BOOK REVIEW: #NotReadyToDie by Cate Carlyle

Title: #NotReadyToDie
Author: Cate Carlyle
Publication: October 7, 2019
Publisher: Common Deer Press
Genre: Teens, YA Fiction
Pages: 128

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads

Ginny’s life suddenly comes to a screeching halt one fateful Monday when a shooter shows up at Southwestern High School during first period. In lockdown with both the homeroom sub and her secret crush Owen badly wounded, Ginny finds herself teamed up with Kayla, one of the “barbies.” Together, they must try to keep their classmates alive amid terror and pain. As the chaos continues, Ginny is plagued with questions. Has she judged Kayla too harshly? Will she ever have the chance to ask Own to prom? Will the fight she had with her mom before school been their last interaction ever? With the uncertainty of everyone making it out alive growing with every minute, there’s only one thing Ginny knows for sure: no one is making it out unchanged.


**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

As her first debut fiction novel, I was instantly interested by the sound of #NotReadyToDie by Cate Carlyle. I have a morbid curiosity when it comes to books about school shootings to see what people’s takes on situations like this are.

In #NotReadyToDie, we follow Ginny and her classmates as they are locked in a classroom as a gunman brings down terror all over their school. I love how we got to see so many new sides of characters. Ginny had this preconceived notion about her classmates at the beginning based on behavior she had witnessed or just by the titles they held around school. Yet, she later finds that they have a lot more in common than she thought. I think that is an important lesson for anyone. I also think it would hold true in this scenario. You don’t know what people are truly capable of until put into high intensity situations.

I also feel like the second guessing about behaviors and last conversations is a reality for those in an active shooter situation. Will the last thing I said to someone be how they remember me? I don’t really hate them, but I said I did. That guilt feeling has to be something real for people who have gone through this. I am appreciative that not everyone in this story came out with sunshine and rainbows. I think that’s a sad reality when we talk of school shootings. There’s always someone who doesn’t get out it seems.

I feel that as someone who has never been in an active shooter scenario, #NotReadyToDie gives a good angle on what it could be like inside. I felt anxious for these kids and I feel like the social media aspect was definitely one a lot of people could relate to. There is a window to the outside world when you are trapped.

I recommend this novel to those not of the faint of heart. It does have some harsh realities and may not be for everyone, but I think there are some great lessons to learn on a judgement or standpoint. It was a good book. I’ll pick up Cate Carlyle’s next novel too.


Pick up a copy of #NotReadyToDie by Cate Carlyle on October 7th on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or check your local bookstore. Also make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished.

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