I'm Not Dying With You Tonight
by Jones, Kimberly; Segal, Gilly

Told from two viewpoints, Atlanta high school seniors Lena and Campbell, one Black, one White, must rely on each other to survive after a football rivalry escalates into a riot. Simultaneous eBook.

GILLY SEGAL spent her college years in Israel and served in the IDF. She is currently a lawyer for an advertising agency. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Visit gillysegal.com.

KIM JONES is the former manager of the bookstore Little Shop of Stories and currently works in the entertainment industry. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Lena is sassy and fashionable, and she dreams of fame. Campbell is quiet and reserved, and she just wants to survive the year at her new school. These two high-school girls-one black and one white-find themselves caught in the middle of chaos at a Friday night football game. Despite being strangers, they must rely on each other in order to escape the frightful scene. On their journey towards safety, they encounter several dangerous situations, such as riots, fights, and looting, which force them to learn about and appreciate each other. In their first collaboration, authors Segal and Jones have produced a novel that addresses the racial tension in our nation, including current issues such as police brutality. This is a book that is sure to make young readers think, highlighting the importance of understanding different perspectives as its chapters alternate between Lena's and Campbell's points of view. An eye-opening read that will be useful for starting conversations in group settings. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Two teenage girls-Lena and Campbell-come together following a football game night gone wrong. Campbell, who is white and new to Atlanta, now attends the school where Lena, who is black, is a queen bee. At a game between McPherson High and their rival, a racist slur leads to fights, and shots are fired. The unlikely pair are thrown together as they try to escape the dangers on campus only to find things are even more perilous on the outside; a police blockade forces them to walk through a dangerous neighborhood toward home. En route, a peaceful protest turns into rioting, and the presence of police sets off a clash with protestors with gruesome consequences. The book attempts to tackle racial injustice in America by offering two contrasting viewpoints via narrators of different races. However, it portrays black characters as violent and criminal and the white ones as excusably ignorant and subtly racist, seemingly redeemed by moments when they pause to consider their privileges and biases. Unresolved story arcs, underdeveloped characters, and a jumpy plot that tries to pack too much into too small a space leave the story lacking. This is not a story of friendship but of how trauma can forge a bond-albeit a weak and questionable one-if only for a night. An unpolished grab bag of incidents that tries to make a point about racial inequality. (Fiction. 15-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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