Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

February 8, 2018

fifteen-year-old Will has shoved a gun in the back waistband of his jeans. His brother Shawn was just murdered and Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to him and his brother gets on.

Will knows how to handle this kind of situation – you pay with blood – and with his brother’s gun on him, he’s ready for revenge. But in the longest elevator ride of Will’s life, he’s confronted with people from his past who appear before him in a ghost-like manner (which for some of the visitors seem appropriate since they’re dead). They all share their own piece of a larger puzzle and Will learns that there’s a lot more to this whole mess than just his brother’s death.

Intense, real and powerful. It’s the story of lives lost and an endless circle of revenge. Now, I usually dislike books written in verse, I just can’t get into the story right, but Reynolds has done it in the most beautiful way with zero BS just honesty and heart wrenching humanity. The verse style makes this book a very quick read but it’s unique, amazing and will stay with you a long time after you finish it.

Another thing about rules.  They weren’t meant to be broken. They were meant for the broken to follow.”


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