Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781481438254
Pages: 306



Will knows the rules.

Rule number one, no crying. Rule number two, no snitching, and rule number three, always seek revenge.

Long Way Down is a powerful look at the circle of violence and the perpetuation of gun culture. Through the suffering of Will, he believes he needs to exact his revenge when his brother Shawn is taken from him. Murdered. And what happens next is a journey through verse as Will heads down the elevator of his apartment complex.

Jason Reynolds gives everything in this novel. A soul. A pain. An understanding and experience that comes over in the flow of the words. A depth of beautiful prose.

Every floor Will meets another ghost from his past. Another voice who asks him what he’s going to do and pushes him through the conscious choices he’s thinking of making. Figures from his past who have experienced all of this same cycle of pain and violence.

Meanwhile Will continues to believe he knows who’s responsible and the actions he has to undertake. The pacing runs through you, beating heart and open mind. And the poetry choice in wording only makes this book easier to digest while never slowing the impact .

This book resonates so strongly with the current state of the world at the moment and I know I want to read this again. Open my mind to read it again and look beyond the words and find the deeper meaning beneath. A powerful book an one I beg everyone to read. Strong. Stoic. Singularly thought provoking.

Final thought: Read it. Just please. Read this. And then have a think. This beautiful book is based on real experiences.

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