Cover Image: You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight

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“You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight” is not my usual genre. It’s a throwback to 80/90’s slasher movies like Scream and Friday the 13th. However, I read Kaylynn Bayron’s “Cinderella is Dead” and decided to give this a try.

Charity loves her job at Camp Mirror Lake. People pay for nightly re-enactments of an 80’s slasher movie ‘Curse of Camp Mirror Lake’ and Charity has finally made it to the title of “final girl.” But strange things start happening and things take a turn when some of her coworkers disappear.

This was a fun and somewhat gory horror book. It’s on the shorter side so it makes for a quick read as well. I actually wish it was a bit longer and had some more to it. I would’ve liked to have gotten to know some characters better before people started disappearing and/or dying. The ending was a little different for me as it was something I didn’t see coming but should’ve.

This is perfect if you’re someone like me, who likes to make a list for the more scary, spooky and atmospheric reads during the fall.

I received an ARC from Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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I was excited to go into this book. It was quick read, I was able to read it within a day. However it just didn’t grip me the way I thought it would. The thriller aspects were amazing but the characters fell a little flat. The ending was a bit meh and I was expecting more from it. Despite all this, it was an enjoyable read.

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Charity Curtis works at her dream summer job, playing the “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake, a horror simulation. Guests pay for Charity and the rest of her team to scare them while recreating scenes from the horror movie Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. During their final weekend of the summer, some of the employees go missing. Then someone breaks into the camp, and someone else ends up dead. Charity becomes the final girl in her own horror story, and she has to figure out who the killer is before it’s too late.

I’m not usually a fan of horror stories, but when I saw this awesome edition from Waterstones, I knew I had to have this book. This was a fast paced slasher story. I read it in under a day, it was so good and hard to put down! I thought I had the story figured out but I was wrong. The ending was so good and unexpected!

You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight is the perfect horror read for spooky season!

Thank you Bloomsbury US for providing a digital copy of this book!

Content warnings: body horror, stabbing, death, gun use, murder, death of animal (bird)

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Book 2 of the #23for23 challenge is: 💀You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron 🔦

Thank you to NetGalley for the electronic advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review!

3.5 stars
CW: Some sexual content, abandonment, gore.

Bayron brought back the vibes of older slasher flicks in You’re Not Supposed To Die Tonight and it was just as entertaining.

Charity runs the show at Camp Mirror Lake, a gory horror simulation where she and her crew are tasked with scaring the living daylight out of guests each night. It’s a typical summer of fright until some of her staff mysteriously don’t show up for shifts. Oh well! This “final girl” leads her team in another game with her girlfriend and bestie subbing in. Little do they know, it’s about to get real.

This book accomplishes what every teen slasher should, which is keep you on your toes and give you plenty of opportunities to yell at the main characters. However, I could have done with a little more substance on Charity‘s situation with her mom and literally anything about Bezi’s family. The characters had funny lines here and there but they mostly felt one-dimensional.

It was a cool premise, but the pacing sped wayyyy up at the end and the epilogue left me feeling like, “okay…I guess that’s nice.” Felt like there was a whole in how that wrapped up.

If you’re looking for some books for your Spooky Season TBR, this would be a good addition.

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Charity’s summer job is her dream, playing the “final girl” at a “haunt” camp that takes visitors through a slasher scenario. If you survive, you win a tshirt, and Charity gets to decide who, if anyone, gets to survive the scenario. Camp Mirror Lake was the setting for an 80s slasher movie, but there’s nothing actually going on, right? The last weekend of the season, Charity’s co-workers start going missing. With her girlfriend, Bezi, Charity will have to use everything she’s learned about playing the final girl to survive the night.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s got all the elements of a classic slasher with some cool additions, including the camp being a business and then what might really be going on behind the killings. Charity is a badass character, and I was thoroughly entertained trying to figure out what was going on alongside her. I cried with her as her coworkers began getting picked off one by one. I was impressed with the extra twists, and I definitely recommend for a quick, wild ride.

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An immersive horror experience is hosted on the old set of a horror film. People come and pay to try to escape from a fake serial killer. Then people actually start going missing.

It's not as good as Bayron's other books. It's a quick read that would have benefited from being a little longer. There are several parts I thought were underdeveloped. I did like the characters. It's also great to see queer and BIPOC rep in a horror book.

Personally I wouldn't pick it up again. I also probably wouldn't recommend it to adults. However, I think teens will love it. A lot of mine are constantly reaching for horror books and it's good to have more to be able to recommend.

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This book was jarring, mostly purposefully. It had a similar self-referential tone to the Scream movies which I appreciated. I was a little baffled by the fantasy elements, I think part of the genre of thriller movies is it either being painfully human or ambiguously fantastical, but this one leaned more towards confirming the fantasy elements.

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I am here for the horror boom in YA, especially Black horror. The concept of an abandoned summer camp being the site for a thrills attraction is very much a fun, summer idea. I really wish we could have gotten to known some of the earlier characters that were killed off before the main story started and seen more of the thrill-seeker job before the mystery kicked off.

Charity is the kind of girl I would want on my team of final girls. She kicked absolute butt in this book and survived until the very bitter end. While I like the ending of Charity not being the final girl and dying, I wish she survived if only to see that creepy cult get taken down.

The twist at the end did catch me in the moment, but the more I thought it over it was pretty obvious. I wish the author done a bit more in hiding that character's betrayal, but like I said, it did get me in the moment. I don't know how I feel about the cult aspect of the story. I was more hoping it'd be less old white men and more of a sadistic group or person going after teens isolated from the outside world. Like..more Friday the thirteen original and less like the Cult of Michael Myers.

Overall, a great, fun read. I hope the author continues to explore horror in their future writings, and maybe add it to some of their fantastical writings.

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What a page turner! I love scary movies and haunted houses. If you do too, you might want to check out You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight. The setting is at a camp on a lake which the main characters find out has a deep, disturbing history. Not only does it have the Friday the 13th feel, I can probably name 10 other horror movies that can be see throughout. The ending, let's just say I didn't see that one coming!

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"You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight" is an absolutely phenomenal horror novel. Kalynn Bayron keeps you hooked on every page. Charity is an incredibly smart and resourceful protagonist. She is a character you can't help but root for as she works to keep herself and her friends alive.

There's not many novels that have kept my attention until the final sentence, but this was one of them.

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this book was so fun! i really appreciated the nostalgic slasher feel of it as a fan of those cheesy 80's horror films, but it was still remarkably modern and you could definitely tell this is a contemporary narrative. it was fast-paced and entertaining, and even though sometimes it felt a bit pandering, i appreciated the diversity of the cast. there were moments where the youth slang bordered on stereotype that occasionally took me out of the narrative, and the dialogue sometimes felt a bit forced, but i enjoyed the journey this book took me on!

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This description brought to mind 80s slasher films – and I’m a big fan. The twist of a summer camp now being the site of a full-contact terror game was too tempting to pass up. Plus, I’m a fan of this author and will read anything she writes.

Charity has the perfect summer job. It allows her to spend time with friends, instill fear and terror in players brave enough to participate in the game (something she especially enjoys), and keeps her from being at home with her neglectful mother and boyfriend. The camp employees assume roles and act out scenarios that draw the players into the game, and Charity is playing the part of final girl this summer. After her friends begin disappearing and one even turns up dead, she begins to wonder if she’ll play the final girl for real.

The killing doesn’t begin immediately, and I liked that the reader has time time to get to know the characters. One of Charity’s friends is an “expert” on horror films and doles out advice when it’s clear there’s a killer at the camp – don’t check on the noises outside/in the basement/in the attic alone and stick together. Naturally some of these characters ignore that advice and make stupid decisions – not everyone survives. There are several surprise twists, and the story took a path I didn’t see coming. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it at first, but it soon won me over.

If you’re a fan of 80s horror movies (especially Friday 13th), this is a quick read guaranteed to give you those vibes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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I loved this book! Kalynn Bayron is one of my favorite authors! Her This Poison Heart duology was outstanding and this one was another great book from her! I loved the characters, the setting and the fantastic queer representation. The “final girl” is one of my favorite horror tropes and the spin on it was fun and fresh. Great YA horror book.

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Charity plays the Final Girl at a full-contact horror experience, where guests pay for a night of faux-slasher experience. When her co-workers disappear, Charity assumes they're just unreliable and calls her girlfriend, Bezi, and friend, Paige, up to help with the final performance. When someone turns up half-dead, it will take all of her Final Girl experience to survive.


After a run of slasher-inspired novels that flopped at the box office, You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight was a breath of fresh, bloody air. It was a fun, fast-paced read; the pacing is snappy, the action scenes feel weighty, the final twists were well-executed, and there are no holds barred on gore. This is a slasher. Characters get stabbed left and right without mercy.

That, however, leads me into what kept You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight from a full five stars. The characters don’t have the depth of character and complexity necessary for five stars. That’s not to say the characters are flat or bad; they’re likable and are distinct, personality-wise. However, it’s also quite easy to summarize the side characters in one or two traits, meaning that when they inevitably bite it (that’s not a spoiler, it’s a slasher!) it was not all that upsetting. Likability is one thing; being invested is another thing entirely.


Before finishing the review, I have some thoughts on queer rep in You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight.

Charity, our main character, has a girlfriend, Bezi. She identifies as gay, and explicitly states that she is not interested in men. However, the way this is introduced is that Charity is “a vegetarian;” “she don’t like meat… strictly strawberries” (Chapter 2). “Me and Porter are both part of the alphabet mafia,” Charity notes, “so we get it, but Javier is clueless” (Chapter 2).

It’s a small thing, but something like this–identifying attraction by sex, not gender–is gender essentialist, and something the queer community, particularly the trans and nonbinary communities, have been pushing against for ages. It’s disappointing to see this idea persisting in diverse books, especially in YA.

It’s also disappointing to see the word lesbian avoided. While there are plenty of women who pursue relationships with other women and identify as gay, the trend in publishing of avoiding the word lesbian (especially in YA) in contemporary fiction is frustrating and disappointing. Lesbian is a beautiful word; I wish that characters could be identified clearly on page as specifically as gay characters are.

Neither of these problems are unique to You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight, of course, and the book still has good rep regarding characters of color and gay characters. However, if readers looking for fully inclusive queer rep may be disappointed.


You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight is a fun YA slasher with a quick pace and a twisty ending you won’t predict. It’s perfect for a weekend read, especially if it’s dark outside.

For folks looking for a good YA slasher or a sapphic horror, I’d suggest checking this one out.

You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight joins my list of slasher-inspired books, which I post to Twitter and Threads.

Thank you to Bloomsbury for providing a digital ARC via Netgalley. If you are interested in You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight, it releases 20 June 2023. Find more information from the publishers [link]. If possible, support indie bookshops by purchasing the novel from your local brick and mortar or from!

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I LOVE slashers and horror movies so much so the appeal behind this was already so strong but this was something else! The opening had me going from the very start, and I was hooked. I loved the premise of the camp and there was NO WAY I saw the ending twist coming at all. I am blown away by Bayron's story and cannot wait to read more. I hope she continues to explore the horror/slasher genre

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I LOVED this book even though it scared the ever loving mess out of me! I picked up a physical copy and spoke about it on my IG live & advised people not to read it at night if they are easily scared (already one person has regretted not following my advice). I also spoke about it on twitter but those tweets are likely buried now. This was everything a horror should be though. I hope it gets turned into something on screen!

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This book is for any reader wanting a heart-stopping rollercoaster ride of a story. An excellent YA option for those who loved Grady Hendrix's The Final Girls Support Group.

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I was very entertained by this book throughout, but had issues with the pacing and plot structure. Overall it was fun though!

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You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight
by Kalynn Bayron
Pub Date: 20 Jun 2023
Alright, alright, alright! I don't normally read straight-up horror books; I'm usually more of a thriller girl, but this young adult slasher book didn't disappoint! If you are a fan of the '80s horror films like Friday the 13th or the more recent Scream franchise, then pick up this quick read.
Charity is a teen who pretty much runs the Camp Mirror Lake horror simulation based off the hit movie. People pay to "stay" the night at the camp to be scared to death by a serial killer on the loose. There are actors, trap doors, cameras, and tons of fake blood and body parts. Charity plays the part of the final girl who always makes it out alive.
It's all fun and games until some of the actors up and leave without a saying a word and a wild woman toting a shotgun comes after the kids for real. The games are shut down for the season and Charity and her crew have to lock everything down. As they are cleaning up, they realize they aren't alone in the woods. In true horror fashion, someone or something starts picking them off one by one. Will Charity be able to use all her horror knowledge to be the final girl one last time?

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Once again I am in love with Kalynn Bayrons writing. I have read a thriller/horror book in a while and I was pleasantly surprised. I think what made it more memorable for me is the queer rep in the book.

I love seeing more accurate queer rep in this genre as time goes on. I enjoyed both the pacing and the length of this story. It's the perfect 'beach" read or start to the spooky season.

While I die like the twist at the end I was not a fan of the ending. I'm hoping I can grow to love it with time. I strangely enough wish the ending could have been a bit more cliche.

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