LGBTQIA+, Young Adult

#NotReadyToDie | Netgalley Review | Booksmagick

What’s it about?

School shootings don’t happen at your own school, they always happen in another state, another town, another school. But this morning Ginny finds herself huddled beneath her desk with a shooter stalking the halls outside.

What I think about it

Reading this book made me once again realise what a dystopian place the US are. I knew of school shootings and I knew that the government doesn’t do anything to pass gun laws that protect the people. One of the details that made me go cold while reading was the fact that the classroom doors have bolts on them. Schools take every precaution they can to protect themselves from shooters and to keep the students safe while guns are still legal. This is some fucked up shit.

The story starts with the lockdown, the students under their desks and the shooter out in the hallways. Ginny ponders some scribbles under her desk, texts her mother and looks around to see how her classmates are faring. Everyone deals with the situation differently. Some are silently crying, others are praying, their lips moving without sound. Students playing games on their phones with no sound or texting their loved ones.

Ginny starts moving around the classroom to check on everybody and is soon joined by Kayla. She realises that she has to throw her prejudices out of the window and that Kayla isn’t just the pretty cheerleader she thought her to be. It’s in this tense situation the two girls start talking and realise that they might go on to be friends once this is all over.

Spoiler warning for the next paragraph

I was wondering when the troubled backstory of the shooter would be told until I realised that they wouldn’t get a say in this book. It’s just another school shooter, another maniac and this wasn’t their story. It’s about the students and their fears. No chance of a tragic backstory that would paint them in a better light, make their reasons understandable even.


Short and intense, #NotReadyToDie should be read by everyone. It makes for an excellent school read. This book made me think, made me realise how fucked up the system is and that the US needs gun laws. It hurt to read and I think that is the purpose of this book, to shake its readers awake.


  • Author: Cate Carlyle
  • Age: 13 and up
  • Pages: 128
  • Publisher: Common Deer Press
  • Release Date: October 1, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781988761398

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