cover image I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

I’m Not Dying with You Tonight

Gilly Segal and Kimberly Jones. Sourcebooks Fire, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-492-67889-2

Debut authors Segal and Jones deliver split points of view in this drama that follows two teens: Lena, who is black, and Campbell, who is white and new to Lena’s school. After a racially charged fight breaks out during a football game, school resource officers become involved, gunshots crack the tentative hold preventing an all-out riot, and the night erupts. Lena, unable to get a ride away from the madness, teams up with Campbell to make their way home, where Lena’s boyfriend is working on his album. Along the way, protests draw white supremacists, who run over a black woman, setting off more violence. Though Lena and Campbell’s stories seek to tell the gripping perspectives of two girls from different backgrounds, the characters lack dimension. Unfortunately, the novel stops just short of wrapping up Lena’s story, leaving Campbell with a more full character arc, while Lena, problematically, feels more like a mouthpiece for a stereotypical black experience. Nonetheless, the novel’s timely, accessible look at urgent issues of racial justice will likely draw interest. Ages 14–17[em]. Agent: Tracey Adams, Adams Literary. (Aug.) [/em]