All hell breaks loose at an Atlanta high school when a Friday night football game devolves into mass fighting and chaos. Two teenage girls—one black and one white—are thrown together as an unlikely duo fighting to stay alive.
Racial tensions fuel the violence that spills from the football field to the streets, making it a life or death challenge for Lena, who is black, and Campbell, who is white, to get safely home. Thrown together by fate, the girls must find a way to relate to each other, to trust each other and to look past their biases to work together and navigate their dangerous path.
Told in alternating chapters in the girls’ distinct voices, I’m Not Dying with You Tonight shows how Campbell’s challenges are not quite the same as Lena’s—and that the community’s perception and prejudices of them both will either aid or hinder their journey. They may be together physically, but their paths are divergent because of their race.
This is a potent novel about cooperation in the face of anger, ugliness and prejudice. An ideal companion to The Hate U Give and the books of Jason Reynolds, this is a must-read for all teens. Amid the very of-the-moment themes of racial tensions and police intervention, the tenuous but authentic relationship of the two girls rises to the forefront. They just want the same thing—safety and security in an uncertain world.