Edition: Hardcover, 306 Pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Purchase: Amazon / Audible / Barnes & Noble
Rating: 4/5 Stars
An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
Long Way Down is a poignant verse novel that is both raw and powerful in its emotion. I will say this is review will be somewhat small because the text itself is rather short and because much of this novel relays on the reveal.
The story takes place during a long elevator ride where the rider, Will, is on his way to seek revenge for the murder of his brother. Each section represents a floor past, and with each section more is revealed about Will and more about those in his neighborhood/life. The verse is fluid and laid in a way that the words hold power and tension, and really pushes that emotion even farther. By the end of the novel I had a knot in my throat and even now, weeks after I read it, the story has stuck with me. There is so much to examine in such a small book, things like the cycle of violence and the impact it has no just on individuals by entire communities.
I read the text version because that just so happened to be what I had on hand, but I did listen to portions of the audiobook and I must say it is excellent as well! It is read by the author and I think this story really shines as a spoken word text, and wholeheartedly recommend that audio.
Go forth, and grab a copy of this if you can! It’s powerful and important story great not just for the teens it’s written for, but for adults and people of all backgrounds.