Monday, December 30, 2019

I'm Not Dying With You Tonight An Exciting Thrill-Ride of a Debut

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When her mother decides to relocate to Venezuela for a job, Campbell Carlson is sent to live with her father in Atlanta.  She's trying to fit in in her new environment, but things aren't going well.  When she reluctantly volunteers to work the concession stand at a high school football game, Campbell never expects that the night will turn into a frantic race through a rioting city with an unlikely ally by her side.  But that's exactly what happens when a fight breaks out at the school and quickly turns into an uncontrollable free-for-all, with fists and racial slurs flying to-and-fro like deadly arrows.

Lena James doesn't know the white girl cowering in the concession stand, but she can tell her pale-faced classmate needs someone with some backbone to help her out of the nightmare happening all around them.  Good thing Lena's got backbone to spare.  Taking Campbell under her wing, she leads her off school property into the dangerous nearby hood, where the two of them race toward what they think is safety—only to find that nowhere is safe, not with riots breaking out all over the city.  Can the two learn to trust each other enough to find their way home?  Or will they become victims of the violence that's raging like wildfire through Atlanta?

I'm Not Dying With You Tonight is a debut novel for both Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones.  The book tells a wild, adrenaline-fueled story that had me burning through pages so fast it's a wonder I didn't sprain my wrist!  The tale is so intense that I actually had nightmares after reading it.  With a white girl in the minority, it offers a unique view of race issues, which is furthered by the dual narrative that shows two different perspectives, highlighting the assumptions and prejudiced thoughts each had about the other.  With minimal personal details about either of the girls, I'm Not Dying With You Tonight is hyper-focused on the action, which brings up issues of racism, unfair police targeting, stereotypes, etc., but still keeps the plot moving at a dizzying pace.  It's an exciting but thought-provoking novel that will appeal to both thriller and action/adventure fans.  Personally, I loved it.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of SLAY by Brittney Morris)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, blood/gore, innuendo, scenes of peril, and depictions of underage drinking and illegal drug use

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of I'm Not Dying With You Tonight from the generous folks at Sourcebooks for the purpose of Cybils Award judging.  Thank you!

2 comments:

  1. I'll add this one to my TBR list. Thank you for the review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm SO glad I checked this out over Thanksgiving break. I was able to read straight through without having work interrupt! I often read fantasy, but loved every word of this story!

    ReplyDelete

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