to the suffering of people, our neighbors, friends. If that was indeed the point, I got it. I feel. Definitely.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Beautiful and heartbreaking story about violence and race. I'm glad I read this book even though some parts were hard to get through.
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This was a good read but unfortunately fell flat with its characters and - due to the length - didn't get to explore and flesh out the conversations I think readers could've gotten.
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Lena and Campbell's worlds are turned upside down when a huge fight breaks out at a high school football game. Though they know each other, they aren't friends and they find that their worlds suddenly collide. What follows is them trying to work together to survive an increasingly difficult night filled with racial injustices. I enjoyed the alternating voices of this book and how it tackled some very difficult subjects. It had a lot of heart but it probably wouldn't be the first book I would recommend in the category of social justice/realistic fiction. That being said, I enjoyed it.
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There are times when the POV feels a little shallow, but the subject matter is timely enough for this book to make it on anyone's TBR list.
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I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Campbell (white)  is new to her high school and volunteers to work the concession stand at her high school's Friday night football game.  When someone starts shooting,   Trying to get away from the chaos, Lena (black) jumps into the concession stand and hides with Campbell.  Soon the girls are trying to make it home and they forge a bond on their way.  With looting, crowd mentality, racism and more, this book is fast paced and message filled.  Recommend.
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What a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, yet uplifting book I'm Not Dying With You Tonight is. While I do not read much from the young adult genre, I had heard such good things about this book that I just had to read it. And i am so glad that I did!! What an incredible story that made me contemplate so many things, including the way I live my life and the choices I make.
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Fast read.  Perfect book to show two different sides of the devastation that can happen during riots.  A book that everyone should read.
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Set in one evening during race riots in Atlanta and told in alternating points of view, this was an intense read that I could not put down. Very timely and, although I had some issues overall (some fat shaming and reliance on stereotypes that took away from the story), it would make a great book for discussion.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am ashamed to admit that I put off reading it for much too long, but now that I have I will be raving about it to everyone. Campbell, a white girl, and Lena, a black girl, get thrown together in circumstances leading to rioting in what is supposed to be a peaceful protest for the Black Lives Matter movement. During their time together, they learn a lot about each other and race relations. After the events of this past summer and fall, this book should be required reading for everyone trying to see where each other is coming from. I don't know if there will be a sequel, but I would love to see a friendship develop between Lena and Campbell.
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A timely and page turning read about two high school girls - one Black and one white - living through the night of a fight-turned-riot in their town. Strong voices presenting myriad opinions on one event; an event that represents so much of what we're all experiencing internationally. A great conversation starter. I'll certainly recommend this to high school students, and would love to see it on more reading lists.
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A story written by two women from very different ethnic backgrounds that rang true. I have some mixed feelings about the story, but I see why people would enjoy it and why it is important to read about this subject.
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Rating: 3/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: there's a lot to unpack with this read; this is such a tiny window of time, I don't feel like everything was accomplished the authors hoped would be; strong narratives, compelling journey, but the characters fell a bit flat for me

There is an awful lot to unpack from this read, Penguins. So let's start with the biggest one. This entire narrative takes place over the course of just a few slim HOURS. Not years, months, weeks, days.... HOURS. And in those slim hours, a HELL of a lot happened to our two leading ladies. But given such a short window of time, there was very little opportunity for actual GROWTH. We see glimmers of it, sure--the way these two start out annoyed and frustrated with each other, and wind up protecting and having the other's back. The changes, though subtle, in their internal monologues. When this story ended, I left off knowing that the night had brought about a change in each of them--small as those changes may have been in the long run. But I feel like a lot of people might go into this story expecting MORE than what they're given. As much as happens here...the truth is, these two are only two high school girls, facing a world of hatred and violence. The truth is, in just a slim number of hours, I'm honestly not sure ANYONE could find an answer, let alone figure out where to even begin looking.

The fact of the matter is, this was not meant to make some wide-sweeping statement about HOW to change things. In my opinion...this was written just as the authors meant it to be: as a glimpse, a tiny snapshot, into two polar opposite ends of a spectrum -- their reactions, their interactions, and the ways that maybe small steps might go a long way. I'm not trying to downplay the story, don't get me wrong. This was impactful. Powerful. Haunting. These authors took a daunting idea, and turned it into something that CAN make a statement--just a more subtle one than maybe you were hoping for. The conversation MUST start somewhere, and I think books such as this one? Are just such a starting point. I devoured this within a matter of hours--just as quick as the story itself went, is how fast I read it. The prose is PERFECTION. Each character has her own unique, very distinct voice--after the first couple of chapters, I didn't even need to read the heading to see which girl's POV we were following. And with their clear voices, came their sides of this journey. I do wish, a little, that we had gotten a bit MORE from them both--there was so much drama and tension happening, I don't feel like they were really given room to BREATHE or be wholly themselves, which was disappointing for me.

With everything that's happened in the world the last year or two, this book is timely and makes a statement--just a quieter, more subtle one. It does not offer answers, because I don't honestly think it COULD...but from two very different points of view, it goes a long way to making you stop and think about what's going on. For a few very slim hours, there was a lot of tension in this read.
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The best thing about this book was the way the racial tension was described, the realism is brought off the page. I think this book is a great way to learn that people can have different points of view based on someone's experiences. Those experiences can shape our reality but you can still be ignorant to their real personality. 

There were a few issues with the book. I didn't see a real plot and of course there were some questionable decision the characters made. I also didn't like that they automatically had the black character have a slang to differentiate the voices. While I did grow up in a low income area and went to a diverse school and saw this type of speech there were plenty of other black teens that didn't speak this way. I felt it spoke to stereotypes and cliche's. 

The whole story and situation just seemed a little far-fetched for my liking.
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