Synopsis: Campbell and Lena are not friends, but after an incident at their high school football game and a protest gone wrong, they must count on the each other to make it home alive.
Spoiler Free Review:
This is another book I read for the Barnes & Noble YA Book Club! So far, I have not been loving their choices, this book included. I just needed more from it. I think it had the beginnings of a really good book, but I really just needed more.
The beginning felt kind of like an info dump. It was in first person, so the characters were talking about their whole backstories in their mind in order to inform the reader, but this could have been done better. Lena and Campbell didn’t know each other before this night, so having the reader find out their backstory by reading a conversation between them would have made it feel more natural.
It is a short time frame story, so it takes place all in one night. I think these types of stories can be really interesting because you can see how one moment or one event can change a person. I think Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo did a great job at this! However, in the case of this book, I just wanted to see how this event impacted the girls and their relationships with each other and others changed from it. There were a few exclusive deleted chapters in my edition, but even those were not enough to do what I wanted. Also, I think have deleted chapters is just silly, like if they were that important, include them in the book.
I did enjoy Campbell and Lena’s relationship. They go from disliking each other, to reluctantly working together, to becoming almost friends. They definitely had some good moments along their journey. Because this book was so short both in terms of timeline and page count, their relationship couldn’t develop too much, or else it would feel unrealistic.
The book definitely hits on points about race and racism, but I just felt like it didn’t go far enough. They give you the information about the events in the book that have happened and are happening due to racism, but that’s it. They just give you the facts and don’t do anything to make it go any deeper than that.
I enjoyed this book while I was reading it, but now that I am looking back on it, I can’t see myself thinking about it much in the future.