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.
This book deals with topics we unfortunately see all too much of in news nearly every day. Novels such as this are crucial and timely, and when I saw that author Nic Stone blurbed it, I knew I wanted to read it.
The contrasting characters and their viewpoints really make this novel. Lena is in a familiar environment, but is very much aware of its dangerous undercurrents, much more so than Campbell, new to the neighborhood, and the epitome of a fish out of water. With alternating chapters, their voices are distinct, and the narrative is well done. Their conversations, and occasionally clashing opinions, throughout the evening do a good job at shedding light on the reality of their lives, and shattering stereotypes they hold of each other.
No doubt the girls’ situation is intense and precarious, and this is communicated well. That being said, I questioned some of their actions. Lena leads them toward her boyfriend, who is supposed to take them to safety, but he’s in the direction of the rioting. It’s mentioned early on that Campbell’s house is a twenty minute walk from the stadium, where it all began, so I wondered why they didn’t go there to begin with. Maybe a map at the front of the book would have been helpful? Their reasoning wasn’t made clear, especially when Campbell had a phone, and there must have been other friends or people at the stadium who could have given them a ride. I also thought a peaceful protest in the city at such a late hour was odd.
This is a compelling book with strong characterization, but parts of it seemed random, and I would have liked more information on the characters’ reasoning, and more of an overview of the rioting. This book is scheduled for publication October 1st, 2019.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.