We Didn’t Ask for This

Inkyard. Apr. 2020. 352p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781335146762.
Gr 8 Up–Both a wide range of activities and a traditional secret party make the annual lock-in night at Central International School highly anticipated by the diverse, well-to-do student body. Marisa Cuevas plans for months, removing tools from school property and bringing in extra food to stage an ecoprotest during the lock-in. Marisa, Lolo, Eli, Joy, and Malik chain themselves to the exits, swallow the keys, and provide a list of demands, essentially taking 276 students and many teachers hostage. As tension and frustration build, violence toward Marisa begins, and soon a group of Protectors form around her: highly athletic lesbian Amira Wahid; Celeste, a black American student and introvert; improv-loving Kenji Pierce, whose father is building the Lokoloko resort that Marisa is protesting; and Peejay Singh, a gay, charismatic, popular student in charge of planning the party while his brother is in the hospital from a terrible accident. Though the premise is unique, plot details such as the unrealistic reactions of law enforcement are implausible. Readers may find it hard to keep track of so many main characters, and slow pacing may cause them to lose interest in the outcome.
VERDICT Not recommended for purchase, as there are better choices with diverse characters and stronger story structure.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing