Title: We Didn’t Ask for This
Author: Adi Alsaid
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: April 7, 2020
Central International School’s annual lock-in is legendary. Bonds are made. Contests are fought. Stories are forged that will be passed down from student to student for years to come.
This year’s lock-in begins normally enough. Then a group of students led by Marisa Cuevas stage an ecoprotest and chain themselves to the doors, vowing to keep everyone trapped inside until their list of demands is met.
Some students rally to their cause…but others are aggrieved to watch their own plans fall apart.
Amira has trained all year to compete in the school decathlon on her own terms. Peejay intended to honor his brother by throwing the greatest party CIS has ever seen. Kenji was looking forward to making a splash at his improv showcase. Omar wanted to spend a little time with the boy he’s been crushing on. Celeste, adrift in a new country, was hoping to connect with someone—anyone. And Marisa, once so certain of her goals, must now decide how far she’ll go to attain them.
Every year, lock-in night changes lives. This year, it might just change the world.
At the Central International School, they have a lock in every year where the high school students spend the night together at the school. This year, one student, Marisa, plans a protest. She gets a few students to join her in chaining themselves to the doors, and literally locking everyone in the school. She does this to get a list of demands completed by the school, which involve preserving the environment and stopping the destruction of the oceans. Throughout the protest, students and teachers have to find a way to either comply with Marisa’s demands or find a way to escape the school.
This story was quite intense at times. There were some dangerous moments for the students locked in the school. Marisa had made provisions to make sure they would have food and supplies, and she had also removed all tools from the school so no one could break through the chains.
I was reminded of lockdowns at my former school while I was reading this book. Though the students weren’t dealing with an active dangerous threat like a shooter, they had to adjust to being held hostage by one of their peers. They were relatively safe, but there is always an element of fear in the unknown, when you don’t know how someone will react to certain things or any kind of accidents. There was loads of this kind of tension in this story.
I really enjoyed this book!
Thank you Inkyard Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
Brief Chronicle of Another Stupid Heartbreak by Adi Alsaid
Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales
Adi Alsaid was born and raised in Mexico City. He attended college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He’s now back in Mexico City, where he writes, coaches basketball, and makes every dish he eats as spicy as possible. In addition to Mexico, he’s lived in Tel Aviv, Las Vegas and Monterey, California. His books include Let’s Get Lost, Never Always Sometimes, and North of Happy. Visit Adi online at http://www.SomewhereOverTheSun.com, or on Twitter: @AdiAlsaid.
Have you read We Didn’t Ask for This? What did you think of it?