Review: You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron

You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight
Kalynn Bayron
Bloomsbury YA
Published June 20, 2023

Amazon | Bookshop | Goodreads

About You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight

At Camp Mirror Lake, terror is the name of the game . . . but can you survive the night?

This heart-pounding slasher by New York Times bestselling author Kalynn Bayron is perfect for fans of Fear Street.

Charity Curtis has the summer job of her dreams, playing the “final girl” at Camp Mirror Lake. Guests pay to be scared in this full-contact terror game, as Charity and her summer crew recreate scenes from a classic slasher film, Curse of Camp Mirror Lake. The more realistic the fear, the better for business.

But the last weekend of the season, Charity’s co-workers begin disappearing. And when one ends up dead, Charity’s role as the final girl suddenly becomes all too real. If Charity and her girlfriend Bezi hope to survive the night, they’ll need figure out what this killer is after. Is there is more to the story of Mirror Lake and its dangerous past than Charity ever suspected?

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight on Goodreads

My Review

Okay, Kaylnn Bayon is on a ROLL. Wow. So, earlier this year I read MY DEAR HENRY, which is a reimagining of “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde,” and it was amazing. (My daughter is currently reading and loving it.) Last year I read her middle grade debut, THE VANQUISHERS, and that one was excellent as well. Now, here she is again, taking on a completely new genre of writing with this book. Is there anything she can’t write?

I don’t read a lot of books in this specific genre, so I’m not going to really be able to evaluate this book against other similar titles, but I have to say that I felt super engaged reading this book. It’s only about 240 pages or so, and I read it in one sitting.

I liked the characters a lot, especially Charity and Bezi. The setting– the backwoods camp turned into a live horror show experience– felt so creepy and isolated. I thought the premise of the story was really fascinating, too. It starts off walking a balance between poking fun at slasher films and also appreciating the beats and plot points writers use to tell those stories.

The only real thing that stands out to me as feeling like it didn’t really fit together is the way one minor character is introduced. She appears on scene dropping hints about something bad, and then later reappears in the story as the slasher part of the plot ramps up. I am not sure that I understood why she made the claims she did in the first place in light of all the reveals later in the book. But I did tense up in that first scene when she appears, so I appreciate the tension of that part. I just wish it had connected with the overall story a little more cohesively.


On the whole, though, I definitely enjoyed this creepy, scary read. The only other book like this one that I’ve read is THE PLEDGE by Cale Dietrich, and I can definitely say I enjoyed this one more. The woods and isolated camp really hooked me in this one.

You're Not Supposed to Die Tonight on Bookshop

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

Charity is a lesbian and Black.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used somewhat infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between two girls. References to sex.

Spiritual Content
References to blood rituals. Some characters act out blood rituals.

Violent Content
Charity and the other staff act out a slasher skit (complete with fake blood and rubber/retractable weapons) with customers who participate and try to avoid the “killer.” Some scenes show people who have been seriously injured or killed. A masked killer attacks Charity and her friends.

Drug Content
References to Charity’s stepdad, who is an alcoholic.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO DIE TONIGHT in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

2 Responses to Review: You’re Not Supposed to Die Tonight by Kalynn Bayron

  1. I don’t read much YA and I never read really scary, so this one isn’t for me, but I appreciate the review. Thanks.

    • Kasey says:

      Thanks, Rosi! Sometimes it’s nice to know what books are out there, even if they aren’t ones we’d end up reading. 🙂