YA Novel: ‘I’m Not Dying With You Tonight’ Is Getting a Film Adaptation

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Written by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal, the must-read YA novel is about to become a must-watch film.

I’m Not Dying With You Tonight is a 2019 book that could not be more relevant right now. It tells the story of Lena, a Black girl with big dreams, and Campbell, a white girl struggling at school. Despite the two barely knowing each other, they must join forces to survive the current race riots happening in their city. With Black Lives Matter protests demanding the end of racism since George Floyd’s death in late May, the novel’s themes of racism and prejudice in America are extremely relevant to the present time.

However, this incredible book is not going to stay solely only on the pages for much longer: it’s getting its own film adaptation. The authors Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal shared the news on their respective social media profiles on June 25.

Jones and Segal were inspired by their own lives as Black and white women, respectively, as well as the riots in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray in 2015. While developing the novel, the two made sure to have tough and honest conversations about race with each other, especially given their young target audience.

“As an author, it’s important to think about the way that we teach history,” Segal said in an interview with TIME magazine. “Who are the heroes and who are the villains? And that includes telling honest truths about the times when white people have oppressed the Black community, the Indigenous people, and others.”

Both authors have been involved with the on-going protests for Black Lives Matter. Jones herself has gotten well-known recently for her speech in the video titled “How Can We Win,” where she compares the current system of racism and oppression with the board game Monopoly. The video has almost 2 million views on YouTube, and it has drawn the attention of celebrities like Lizzo, Trevor Noah, and Madonna.

“My only hope is that after everyone’s gone back inside and the protests have ended… What are we gonna do for the next steps, and how people are gonna participate in that?” Jones shared with TIME. “But I’ll take this victory right now of people giving up their silence because that has been a big first step.”

The film adaptation of I’m Not Dying With You Tonight will be produced by Autumn Bailey-Ford, Cameron Burnett, Michael Napoliello and Maria Frisk. Although it currently does not have a planned release date, we already cannot wait to watch it.

While you wait for the film to come out, make sure to read I’m Not Dying With You Tonight. If you would like to support a Black-owned bookstore when buying your book, click here to find some recommendations.