Hey y’all! I’ve been hearing about I’m Not Dying With You Tonight a lot lately, so I decided to check it out. It’s pretty short and I listened to the audiobook (through the CloudLibrary app of course). So, let’s get into it.
Lena and Campbell aren’t friends.
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.
The story is told from a dual perspective, which I liked. It reminds me of All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. That was the first book I read by Jason Reynolds and it’s part of what spawned my undying love for him, so if you haven’t read it and you liked the dual perspective on race format, you should definitely check it out.
It brought up some really interesting points about race and circumstances. I liked how Lena was correcting Campbell’s bias throughout the novel.
I also think it’s written in a really good way for younger teens. I could definitely see myself reading this book during my freshman year of high school or at some point like that.
The Not So Good
I’ve come to the realization that I am emotionally exhausted (again) and I’m having trouble getting into stories centering police brutality and other issues specific to race. I don’t really want to read about Black trauma right now. I want to read stories like Opposite of Always and Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I need books where the focus of the story isn’t just the trauma that comes with being Black.
That being said, I’m not putting my rating here because that’s just the space I’m in personally. That doesn’t mean this isn’t a great story, it just didn’t fit the space I’m in right now.
All in All
This is a great story for people who want to learn more about race relations and how perceptions can be flawed. It would also be really great for adding to the conversation with teens. I could definitely see this being read in a classroom setting, or for a young adult book club.