|We didn't ask for this|
Author: Alsaid, Adi
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.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/01/20)
School Library Journal (00/02/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2020 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.—Laura Jones, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 02/15/2020 When teen activist Marisa stages an environmental protest during her school’s annual Lock-In, the building turns into a prison, forcing her and a diverse array of characters to face hard truths about who they want to be and what kind of world they want to live in. The novel progresses with a light-hearted tone at a rapid pace, deftly exploring timely issues such as ecology and preservation, and Alsaid weaves in discussions about all forms of identity—nationality, race, religion, language, gender, sexual orientation. Amid the chaos of the protest, parallel story lines touch on the magic of high-school parties, finding a sense of belonging, pursuing dreams, and defying cliques and stereotypes to make sense of messy high-school drama. As the Lock-In unfolds, vignettes show students coming into themselves as they discover that privilege affords the opportunity to make a difference—but doesn’t shield from basic emotions. Marisa’s message spreads through the school and beyond, and while Alsaid expertly blurs the line between right and wrong, he puts the power in the students’ hands. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.