Long Way Down
By Jason Reynolds
(306 pages, young adult fiction, 2017)
Your brother was murdered. What do you do? A: Get revenge. B: Try to move on knowing that killing someone else will only perpetuate the cycle. Or C: Talk to yourself in an elevator going back and forth between A an B.
C is what Will ended up doing, though it wasn’t his intention. Can the ghosts in his mind save him before it’s too late? Armed with a gun, Will is set on avenging his brother. That’s the rule of the streets. As the elevator descends, each floor unleashes a new ghost with a different view point. Does good prevail or will Will succumb to the hell that is living in the streets ruled by gangs and violence?
This story is written in stunning prose that articulates the insanity of human emotions when someone is taken from you, when the circumstances of society take them from you. Reynolds weaves reality, conversation, and the supernatural into his poetry.
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