Kayla’s Review of “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight” by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
About Kayla’s Review of “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight” on The Book Brontosaurus
“I think it’s really important for the books we read to make us think. They are an o way for us to get a new perspective and I found this novel a good opportunity for just that. I was excited to get into the story and I looked forward to reviewing such a relevant title.” – Kayla
Title: I’m Not Dying With You Tonight
Author: Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Page Count: 272
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Content Warning: Racial Injustice
“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.”
Overall Rating and Review Blurb
Book Review for “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight”
Readability: 4 out of 5 Tree Stars
The book is written from two perspectives, Lena’s and Campbell’s. Something I loved was the fact that two authors decided to collaborate on this work rather than one writing it all on their own. Hearing two different perspectives of the same time frame really helped set the scene. I liked that there wasn’t a lot of build-up to the story. It was very present and as a result, felt like a more active story. It was a pretty fast read as well.
Plot: 4 out of 5 Tree Stars
“It’s a whole bunch of noise after that. People leaving the bleachers, cheering, all that.”“I’m Not Dying With You Tonight”, Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
Before we continue, please know that this book is a pretty in-depth look at two people’s experiences of a riot that occurs after a racially charged act of violence. I won’t get too much more into the plot for a couple of reasons: 1) you should read it for yourself, and 2) it’s really not the plot that matters. What matters are the conversations that this book can initiate, and the things that people can learn from them.
Characters: 3 out of 5 Tree Stars
“…maybe he’s as tired and broken as I am.”“I’m Not Dying With You Tonight”, Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal
My favorite part about this book was the clearly opposing upbringings the main characters had. It goes to show that even the most different people can find similarities and support in the community around them, regardless of their differences. And yes, I know this is a really optimistic view to have. But I maintain the thought that the world would be a better place if everyone could keep a more open mind and learn to overcome their biases, rather than feeding into them.
While I enjoyed reading the characters’ experiences of the evening in the book, I definitely could tell this book was written for a younger audience. There was a depth to the characters that was lacking a little and that’s why I gave it 3 Tree Stars here.
Wow Factor: 4 out of 5 Tree Stars
Immediately, this book took me back to my own high school days. The first section of the book takes place at a high school sporting event and the imagery was very nostalgic for me. I will say, even though the setting was reminiscent of my own experiences, I could tell it was written for a younger audience. I say that, aware of the fact that I am an adult who reads YA books. Not all YA books have a YA feel, this just happened to be one that did.
Part of the appeal of this book, I think, is the fact that the main characters are two high school girls that got caught up in the wrong place at the right time. Only, this place should have been safe. Unfortunately for everyone, this happens to be a relevant story to the world we live in. It’s an important story that I think anyone could learn from.
At the end of the day, my rating should be a reflection of both the work and my opinion of it. I didn’t feel like I could give this book a 5 just based on the story. However, this story is important to tell, and it could absolutely be a 5 for a lot of other readers. I do wish we were able to see more of the aftermath of the events of the book. But, I suppose it’s not really necessary when we are living it every day.
I think that anyone could benefit and take something away from giving this book a chance. Honestly, I had a lot of thoughts and opinions that crossed my mind while reading it. Reading “I’m Not Dying With You Tonight” was a pretty unique experience that I think a lot of young people could benefit from.