I’m Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

3 min read

4 STARS

I’m not dying with you tonight. Nope, I’m not going to do it. I like living. Thank you, next!

That’s beside the point. I’m Not With You Tonight is actually a book by the powerful duo, Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal. Both authors have beautifully created a world that really makes you think. It’s truly a conversation starter.

I’m going to try my best to keep it pretty and not get too messy.

Before we go there, let’s hear from the authors. . .

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Synopsis

Over the course of one night, two girls with two very different backgrounds must rely on each other to get through the violent race riot that has enveloped their city.

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.

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One of the best things about I’m Not Dying With You Tonight is that it was written by two women. One black American and one white American. That fact alone gives this book a very unique ability to focus on what not only divides us, but what brings us together.

Campbell, who is white, starts her senior year of high school in a predominantly black school after attending a school with only a handful of black students. She’s so sweet. I just wanted to pick her up and put her in my pocket. Cute little thing!

Lena, who is black, has spent her years in an area where the majority of her community is black.

Both Lena and Campbell live in their own world, like most teenager, unable to truly understand how the “other half” lives.

The beauty is, Campbell and Lena now have to rely on each other.

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One thing I loved about Campbell was how naive she was. I know that sounds crazy because if you’ve read my blog you know naive people get on my nerves. Campbell is different, though. For one, she’s a teenager, teenagers are known for living in their bubbles. Also, even though Campbell was naive, she wasn’t biased against people of color. She is one of those people who legit don’t see color. She’s my favorite type of naive white person. Adorable!

Lena is more aware of the world and how race plays a factor in it but she doesn’t treat others different because of the color of their skin.

That’s why I think this book is important. It gives us a realistic view of the world. It acknowledges racism without it tearing people apart. It gets rid of the notion that to discuss race is racist because that couldn’t be more false.

As a black American woman myself, I found it interesting and exciting reading how a white person, who didn’t come into this book with any preconceived ideas thinks. It was beautiful in a way I didn’t expect.

“This ’bout the longest amount of time you ever spent with a black girl, right?”

“No!”

“I ain’t judgin’. Not like I hang around with no white people. I was curious is all.”

“Yah, I guess so. There weren’t that many African American kids at my old school, and they mostly hung around each other.” – Lena and Campbell

You see, a conversation that acknowledges without anyone getting in their feelings. That’s not so hard.

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This may not be the deepest, well written book in the world but it is an important story. It is an example of how we can grow.

Now let’s get down to the import questions. . .

Do I recommend this book? I do. If you enjoyed The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas or Dear Martin by Nic Stone, you will appreciate this book. If you want to see how our differences don’t have to tear us apart, this book is for you. Just keep in mind that this is a YA book.

Will I read another book by the author? Yep! I look forward to it as well.

It’s been fun messy people. I kept this review pretty for you.

Remember to follow all things messy. . .

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