Book Review: Long Way Down

Library TakeoutTeens D.C.

Book Review: Long Way Down

Noble Hunter-Gale reviews a local author's multiple award winning novel written in verse .

Book review written by Noble Hunter-Gale, teen volunteer. 

Author Jason Reynolds is a D.C. native and a New York Times best-selling African American author
of novels and poetry for middle school and high school students. He is best known for his books Ghost and the Long Way Down. 

The Long Way Down is a story about a teenager who had a brother named Shawn who was killed by an unknown person.  It's a novel that tells the story of an African American teen boy that has a tough life. Determined to avenge his 19-year-old brother's death, Will, age 15, takes his brother's gun out of their shared bedroom to kill the person he's certain is the murderer.

Will Hollomon is a 15-year-old boy living in a poor neighborhood who is seeking to find his brother Shawn's killer. Shawn was shot by someone in the Dark Suns gang while picking up soap for his mother’s skin condition. Will goes to the scene and tries to find clues to find his brother's killer. Will lives by what he calls the basics of The Rules of Life: no crying, no snitching, revenge. The book tells the story of how the character goes through a cycle of grief and violence.  

I rate the Long Way Down a 9 out of 10 because it is a unique novel in that it is a poetic composition and because I liked how it related to a teen like me. The book really spoke to me because of the way the author explained the struggle between the lines of right and wrong. Will learns from the mistakes of those who went before him that violence only brings about more violence and that the cycle must end. The book opened a young mind like mine to poetry.