Saturday, October 28, 2017

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Will was there when his older brother Shawn was murdered last night and he's sure he knows who killed him.  Will also knows the three rules:  1.  No crying. 2.  No snitching. 3.  Get revenge. So the next morning he wrestles open Shawn's dresser drawer and takes the gun he knows is hidden there in order to follow rule three.  He just has to get through his ride down seven stories in the elevator which is not as easy as it sounds when he finds himself haunted by friends and family on every floor.

Don't let the fact that this is free verse and a quick read fool you into thinking it's easy.  Every word is important to the overall story and is obviously carefully planned.  Each of Will's ghosts has a message for him and Reynolds' massive talent is clear as he packs massive impact into just a few words.  The entire book is a masterpiece and I knew it while I was reading, but it was the last page that blew me away.  When I read the last two words in the book my stomach dropped and I felt chills running up and down my spine.  Literally. 

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