This is a powerful little novel, taking place over the course of a few hours. A fight breaks out during halftime of a high school football game and Lena (African-American) and Campbell (Caucasian) find themselves together trying to escape. As tensions rise throughout the city they end up in another part of town where a social justice protest turns violent and then into a full-fledged riot. It’s wild and chaotic and while I was annoyed by some of Lena’s and Campbell’s choices, who’s to say I wouldn’t have made similar ones at 17 if I was in their shoes.
I’m Not Dying With You Tonight brings racial tension and discord to the forefront and makes you take a hard look at current events and possibly even your own prejudices. At times it felt a little uncomfortable, but I think that’s the point. In the end Lena and Campbell are survive the night but are left with more questions than answers as seems to often be the case in these situations. I think this books will serve well as a discussion opener among teens and adults alike.
I received an advanced copy through Netgalley in return for an honest review.