Long Way Down

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 31 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

Reynolds’ gorgeous writing grabbed me from the get-go. There's something slightly Dickensian about it. After his brother Shawn's death, Will sets off to follow The Rules: No crying. No snitching. Revenge. On his way down the elevator to finish up number 3, he is visited by numerous ghosts. Although there were moments that flagged a bit for me, that ending more than made up for it.
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Amazing. Simply amazing. Everyone should read this book, even f it is not their prefered genre, especially then
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This is the first book of Jason's that I have read and it was awesome.  I love the fact that he wrote it like a poem, it made the book very interesting.  What really surprised me was how you still felt like you were getting the whole story, just without all the junk you don't need.  I have recommended this book to teens who are interested in poetry
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"Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse" (as described by Amazon), this National Book Award finalist is very powerful in both its story and its delivery. At the risk of stereotyping, it is a good companion to Angie Thomas's The Hate U Give. Both of these, read in tandem, provided an enlightening reading experience for me as a middle aged Canadian white woman of the "black lives matter" environment currently being lived in the United States. Powerful prose, impactful tone, and unique style ... this is an important book for our times.
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This is not a traditional story or novel. It's more of a poetic prose that explores the thoughts of a fifteen year old boy and his struggle to follow the 'rules' of his ghetto life. The difficulty being that he has morales yet believes that gun violence is 'required' (because of the rules) and thus a circle of killing is destined to continue in his family and community. 
It's brilliantly set-up as an elevator ride from floor 7 down to the lobby. At each floor someone he knows or knows of is added to the elevator to comment (very poetically) on the situation that is influencing the teen to perpetuate the gun violence. 

I don't want to give much away because the real impact here is not knowing how it will end or who gets on the elevator. 
Without a doubt Long Way Down has the potential to become a required reading in schools; because of the style of writing, the topic of gun violence, and the commentary it makes on society and how/what we teach our children. 

I give this four stars if only because I have a very hard time with gun violence stories or commentaries. I live in Canada and so gun violence (while it happens here) is not as common as stabbing incidents. And so I struggle a lot with this idea that people teach children to shoot others and take retribution. The only thing to be gained from this is more death and violence. I'm slightly concerned that Long Way Down could be misinterpreted as condoning this violence and so I can't give it 5 stars. 

I actually hope that more adults read this than kids or teens. It clearly explains how teens are interpreting what they are told. That they take things literally and  as parents and/or influential adults that are around children we have a responsibility to stop the violence.

I believe we all (especially parents and influential adults to children) need to take some responsibility for our  of the acceptance of gun violence. Long Away Down illustrates this in a distinct, quick to read and obvious way. 
If nothing else I hope at least one or two kids or teens realize that shooting one another is not a solution and that violence only begets violence.
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What a powerful story! I absolutely loved this one and will buy a copy for my bookshelf too. The pace was quick and it made the tension ratchet up nicely.
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I really enjoyed this book. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review it.

I feel like this subject matter is important to cover and read about especially now with all the things going on in the world.

I appreciated the insight that I got through the viewpoint of all the people in the main character's life that gun violence touched and affected.

At times this was hard to read because of the intensity of it but I think that was  necessary to get the point across to the reader.

This was definitely an eye opening read.

I don't know how I felt about it being presented in verse and there were also times I wish the book could have been longer but Jason Reynolds definitely has a gift with words and I would recommend this book if you like thought provoking reads.
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When I read All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds last year I was left angry and in tears. The writing in this book, while very different, seeing as it is in prose, is no less visceral. If the background of the file hadn't eaten up so much of my battery I probably would have read this in one sitting.

It is a cautionary tale about the cycle of revenge killings and an eye for an eye. While this is by new means a new concept, the use of language and the verse form in this story just make it breathtaking.
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What did I love about this book?
- Jason Reynolds' prose. Who can deliver free verse with such meaning?
- I love the cover of this book. Although I read it as an ebook from NetGalley I love the look of the black and white cover displaying old-style round elevator buttons against a scratched and soiled wall.
- I love the pages that appear to be the scuffed paint of the elevator walls.
- I love the sparsity of words on the page.
- I love the chapters told as a trip in the elevator.
- I love the ending!

-  Who can turn your thinking around in 200 pages the way Jason Reynolds can? 
- Will's brother Shawn was murdered and Will believes he must avenge the death. Like all of Jason Reynolds' novels, the characters are wonderful and the story is never simple.

- I will buy this book so I can read it again in hard copy.
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Shockingly powerful book in prose, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds will pull in the reader. Will's older brother Shawn has just been killed and Will is left reeling in the aftermath, but honouring the rules: don't cry, don't snitch, get revenge. Armed with his brother's gun, Wil boards the elevator, but then is visited by an impossible series of people, each with a significant story to share. Through Reynolds' masterful storytelling and poignant words, a remarkable story unfolds.

Powerful and raw, this is a story that needs to be read. I consumed Long Way Down in a short period of time, but it will stay with me for much, much longer.
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This is such an amazing book. 

It’s an incredibly moving story. It reminded me of other popular books right now, where the main character has to deal with the aftermath of his brother being shot and killed. 

The story is written in verse, which is unique. It made the book a quick read. Some of the phrases were just so beautiful and moving. I loved the lyrical style of writing. 

This is a story about the never ending cycle of revenge. When does it end? 

The ending gave me chills. It was so good! I highly recommend this moving story!
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I apologize but I did not have time to read this book before the publication date but will place a hold when it becomes available at the library.  No review.
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holy crap this book was amazing. It was a quick yet super intriguing book. I am so thankful to get to read this arc
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I received this book from NetGalley. I requested it after reading the description and thought it would be very interesting to read. I didn’t have much hope for getting the ARC as I am not always successful with big publishers, and Long Way Down is published by Simon & Schuster Canada.
Long Way Down is the first book by Jason Reynolds that I have read, even though I heard about All American Boys before.
Short synopsis

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel 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.
This novel is written in verse and is saturated with grief, anger, and pain. I read it in one sitting - and this is how you are supposed to read it, in my opinion - because I couldn’t put it down. It was a very raw and emotional read that was making me more and more uncomfortable and horrified.
ALERT: Do not read the full synopsis on NetGalley or GoodReads as it will spoil you the whole thing. And it is too wonderful to be spoiled. I didn’t read past that first paragraph and found the prose to be very profound.
This book is a cry for help; an angry shout-out. It talks about gun violence, gang violence, poverty, loss, grief. The narrative is both heartbreaking and brutal. It strong enough to leave the mark. It sure did leave the mark on me. It is a hard to describe because it has to be experienced.
Read it. And weep. Because this shouldn’t be our reality in this day and age.
Publication Date: 17 Oct 2017
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Long Way Down is a short read with a lot of depth. It is a commentary on The Rules (Don’t cry. Don't snitch. Take revenge.) and the devestation following the rules can cause. The story follows Will in the aftermath of the shooting death of his brother as he attempts to follow those rules. On the way down from his apartment to the street he encounters various people who have been part of his life. To say more would be too much. Read it. It will make you think!
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I don't generally like books written in verse, but figured I would give this one a chance because Jason Reynolds is such a good writer, and I am so glad I did! It was written beautifully, so powerful and intense, and the ending had me thinking for a long time. I will definitely be purchasing this, and all of Jason Reynolds' other books for the library and I'll probably also get a copy for myself.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atheneum for the ARC :)
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After months of waiting, I was lucky to receive an ARC of this book, downloaded it, and read in one sitting.  I paused only after reading the fifth page to share with social media that I knew this would be a very special read.

This is the story of Will, who is fulfilling the rules his brother Shawn passed onto him after Shawn is shot. Three rules: No crying. No snitching. Revenge.  When Will returns home after we know Shawn is dead, Reynolds describes the two brother’s relationship and how they differ. Now we know as Will falls asleep with Shawn’s gun under his pillow that the stage is set for the third rule, Revenge.

As Will sets out to seek revenge for Shawn’s death the next morning, he takes the elevator down seven floors.  However, on each floor Will encounters, someone integral to Shawn and Will’s life, making comments or posing questions to Will regarding his plan of revenge.

What made this story stand out for me was not just the power of verse, the spacing and placement of Reynolds' words, or the smoky pages and elevator button illustrations, but rather the depth and voice of the characters in such a short amount of time. That elevator ride of 1:07 allows the reader to experience the emotions and thinking of Will as he rides down.  Even knowing these details prior to reading this – the reader is still in for the ride of their life.  

I am a huge fan of Jason Reynolds since reading The Boy in the Black Suit, his books just keep getting better and better – this book, however, is on a completely new level. You will find it side by side with its equal Hate U Give by Angie Thomas as an instant must read and must have in schools and libraries.
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In fifteen-year-old Will’s neighbourhood, there are certain rules that must be followed when a family member is murdered: no crying, no snitching, and get  revenge. These rules were taught to him by his brother, Shawn, who was taught by his uncle, who was taught by his brother, Will’s father and so on back to long before Will was born. And they have all obeyed the rules. Now, Shawn has been murdered and it is Will’s turn. He finds his brother’s gun and, with it tucked into his waistband, he heads out to get revenge against the man whom he assumes, without any real evidence, was the shooter. But as he takes the elevator down, it stops on each floor and a literal ghost from his past enters, all victims of gunfire and all but one who had died as retribution after obeying the last rule.  

Long Way Down by author Jason Reynolds is a powerful tale told in free verse about the violence that has become too common in many urban neighbourhoods. Reynolds’ skills as a wordsmith are such that although the story is told seemingly without emotion (Rule 1), this book evokes strong and almost visceral reactions.  I cared deeply about the characters: the men and boys who were both the perpetrators and victims of the violence and the women and girls who were collateral damage. I rarely read a book more than once but I have already reread Long Way Down and know that it is one of those rare books I will return to again and again. Even knowing the ending, which is, at least to me both ambiguous and stunning, it crashed into me just as hard the second ride down the elevator. 

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
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