Summary: A story that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother. Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.
Characters. Will is the main character and it’s told through his POV and we really get to see and understand him as a person. He’s a fifteen-year-old who is upset and wants revenge for his brother dying because of the unspoken rules. He’s a good kid but he’s distraught but he gets to experience different people who were directly connected to him and his brother. I can’t go into too much detail about him without spoiling the story but he was great. The other characters were also great to know and understand and to see their purpose.
The Story. Without going into too much detail Will’s brother Shawn was killed and he think he knows who killed him. So according to the rules, you don’t cry, you don’t snitch and you get revenge and he just needs to continue following that last rules. So, while he’s on the elevator, each floor he meets someone different who has something to say to him, to explain and all of that. Amazing. It reminded me a bit of A Christmas Carol in ways just without the whole Christmas spirit and what not. But so good.
Jason Reynolds is a WORDSMITH! Let me say this RIGHT NOW! This man can write a story and he can do it by putting some words together that are KILLER. I mean, I would stop and reread lines just because it was so powerful. I mean wow. There’s a particular line where Will says something about how his mother had to realize that once his older brother Shawn turned 18, she had to take her hands off of him and put them together to pray. I was like WHATTTT. I mean, that’s amazing. There’s another line about God in there that was great. Nothing was wasted.
Emotional. I didn’t cry or anything but I could feel all of the panic, anger and confusion that Will felt throughout the story. Most of the book takes place in the minute it takes to ride the elevator. We meet several different people who had some kind of connection to Shawn and Will and every person had something to say that needed to be listened to and I felt everything. Plus, the use of words
The Ending. Okay so throughout the book, Will is in the elevator and each person he’s talking to gives him a story about what happened to them and when they finally reach the lobby, they all leave and the last person turns back to him and says “You coming?” which leaves the ending open ended which in ways is great because it allows the reader to make their own ending. I mean what do you think Will did? I think he didn’t follow them.
The Ending!? This isn’t a con because it’s negative but it made me UPSET! When it ended, I was like REALLY?! REALLY!!!! That’s how it ends? Man, I love open endings sometimes but sometimes GIVE ME AN ENDING SO I CAN FEEL HAPPY ABOUT THE RESOLUTION! So, upset.
Overall, I very much-LOVED Long Way Down because it was such a real story but it was contained. It was a minute and so much happened. I loved meeting all of the characters, I loved how Will would react to things and how the other characters would speak with him, show him love, even if they weren’t necessarily close to him. I loved the emotional aspect of the story, as well as the writing because Jason Reynolds is a wordsmith. A WORDSMITH! The ending was also phenomenal but of course the ending was also soooo annoying because it was OPEN ENDED! *sighs* Short review but I can’t go into too much without telling the story, just know it was really good.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you read Long Way Down? If not, what’s wrong with you? Read it. Right now. If you’ve read anything else by Jason Reynolds, then read this book. Read it.
Let me know your thoughts down below and be sure to like and follow this blog for more reviews!