Cover Image: #NotReadyToDie


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I went into this with such high hopes. It's such a serious important subject matter but it just didn't work. The main character was annoying and as much as I wanted to like her I just couldnt. The best part about this was that it was short. Had it been longer I probably would have given up on it
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This book is about so much more than another violent acted out in an American public school. I read this in one session. I loved the character developed that happens between Kayla and the protagonist!
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I really liked this book. There were definitely some parts that were problematic, and the main character was immature at times, but that made it all a little more real to me. Will he adding this to my collection in my library.
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First of all, I am not American and I don't have any experience with school shooting environment, neither do I have being surrounded by that. Regardless that, I still enjoy books focused on this topic. It's something new, something that's happening to people over ocean. That's why I decided to give this book a try. I've read two other books about this before and they were pretty amazing. I was really excited about #notreadytodie. Oh well... First of all, I'd like to say I really liked format of this book. It was focused on the victims and there was a tweet in the end of every chapter. This format worked worked for me before and it did work again. Author's writing style was fast paced and easy to get into. Sadly, that's all positive I have to say about this book. 

My main problem was MC. Ginny, named after Ginny Weasley. Eventhough I do not like Ginny in HP so much, she had some memorable qualities. This Ginny? Total mess. I can understand she had it rough. I get it. But that doesn't mean she is entitled to judge people without knowing knem. She has name for everyone - Barbies (aka Cheerleaders), Nerds etc.  So... eventhough the whole school is on lockdown and Ginny and her classmates are locked in a class, she still judges her classmates. Heavily. Also... is it normal to fantasize about your crush and asking him out on a prom while he's bleeding after being shot? And most of all - WTF are you leaving your heavily wounded teacher alone, bleeding to her death, while chatting with your new BFF? Another thing about Ginny. She feels entitled to make people come out even if they don't want to. Who gave you this privilege, bitch? Nobody. 

All of the other characters were so much more likable than MC. Characters were quite two dimensional. The only characters I enjoyed were Kayla (aka Barbie), who totally surprised... (but was also one big cliché) and MJ. 

As much as I wanted to like this book, I just can't. I wish author focused more on the shooter himself. We only get brief explanation about him, but that's all. I know author probably wanted to focus on victims, but honestly... shooter's POV would be so much better. It got a little bit gripping towards the end, but that was the only part. I honestly hoped for MC to get shot. I could care less about her ass.
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I voluntarily read and reviewed and advanced copy of this book, received through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The plot of the story revolves around a school shooting from the perspective of the main character: Ginny. During the book, Ginny narrates the school shooting, both how it started and how they are going through it locked in her homeroom, but also thinks about her home life, giving the reader an insight into her thoughts, including her mental health and issues she's dealing with. 

While Ginny's character seems to grow a lot during the story, I felt like there was something missing. For instance, what happens with Ginny and other of the characters after the day they spend hiding under their desks? How does this experience affect them as people who barely knew each other? Also, I would have liked to know more about the shooting itself, like who was the shooter and why did they decide to do it. There's only a generic explanation that could have been more fleshed out.

Overall, this book felt like a pretty average read. It's quite short for one, but also felt too detached, I don't think anyone who has survived a school shooting would relate with any of the things Ginny seems so focused on. It's not a book I would recommend as an entertaining read nor as emotional book.
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This book had an interesting concept, and I liked that it was set in Toronto, but the writing didn't do it for me. The characters weren't very well developed and none of them made choices that were realistic.
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This was a quick read that I wanted to like a lot more than I did. It was set in Toronto and the main character is the daughter of a librarian and the plot sounded very interesting but the execution was lacking. All of the characters were very one dimensional or very stereotypical and no one behaved in a very believable way considering the situation they were in.
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Thank you Netgalley for the digital ARC. This is my own honest review. 

Trigger warnings: self harm and sexual assualt.

I have read a few books based in school shootings. While each one has been intense and even share different povs, this book does not. 

We follow Ginny and her day throughout this terrifying ordeal. She gave us details on how her day started, as well as her past. We also see her classmates through her eyes. She has everyone labeled, until this day happens. 

She finds friendship in someone she least expected it from.

This story doesn't focus on the shooter or even the reasons why it is happening. We just get the one side from Ginny and how she and her classmates handle it. And that, is enough to make this a good read.
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Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advanced copy. 

I am particularly drawn to YA novels that take on serious and often controversial topics. I believe such stories are essential and I was looking forward to reading another take on a tough topic. Unfortunately, this book was a major let down. The writing is juvenile, the secondary characters are mostly underdeveloped cliches, and the main character, Ginny, was close to intolerable. The fact that a school shooting is something that could happen anywhere is the only part of the book that felt realistic. 

The book has such an abrupt ending that I thought I missed chapters. It felt as though the author got tired and didn't want to finish so she wrote a quick "months later" chapter just to wrap things up. Truly disappointing.
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Middle school daughter and I read this book, and it was a super quick and great read!  She literally read it in one day, and I was pretty close behind.  We felt the characters were believable and the story line was great.  Without giving things away we both felt that students who read this will be entertained.  

The story revolves around flashback scenes, but we wish they would focus a little more on the father and his death.
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A shorter novel about a topic which is becoming all too real. Unfortunately, for me, this story wasn’t too real - the characterisation of the teens was very poor and failed to drive the story forward, leaving what should have been a very powerful and affecting story completely lacking.
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This book was short and sweet. It's really more of a YA novella or a Kindle single.  It spans the length of time spent in a classroom during a school shooting when 2 very brave girls step up, take control of the situation, and become friends in the process.

The book is told from Ginny's point of view.  She is bookish and smart and a bit judgmental.  She initiates the brave behavior by moving a whiteboard in front of the door as a second form of defense, but Kayla (a cheerleader) moves to help her.  Ginny slowly realizes that Kayla is courageous and resourceful.  Together they unite the classroom and keep everyone calm and quiet.

There are flashbacks in the book to Ginny's home life and past and there's a little bit of an epilogue regarding the aftermath of the shooting, but I'd like to know more about what happened in the 3 months between the end of school and the prom...
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Standing at a mere 200 pages long, this book is a very juvenile take on a controversial and pressing subject. While the author can put together coherent sentences (hence two stars instead of one), she appears to not know how to use proper punctuation (lots of missing commas where they should be).

The plot is equally flat as the characters and mostly takes places over one afternoon. Not much is ever mentioned about the shooter, his identity or his motivations. He/she is only mentioned in passing and his fate remains vague.

The characters are dull and annoying, especially the female protagonist who is a spoilt brat that complains, judges and freaks out at everything. There is poor character development because instead of fleshing them out properly, the author makes use of stereotypes and tropes to move the storyline along. It's also darn unrealistic that most of the students were chilling calmly under their desks the shooting.

It's highly disappointing that many taboo issues were brought up, though none were ever properly explored and dealt with, let alone resolved. Examples: Cutting, date rape, grief and mourning, witnessing death, etc.

Think of this book as a Breakfast Club with a school shooting (instead of detention) as the backdrop. Pretty disrespectful to actual shootings and books about them, to be honest.
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** spoiler alert ** I received a digital copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review.

I was intrigued by this book due to the serious subject topic as I believe that YA fiction needs some serious topics to inform and open eyes. Unfortunately, this story wasn't really eye-opening to me, rather slightly irritating but I know that the author's heart was probably in the right place.

I'd say one of the main problems with this book is the two-dimensional characters who were not given time to be more than just words on paper. In fact, the main character is really unlikeable. So lets set the scene. Main character Ginny is under her desk as her school is in the middle of a school shooting. She reads the underside table graffiti "Jarrod H. is a weiner", then talks for a few pages about how whoever wrote this must be a boy because girls are "too mature". I get that she is trying to distract herself from the awful reality she is in but it seems a very casual subject matter and not a subject matter that a scared teenager under a desk would ponder right now. 
So then MC is reflecting back on the situation and we learn that when the teacher tells them to get under their desks because it is not a drill, the very stereotypical jocks refuse. Not only do these "alpha males" ignore the instructions that will save their lives - they pull a boy out from under his desk, asking him "What you scared of?". Oh, I don't know.. maybe the school shooter?? I feel that realistically, this just wouldn't happen and it reflects the sporty kind of guys as stereotypical dumbasses. 
So at the end of every chapter or so, there is an insert of social media posts. The hashtags. The goddamn hashtags. Would kids hiding from a school shooter who are fearing for their lives be posting on Instagram WITH THEIR LOCATIONS AND CLASSROOMS, #surreal, #wtf, #scared ?

At some point a science teacher posts on twitter about how students should stop tweeting their locations... by starting off the tweet with how his class are okay .. his class and classroom. Gosh.

As I've stated, the MC is kind of intolerable. There is some weird kind of stereotyping going on with this book, like how all cheerleaders are "barbies". As the main character judges all of the cheerleaders as blonde barbies, a cheerleader who called Kayla helps MC with making sure everyone is okay. By help I mean she does everything whilst MC makes comments in her head. Even after learning Kayla's name, she continues to call her Barbie. So Kayla is helping people with trauma and wounds and MC is just kind of watching and all she has to comment to the reader is "Barbie used a four-syllable word and, most likely, spelt it correctly. WTF". Yeah wtf, wtf is MC's problem? 
Kayla continues to help people, calming them down and talking to them, MC is silent of course and goes back to her judging - "She was definitely full of surprises that one, with her medical terms and soothing bedside manner. It was probably all for show". Are you kidding me? MC is a classic r/notliketheothergirls, everyone who isn't her is fake apparently and that is so infuriating. It's 2019, by now we should really not be condemning girls to stereotypes from like fifty years ago. 
Kayla is nothing but nice to MC, she goes out of her way to try and add more protection to the classroom - getting a hunk of metal in her shoulder in the process. She asks MC to help her get it out and do you know what MC says? "Do I have to?" because "it's gross". Duuude, come on. 

Another messed up thing about this book was the MC's reaction to finding out her crush was gay. 
-"My Owen was gay?! Never". 
-"And I suddenly didn't really care whether or not we made it out alive" (because she found out Owen was gay)
-"Maybe because he hadn't yet realised I was the love of his life"
Not the right way to go with that at all. Yes, the character would obviously be upset and disappointed because she liked him, but she is so creepily possessive the whole way through this book. 
Also, whilst Owen is seriously injured, MC just stares whilst Kayla tries to help him with his wounds. This happens a few times and each time, MC makes a comment like "Trying to hone in on my Owen now, Barbie? Not gonna happen" - MC, you crazy. 

This book could have been a lot better. I feel like the author needed to do some more research on the way teenagers actually talk and interact with each other. Overall, it kind of felt like a wattpad story written by a 14-year-old with some serious vendetta against kids with popularity. 

If you plan on reading this book, please be aware of triggering topics such as school shooting, self-harm and death.
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I didn't mind the first few chapters of this book, it wasn't great but I wouldn't go as far as to say it was awful either, but the further along the book went the more annoyed by it I got. For some reason, the main character Ginny is filled with this God complex where she doesn't believe she's wrong for judging people. She has this belief that all cheerleaders are dumb blondes, and constantly calls Kayla (who happens to be a cheerleader) Barbie. Kayla was a volunteer with some hospital, part of the Big Sister Association, and I believe more, so she's not this dumb blonde that Ginny made her out to be. It annoyed me that she just painted her, and MJ with this brush of judgment. She didn't even work on it towards the book, she just wrote it down on a list, I want to be less judgemental.

She also wrote on the said list that she wanted to help Ollie come out of the closet. EXCUSE ME? That is not your decision to make. High school life is hard, without the added stress of being bullied for your sexuality on top. and you don't get to just write down that Ollie NEEDS to come out, it's not your business so that shouldn't have been on the list in the first place. God, it was so ridiculous.

I also had a problem with Kayla when she opened the door to the police. She texts her mother who gives her a code so that the police can confirm it's them, and when they say it's the name of her dead teacher her knees buckle and she's shocked. But I don't understand why she's acting like that because she literally just read the code word on the text a few seconds before it.

I think the worst bit about this was the lack of information on the school shooter. As this was all a fictional piece of work, I would have liked to at least have a chapter on him, maybe in the perspective of him, or a news reporter telling the details of his life so that we get a bit more than he's killing us because his wife is leaving him and taking the kids.

1/5, would not recommend lol.
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I do not yet know how i feel about this one it bought some truths out and it was a bit scary to see how people can come in and just shoot up a school
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An amazing, well written, and emotionally charged book. It's full of food for thought and it's not an easy read.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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*spoilers in review* (rating: 2.5 / 5)

A school shooting at a high school in Canada is shown from the perspective of one of the students. She's forced to think past her perceptions of other students to do the best she can to help others trapped in the classroom with her.

I didn't find very many redeeming qualities about this book. My favorite thing about the book was the way that each chapter ended with a tweet from various sources--usually either the local news station or one of the students in the school. I liked reading the updates as time went on (and missed them when they weren't there), though I wished I could see reactions from the characters to some of them. They were mostly removed from the narrative. The writing was clear and easy to follow. And I liked the relationship between the narrator, Ginny, and her mom. That's the extent of my positive notes. These are the main reasons I gave the book 2.5 stars.

There was a secondary main character named Kayla who, frankly, would have made a much better main character. She was compassionate, brave, forgiving, and had knowledge of medicine. I don't mean to say side characters can't be better at anything than the main character, of course, but in contrast, Ginny was judgemental, a bit harsh, and too often focused on the entirely wrong things during this crisis. The main character doesn't have to be the "best," but for a story to land well, it certainly helps for the reader to be able to identify with the MC...and I just didn't. Ginny spends the entire book calling Kayla by an insulting nickname, but it's okay, because she says it "with love" after the two start to become friends. There are other things that happen with Ginny that either don't make sense to her character or are pretty big personality flaws.

And speaking of characters, the book is so full of cliches. In the classroom during the lockdown, there are only 3 main groups of people identified: jocks, cheerleaders, and nerds. I get the over-simplification of background characters in a setting like this, but maybe go against the trend of those commonly used groups? The main person who acts selfishly and is disliked by the MCs is a jock. Maybe change it up, make him something less cliched.

This might count as a spoiler, so be warned, but one specific thing that really bugged me was later in the book, Ginny makes a comment about one of the other students that leads Kayla to tell her maybe she should work on not judging people so much. After initially snarking back to Kayla about this comment, she admits to the reader that Kayla had been right (yeah, we know...considering that you have been calling Kayla, who is supposedly becoming your friend now, "Barbie" since the beginning of the book). Then later, when talking about the "jerk jock", we're told that Ginny prides herself on having a pretty good feel for people. Except she's spent half the book finding out that she's misjudged at least 3 different people in her class. But since we all agree that the jerk jock is a bad guy, I guess we'll let that little contradiction slide.

Here are a few other stray thoughts, which contain some spoilers: From my limited knowledge, I'm pretty sure most school shootings are a lot shorter than the time it went on for in this book. The shooter weirdly taunted this classroom, which I never really understood. There wasn't much suspense for me, considering the final chapter title, the book's POV and tense, and the fact that I wasn't really connected to the MC (note: I am not at all saying that I didn't care if she died, especially considering the subject matter of this book). Finally, I don't think it would have bothered me to not be told the motivations behind the shooting if the students hadn't speculated on it so much along the way. Because of that, I did find myself wanting to know, which we don't find out. I know that the motivations aren't always clear in real life either, but this is fiction, so I would have hoped for at least a more definitive speculation from someone in authority by the end.

The subject of a school shooting intrigued me, which is why I chose to read this book. Though I know there are other books like this out there, I haven't read any. However, so much of the characterization was just so off to me, I had a difficult time finding it very much of an exploration into the minds of students in this terrible situation. I don't think I can come up with any types of readers I would specifically recommend this book to. It was short, so I probably should have been able to read it more quickly than I did, but instead found myself stopping and going back to my other book that I was really enjoying, and it's not because of the difficult subject, but just didn't hold my attention very well.
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Ginny is the main character in a story about a HS shooting in Canada. A shooter (or shooters) are at Ginny's school and the substitute teacher gets shot ushering in a late student. I am a bit surprised with the procedures in place for such an attack. These seemed to be a bit vague and limited.

Kayla and Ginny go on a crusade within the room to assist those who had been shot or otherwise wounded. Friendships are made. Kayla, a cheerleader who Ginny didn't like - called her "Barbie" - ends up having the most common sense. Kayla and Ginny perform most of the emotional and physical care to their classmates and bond.

As has happened too many times in the US, this is not a fantastical charade. Children and adults do die from senseless actions. Perhaps someone will read this who can make a difference...

An OK read.

Many Thanks to Common Deer Press and NetGalley for an informative read
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When I saw this book up on Netgalley, I was immediately drawn into it. While I know others like this exist, this was my first time seeing a book about a school shooting. That, combined with the intriguing cover and title, made me want to instantly dive into it. And so, yesterday afternoon, I did. 

The plot of the story centers around a school shooting from the perspective of Ginny (named in honor of Ginny Weasley, on account of being the daughter of both a librarian and a book editor). Throughout the book, the reader not only gains insight into the school shooting incident, but also her outside life at home. I really enjoyed the mental health rep, especially the reasoning given to why Ginny has recently taken to cutting her wrists. I also liked Ginny's character development and how, over the course of the book, she was able to completely change her ridiculously stereotypical opinions of her fellow classmates. 

However, for the most part, this book felt like a pretty average read. For one, it's a pretty short read. I read the full book in under two hours, which gave it more of a "novella" feeling than an actual full length novel. 

My biggest criticism for this would probably have to be the lack of explanation as to the specific motives behind the shooter. In the end, we do get a generic motive, but to me it just wasn't enough and didn't add much to the book. I would have definitely liked to see some backstory, maybe in the form of a news article, to dive into the shooter's character. 

Overall, this was an average, yet emotional and quickly paced read. Final rating: 3.5 stars

*I was given a free eARC on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my thoughts or opinions of this book*
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