Cover Image: You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight

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Similar to a Halloween haunted house, people sign up to stay at the isolated location where a popular horror movie, "The Curse of Camp Mirror Lake," was filmed. Visitors to the Camp Mirror Lake immersive experience are invited to try and survive the night while being pursued by a deranged killer. As Charity Curtis and the other teens who staff the camp prepare to shut down for the season, strange and horrifying things start to happen. Could the curse of Camp Mirror Lake be real? It soon becomes clear the teens will have to rely on everything they know about the camp, horror movies and their own survival skills to make it out alive.

The start of this novel leads you to believe you'll be reading a series of classic slasher horror tropes but it goes in a very different and terrifying direction. It upends some tropes right from the start, including Black people being the first to die. The teens who run the camp represent a range of cultures and sexualities, another thing often missing from horror stories. In the end all you need to know is this book is scary, takes some unexpected twists and has a killer ending.

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What a thrilling book!!! I so enjoyed reading this. At just barely 240 pages, it was a super quick read, but a lot of fun. I wasn't expecting it to be what it ended up being, so it was a nice surprise of a book. I think what I loved about it most was that it subverted a lot of my expectations. As someone who watches slashers and horror movies a lot, it was nice to read one that also was super exciting. I found myself reacting to it the way I would react to an actual slasher movie.
Charity is such a good character and I love the way Bayron took a different route to the Final Girl trope. The characters in this were really well done and it's surprising that Bayron was able to make them so dynamic in such a short amount of time. Ultimately, I'm not quite giving it 5 stars just because I wish it was a teeny bit longer. I think two pretty big scenes at the end and even the set up at the beginning could've been slower to build up the tension. The twists in this were especially good and very well-timed. One of them wasn't super surprising to me but I don't think it was necessarily meant to be the biggest twist, so that was fine. The rest of them were shocking and I really wasn't expecting them. But overall, this was a really cool book and I can see it being a favorite for many especially around the spooky time of the year!

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Charity is our protagonist in this ya slasher thriller and I thought she was the kind of person I would have been friends with as a teenager. She works at Camp Mirror Lake, a place where people come to participate in a full slasher nightmare simulation and she loves her job.

But, this summer feels different, with employees dwindling and strange noises to be heard in the night. Charity has to bring in reinforcements in the form of some friends and her girlfriend to help assist in running the show.

When people start really dying, Charity needs to figure out what is happening in order to stop the grizzly killings she is suddenly surrounded by, though the truth is deeper and more horrifying than she could have imagined.

This was a super quick, fast paced thriller. I loved the feel of the camp and the writing that brings it all to life. This was a fun one to read.

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Charity Curtis plays a “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake, it’s the perfect job for a horror fan... except this time it’s no longer a game and there is an actual killer out there hunting them down... and Charity is going to have to try and figure out the camp’s bloody past to figure out who the killer is and if she can actually make it out alive. Charity spends her summer at her dream job, playing a final girl at Camp mirror Lake. Guests come to experience a full-contact terror game, where Charity and her summer crew recreate scenes from a classic slasher film, Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. But this summer is different, Charity’s coworkers begin disappearing and when one person actually ends up dead, Charity is beginning to realize that there is something much darker going on and that the fictional film might be more real than she expected. Now she’ll have to use all her knowledge and skill as a final girl to try and save the rest of her crew and her girlfriend if they want to survive the night... but who could the killer be? This was such a fun read! I adore horror movies and this was a great read, the twist had me reading until the end and I definitely enjoyed the ending! It was such a great read and I think it’d be the perfect read for any horror fans out there!

*Thanks Netgalley and Bloomsbury USA Children's Books, Bloomsbury YA for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*

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YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE TONIGHT is a masterfully crafted YA thriller that sucks you in and delivers at slasher plot point - the fake outs, betrayals, plot twists, and open-ended conclusion. Kalynn Bayron stays true to the genre of '80s slashers with the '90s self-awareness introduced by Scream while still coming across as fresh. It takes a true writer to commit to the well-established formula of a genre and still keep the reader on their toes. Like Bayron's other works, her characters are complex, queer and racially diverse. Put this book into the hands of all horror fans and thriller fanatics. Recommended for all high school and public libraries.

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I freaking loved This Poison Heart series so when I seen You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron on my approval list I jumped at the chance to read it.

Who doesn’t love a summer camp horror story?!

This was so engaging and very exciting, I sped through this in less than a day.
Charity, I absolutely loved her character. It was a ton of fun reading her journey and seeing her story unfold while at Camp Mirror Lake.
The writing was truly wonderful, and I cannot recommend this enough!
The plot was very thought-out and unraveled beautifully with every sentence.
A very edge of your seat read by this great author.
Kalynn Bayron is so damn good at what she does. And it shows inside this book.
This book was the definition of unputdownable and I need a minute to pick my jaw up off the floor.
A very edge of your seat read by this great author.
Fast paced, addictive and thrilling read.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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This was a thrill ride from start to finish! Kalynn Bayron knows horror and knows how to do it well. 'You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight' is fast-paced, smart, and terrifying while also paying homage to the iconic horror stylings of the 80's.

Charity Curtis works at a summer camp with a twist - you live out a night of horror, being chased around the campground by a masked killer and see how long you can last. But, when things start to happen that aren't part of the script, the actors begin to wonder if something more is going on. Soon, they begin to disappear one by one and the night dissolves into bloody madness. Charity may be the final girl for the horror experience, but will she survive the night?

Lovers of Jason, Michael, Freddy and Ghostface will enjoy this terrifying novel, out June 20, 2023. Thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury YA for this eARC!

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I love campy horror and I had a lot of fun reading You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron.

The story takes place at a "horror" camp, where guests come to experience terror similar to that experienced by the characters in slasher movies. The main character Charity runs the summer camp for the owner and plays the final girl in the game.

I was surprised where the story went but I loved the explanations and the ending. I highly recommend this fun, scary read!

Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley for allowing me to read this digital ARC.

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Unfortunately, I didn't end up enjoying this book. I had really high hopes for You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight because I enjoy campy, cliche horror along the lines of Scream or Friday the 13th. This book started out really well, I enjoyed the idea of this book. The main character works at a camp that puts on a fake horror setting production for paying customers and scares them with a pretend Friday the 13th style story. Then weird things start happening and the people she works with start to disappear for real. Where it lost me was the ending and the explanations for what was happening. I just personally didn't like the direction the story went and I felt the ending ended up being kind of rushed. That said, it is. super fast read since it is so short and I was interested in learning what was happening so I think a lot of people will have fun with this book. It just didn't work for me the way I had hoped.

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Well this book was TERRIFYING! I don’t usually read horror but I am a huge Kalynn Bayron fan so I had to read this and it was so scary but it was so good too. I couldn’t put it down!

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A super fast paced, thrilling, and quick read! I absolutely loved the concept for this one - the idea of a horror camp is SO cool! - and the writing definitely did the incredible premise justice. And that ending!!!

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Well... I don't think I'll ever be able to look at Owls the same again.

Kalynn Bayron really can write anything and I'll devour the story. No matter the genre, I'll be there to read her work because she really is an incredible writer. You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight was one of my most anticipated reads of 2023 for obvious reasons. Bayron is one of my favourite authors and the premise sounded incredible. Horror is not a genre I typically read but I was ready to dive into this because I trust the author to deliver something brilliant.

Expect the unexpected. Bayron subverts the readers expectations and flips slasher tropes on their head. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, a new twist would be introduced and leave me completely frazzled (Gemma Collins voice). You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight carves a place for itself within the horror genre by simply being something new and bold. This book takes the characters that are always on the sidelines of horror and slasher films and puts them front and centre. As our Final Girl, Charity takes control of the narrative and fights for survival. It was wonderful seeing a queer woman as the protagonist of a horror novel. I'm all for making the genre more queer!

The atmosphere was incredible. I loved learning about the history of Camp Mirror Lake and its shady past. I really wasn't expecting this to have dark academia influences, but the second half of the novel really took me there when Charity and her friends stumbled upon something pretty sinister. This novel was the epitome of shining your flashlight on something horrifying in the middle of the woods. Oh, and there's no cell reception. So... you're asking to die!

I've always admired Bayron's ability to normalise queerness. Kalynn's queer characters are not defined by their sexuality, but always feel empowered and comfortable within their identities. Charity and Bezi's relationship was casual, wonderful, and thrilling. Two queer women fighting for their lives amidst stolen moments of gentle intimacy? Turn that shit UP!

Kalynn had me giggling and snorting like an idiot. The humour was fun and joyous. It's not a slasher if you're not laughing a little. Charity had some hilarious lines. I really enjoyed that Charity was self aware and knew what would get her killed and completely avoided doing exactly that. The tone just felt so fresh and queer.

If you love horror, you're going to adore this. If horror isn't something you typically read, I think You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight is a great introduction to the genre, especially if you've been avoiding horror for reasons pertaining to a certain group of people called heterosexuals.

Thank you so much to the author and Bloomsbury YA for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight was a fast paced thriller enriched with weird culty vibes. I really loved how this story was told and how everything came together. The slasher movie simulation camp was such a cool idea and I loved that idea from the start but then when there was more going on than just that and there were secret cult vibes and real murders actually started to happen it made the book an even more intriguing read! I read this all in one night it was so hard to put down! Some things were predictable but this definitely read like an 80's slasher film and I absolutely loved how the author executed the story. Fans of Friday the 13th and just 80's slashers in general are going to love You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight.

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That was a fast paced horror story!

The concept of someone running a horror camp to give folks the experience of surviving a night from hell was a unique story plot. I regret reading this book late at night because it gave me the creeps.

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This book was absolutely fantastic. I've already added it to our list for order this year and will recommend it to students.

Let's be real: a sapphic horror thriller tackling some classic tropes written by one of my favorite writers? I SLAMMED that request button.

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I’m currently in my horror/slasher era, so this request could not have come in sooner. I was ecstatic to be reading this YA slasher, following main character Chastity who works at this place where they reenact scenes from a slasher classic in this universe, The Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. Chastity plays the role of the final girl, leading guests through scenes from the movie and to their “death” for an insanely scary, once in a lifetime experience. The goal is to terrify, until her fellow actors begin disappearing, culminating in one night of true horror.

The references to classic slashers like Scream (the sheriff’s name is Sheriff Lillard, which I noted as a reference to Stu Macher actor Matthew Lillard, so cool) and Halloween and other movies made sense and were fun additions to the story. The scary parts of the story truly did freak me out, this read exactly as a horror movie “watches” if that makes any sense. I was so into it, I read it in all of two hours. Kalynn Baron absolutely knows how to set an unsettling mood. There were shivers up my spine. And that ending?? I was so hooked on this story despite some of criticisms on craft. I’m not a fan of some of the modern and hyper specific references the author made, that generally takes me out of any story, like the main character saying she and her friend were both part of the “alphabet mafia” and the Harry Styles references that popped up, among others. It just makes me cringe a little, personally. There were also some repetition of phrases that I saw occurring multiple times within a few pages that I feel could be edited to have a little more variety.

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I read this book mostly in the middle of the night which was...a choice! It's quick-paced and camp (literally), and Bayron's bold narrative choices show she can really do it all. An excellent addition to queer YA horror.

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