Long Way Down by popular YA author Jason Reynolds is a remarkable and moving novel in verse. The book was written to “be read in 45 minutes”, so for reluctant readers it is a must!
The book begins with a shooting. The shooting of protagonist Will’s brother Shawn. Violence like this in Will’s neighborhood is not uncommon – and neither is retaliation. Will feels that he has to live by “the rules” of his neighborhood: no crying, no snitching, just revenge. Fueled by his pain he takes Shawn’s gun and heads into the elevator of his building on a path straight to Shawn’s supposed shooter – but this is no normal elevator ride for Will. Suddenly he is confronted with ghosts from his past: as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if Will gets off that elevator.
This story is powerful and the poetry is phenomenal. FIVE STARS!!