Cover Image: #NotReadyToDie


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#NotReadyToDie is a short but emotional read about two girls that must work together when a shooting occurs at their school. The book has a range of characters, and focuses on topics relating to high school. The author has made the book accessible to young adult audiences with the characters and the themes. I would still advise readers to be cautious, especially younger readers, when considering a book about such a complex and distressing topic. I do feel that the author tells the story in such a way that the shooting is not sensationalised or described in an overly detailed way, and so the book can still be read by young adult readers.
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This is a book that could have had so much promise to it but fell really short. The characters didn’t seem real and felt flat to me - we could have had so much more from them but it just didn’t happen.
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One of the weird things that I love to read about and am fascinated with is school shootings, more so as I think about some of the cliques and the way a high school can be and if you don't fit into their boxes you are identified as a weirdo and sometimes being bullied can push you to an extreme - either suicide or acting out and shooting those who harmed you one way or another. The other thing is that I feel when I read these books is that I am lucky to live in New Zealand where guns aren't a common household item as I assume if they were then we would be like the US and having many school shooting attacks. In #Not Ready to Die by Cate Carlyle which is Book #2 of 2021 read we meet Ginny who is named after Ginny Weasley - daughter of an Editor and a Librarian and Kayla aka Barbie. They are in their homeroom when shots first start ringing out "pop, pop, pop" and the rest of the class is screaming or in shock. Kayla and Ginny will rise and be the leaders and try and settle the class and help the wounded and form a strong bond that will last after the bell rings. Unlike other school shooting books, this one was different as it focused on a single classroom during a lockdown and the wait till they are saved. I also found it interesting to see how different people react in these situations from the jocks to cheerleaders to the averages to the nerds and outsiders.
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NotReadyToDie by Cate Carlyle 
2/5 stars

-Copy of Netgalley Arc-

*TW: self-harm*

The last thing Ginny expected to happen on the early hours of Monday morning was for her school to go into lockdown as a gunman roams down the halls. 

I am so disappointed I didn’t enjoy this one, and that’s mainly due to our main character Ginny. 
-Spoiler alert ahead-
As Ginny’s class is in lockdown, their teacher is badly injured so Ginny and another student Kayla who is also on the schools cheerleading team, work together to try help their teacher and other students. 
However Ginny spent majority of the book referring to Kayla as ‘barbie’ because the character was blonde. And there was a quote from Ginny ‘I’m surprised barbie knew a four syllable word and knew how to spell it correctly’
Ginnys character just left a bad taste in my mouth that really brought the book down for me.
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There’s very little I can say about this book. The plot doesn’t seem to focus on anything specific and I’m having a hard time remembering anything about the flat-as-a-pancake characters. I do remember the bucketload of cliches the author tried to dump into the story, including a pretty-girl “Barbie” that turns out to be nice and probably the only smart one in the bunch.

Other than that, there’s also the typical romance YA trope of characters worrying more about their love life than the life-or-death situation. The main character is more concerned with her crush and prom than the bleeding kids around her. Let’s not forget that one of the students, during a SCHOOL SHOOTING, just decides to take a nap under the desk, or how some students were tweeting about winning a football game on Friday, during a SCHOOL SHOOTING.

I have to add, there was a gun drawn in my own high school during my sophomore year. Thankfully another student was able to grab the gun and toss it away and no shots were fired, but I remember the chaos and panic. This book is on the edge of being offensive to that experience.
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This was a bit disappointing. The main character was quite vapid and self-involved, even for a teenager, especially given the circumstances happening around her. It was hard to sit through this one.
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I find it difficult to give proper feedback to this book. 
In short, #notreadytodie is about a girl experiencing the traumatic event of a school shooting whilst trapped in her classroom. Her love Owen gets injured, she has to witness the death of her teacher and overcome discrepancies with another classmate to be able to work together and survive and help. 

My biggest problem with this book was that it was way too short in order to be able to capture all the necessary details, emotions, background stories and the aftermath. 

Nothing is known about the shooter, his motives or background story. Due to the shortage of pages, the content suffers in my opinion. The protagonist becomes great friends with another girl she always thought of to be mean and condescending after 5 minutes of being together and they share their deepest secrets. 
Although, in situations like this, many things are possible, I would have wished for a deeper understanding and more detailed description. 
Similar to this example I think a lot of suspense and depth of character is missing, just because the book is so short. 100 pages more and I think it would have been great. 

Nevertheless, I regard the overall issue as immensely important and think it's great for books to cover exactly what so many students have to go through and display their emotions and feelings. 
As already mentioned I would have wished the book to further cover the aftermath, as for individuals who had to experience such a traumatic event, it sadly does not end after the actual incident. 

With that in mind I don't know if I would buy this book for myself or buy it as a gift for someone else, but would definitely read it if it were to be available in a library or school or similar.
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A really good and interesgting book with the topic "school shooting".  The author puts together a very believable group of characters, some are cowards, some are heroes, and all are realistic in their reactions to being locked in a classroom with a shooter on the other side of the door. Normally many books about this topic are unrealistic, but this is really well done.
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First of all, thanks to NetGalley and Common Deer Press for approving my request and sending me an eARC in exchange for a honest review.
You have to know English isn’t my first language, so feel free to correct me if I make some mistakes while writing this review.

TRIGGER WARNINGS: school shooting, self-harm. 

I'm not saying I had high expectations, just that I hoped to really like this book - I'm sad, but I didn't. 

Now, I'm Italian so it's not something that ever happened to me and I never lived a situation that put my life in danger - and I do hope to never live it - but I found many things being unrealistic. 

The story starts with students already hidden under their desks because there's someone out there in the hallways shooting his way in. 
Ginny's friend and crush is wounded, so is their teacher. 

Now, I get who's crying, who's having a panic attack - I also understand who tries to think about something else even if it's frivolous just because it helps them to not freak out. But I don't get taking a nap under a desk while outside the door there's someone trying to kill as many students as he can - it's ridiculous and absolutely unbelievable. 

The same goes for Ginny, her only worry the prom and Owen maybe not being able to answer her proposal. Really? The guy is painting the floor red with his blood and you worry about prom? You worry about your plans being hijacked? 

I don't know if Ginny was written intentionally as childish and full of prejudices, so quick to judge everyone - she keeps calling Kayla "Barbie" even when she's the only one doing something useful to secure the health and the safety of everyone else in the room. 

The story doesn't have a rhythm, we don't know how much time passes unless we concentrate on the tweets going on about the shooting - meanwhile Ginny narrates us everything about her life, but I'm not it was the perfect time to do that. The most part of it, anyway.
It's full of clichés and I can understand how you can forge a bond with someone unexpected because of the odd circumstances, but Ginny always lashes out at Kayla and then suddenly they are best friends. 

The ending - you can't even call it that. 
Not a word about the shooter, barely a phrase about physical, emotional and mental consequences. 
I didn't like it and I read better books about this topic. 

Two stars instead of one only because there's something in Ginny's life that's a trigger to me - it was unexpected and I had to take a few breaths before I could continue to read again - but the way she talked about it and related to it was the only realistic thing worth of being highlighted.
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I kind of enjoyed that this is short story. Except short stories aren't really my thing. I picked up this book on netgalley mainly is because of the topic it covers. It is very interesting to see the many different responses of the characters from a school shooting.
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Unfortunately this book was not for me. This book is short but wasn't what I was looking for when looking for a book on school shooting. I just didn't feel like that the girl thinking only about how the shooter will not affect her prom was realistic...
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I have never read a book like this before.
We stick with Ginny during one of the worst days of her life. When somebody starts shooting at her school. the students go into lock down and have to stay in their class waiting for the all clear. 

I found the story very emotional and it was really interesting to see how different people react to such a horrific situation. The topic is obviously a very heavy one and I think that the only way to read this book is to do it in one sitting. 

I would have liked this better if the ending was a little tidier. I mean the story kind of just ended and it left a few questions but other than that I was completely immersed in the plot.
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Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. 

Three stars for this school shooting novel. It was a super quick read, which was nice. It started out great then kind of fell off for me at the end. 

The characters seemed so juvenile. They didn’t seem like high school seniors. To me their actions were age appropriate, but not the speech  

We were taken from the tragedy off and on go learn more about Ginny and her life. I thought this was a nice reprieve from the tragedy. 

The ending fell flat for me. We never learned who the killer was or why he did what he did. I needed more closure!
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#NotReadyToDie follows Ginny and her classmates as they are stuck together in their homeroom during a school shooting.

This book is an incredibly fast read and had me crying for large chunks of it. 

Carlyle cleverly explores the variety of reactions that students have to being trapped within a classroom with the possibility that they will die. There's Ginny and a cheerleader named Kayla trying to keep classmates safe and alive, there are jocks trying to act brave in the face of fear, and there are classmates overcoming their own fears to hold their loved one close, terrified they won't make it through the ordeal.

The only thing negative I have to say about this book is that I would have liked a little more exploration into the aftermath of the shooting both for the students and the wider community.

I definitely recommend reading this book.
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I read this on the premise of it being a mystery thriller about a high school shooting and I was expecting it to be gripping and full of suspense. However it was neither of those things. It read more like a cliche teen drama full of cheesy romance narratives, mean girls and cliques and who is going to the prom. I couldnt tell what the time frame of this book was meant to be and that took away from the suspense because it felt like they had all the time in the world and there wasnt really any danger.
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#NotReadyToDie is short, but intense and honestly should be read by everyone.  It's a tough read and it will shake readers, but I think that might've been the author's intention.  Definitely a must read
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This book was a very sad and poignant portrayal of an all too common occurrence—school shootings. Although the subject matter was tough, it was a very accurate and engaging story.
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I received a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.   Thank you NetGalley.

powerful and interesting read.    This book was through the eyes of the teens experiencing and living the school shooting.
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This was definitely a tough read, and it might be too much for some people, especially those personally affected by school shootings. Thankfully there's not much actual violence in the book; most of the action takes place inside of a locked classroom, where students from different cliques must team up to keep each other alive. While the story pulled me right in, I struggled to believe some of the dialogue. I also had trouble believing that the police would allow the shooter to roam the halls for HOURS before finally making entry. But the scenes where the shooter is right outside the classroom door took my breath away. Overall, this is a fast read, it's well-written, and it definitely held my attention.
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I was really shocked by this book as it genuinely made me feel scared. The story follows a young girl named Ginny (named after Weasley, of course) throughout the horrific events of a school shooting. She is locked in a classroom with a group of students who will jump to any measure to ensure their safety. It really makes you think of what you would do as an individual in that situation and how you would react. The characters have various reactions which creates the atmosphere of sheer shock and also pure terror. The way it is written really makes you feel emotive while reading and my heart sped up in parts due to the fast paced events and also the attention to detail. It really made you feel like you were in the school with the students and in their shoes. The name #NotReadyToDie comes from a chain of various tweets at the end of each chapter from students/parents/teachers within the school as the event unfold and what would be seen from the outside world. You get an idea of how people are feeling and what little information people on the outside of a situation such as this would be getting. It really hits home and is such a powerful book with a powerful message.

Thank you NetGalley and Common Deer Press for the ARC!
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