Monday, November 6, 2017

Review: Long Way Down

Title: Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds
Publisher: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy 
Release Date: October 17 ,2017

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, 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.

Please stop and READ this book!!! OMG! I read this book in an hour, I am still mad, I didn't take my time. I don't even know where to begin, I put this book on my waiting for Wednesday because I loved the concept. Then I volunteered for a book fest, where Mr. Reynolds was present,  there I bought the book, he signed it. I read the book the next day.... I loved everything about this book, the cover, characters, setting, and imagery. It's hard to find books/authors that you relate to but Jason Reynolds does it every time! I am sadden to say this is the first book I have ever read by Jason Reynolds but it will not be my last. After I finished this book, I contacted my younger cousin, and told him he needs to read this book. I'll stop there but this book is everything. 

Will has three rules to follow taught to him by his older brother; No crying. No snitching. Get revenge. Will does what every member in has family has done before him follow the rules. As Will goes to follow the rules, he encounters his fears on the way to the lobby, those from his past who have died because of gun violence. Most of the books I read, after I'm done with them I can walk away knowing damn that's a great story. But not with this book, I found myself asking what happens to Will? Speaking of Will his innocence can be felt throughout the book on every page. He only has one goal in mind, “revenge” but the question becomes is it worth it? Can you do what needs to be done? Are you sure he is the suspect? What would YOU do? Did I mention that the book is written in verse? For those of you who think that this is just a story it's not this is someones, tomorrow, yesterday, and today. Gun violence is a real problem, it destroys everyone's life not just the person with the gun. Long Way Down shows you that one decision can change your whole life but it's a never ending cycle. Loved, the book from beginning to end, I'm hoping there is a sequel (hint, hint)! Do yourself a favor, and read this book! Word to the wise don't sleep on Jason Reynolds. 

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