There will be moments in your life that will unexpectedly alter the course of your life, forever. One such instance is in Jason Reynolds’ Long Way Down. Will’s older brother has just been shot, and he is overwhelmed with grief. But, his brother, whose uncle, whose father taught him The Rules.
1. Don’t cry
2. Don’t snitch
3. Get revenge
So, Will finds his brother’s gun and sets out to kill the person he believes killed his brother. But, the elevator ride is a long way down, and in those 60 seconds in the elevator, he is confronted by ghosts who are all victims of violence, which makes him wonder if he is making the right decision or not. And as the elevator approaches ground level, he is left with the choice…to kill and face the consequences, or to back away and let his brother’s alleged killer walk away without a scratch.
I was amazed at how wonderfully executed this story was. It made me realize how violence is a cycle, and why good people feel inclined to do bad things. The way the book ended off also shocked me. It is up for interpretation, which I loved and hated all the same.
This book was turned into a graphic novel, which is the version I read. The illustrate did a great job portraying Will’s inner turmoil and the eerieness of the ghosts in the elevator. I do believe that the book would have been more heartbreaking if I had read the original format since it was in verse, but loved the pictures.
Reynolds’ affinity for writing is prominent in this novel. There is nothing to criticize, as he is flawless in all departments that account for writing a novel. I read this book in one day, and it has to be one of my favorites now.
Four out of four roses!