Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds is a book I’ve heard about on the internet for years now, and yet I’d never gotten around to picking it up. When I was looking for a new audiobook I felt like this was the right choice and finally dove in!
We follow a Black teenage boy who is on his way down the elevator in his building to avenge his murdered brother. He was shot, and Will plans to shoot his brothers killer in revenge. That’s one of the rules. However, as the lift moves down people join him. People who should be dead. And they try to change his mind.
This is such an incredibly powerful story. Before I read it, I forgot that it was in verse, and I’m really glad Reynolds himself was reading the audiobook as it meant the inflictions were all in exactly the right place like he intended.
It’s quite hard hitting too, so I would recommend checking the trigger warnings down below. But this is all I’ll chat about the book because it’s a short one and I don’t want to spoil anything!
On CAWPILE I gave this: Characters: 9. Atmosphere: 9, Writing: 9, Plot: 9, Intrigue: 9, Logic: 10, and Enjoyment: 9 which is a 9.14 score and a 5* rating.
Highlight here for trigger warnings: absent parent, blood, branding (with cigarette), claustrophobia, death (child, sibling, parent, others), drugs (selling), gang violence, guns, murder.
Have you read this book in verse, and if so did you read it via audiobook or physical/ebook? It’s absolutely beautiful and in my opinion worth all the hype I’ve seen about it.