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

I was skeptical how good this book might be because one of its coauthors, Kimberly Jones, had a video about racism and social contracts that went pretty viral after the death of George Floyd. Part of me thought this book’s popularity was hype surrounding that.

I was 300% wrong.

This book had me turning the pages as fast as I could from cover to cover. I finished it in 3 hours. While juggling 3 children under 3 years old. There are very few things I can accomplish quite to this degree, but I made this happen because the book was THAT GOOD.

The book follows two highschool girls, Lena and Campbell, through a night that began as a normal highschool football game, and became a nightmare of protests and violence.  Along their journey, they discover their concepts of race aren’t as black and white as they thought.  And of course, they’re two girls in highschool, so amidst all of the chaos, there’s a very realistic naivete about priorities and expectations that are continuously challenged throughout the book.

The vernacular is on point, both in dialogue interactions and the headspace of these girls.  It made me feel like I was really there experiencing all of this with them.  The descriptions are excellent, the pace is fast and engaging, and it’s funny.  Despite the mature themes of this book, the two girls’ interactions, both when they work together and when they clash, are funny.  I don’t remember a time when I felt like laughing and taking to the streets for justice at the same time.  Usually those two don’t mix, but the combination here would not let me put this book down for a second.

I highly recommend reading this book.  You will laugh, get angry, maybe cry, and your beliefs about race will definitely be challenged as you immerse yourself in the headspace of these two girls, one black, one white.  It’s a must read.

It can be ordered from Amazon here.