Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down by [Reynolds, Jason]

This is the best book I have read this year!

I read this book as part of the Carnegie Awards, and I have to admit I wasn’t overly enthusiastic about starting it. It is written in free verse, which is something which has never really appealed to me….however, I loved this book!

It is a very short book, and quick to read. The rhythm of the verse and the tense, emotional story propels you to the end of the book. It has such a strong, raw, message that the impact stayed with me, long after the book had been finished.

The overall theme of the book is one of  revenge, passed down through generations and strengthened through the community they live in.

Will, the protagonist of the story, sets out from his flat. He plans to kill someone in revenge for his brothers’ death – he know ‘the rules’. He lives on the 7th floor and the entire book is set in the lift as it travels from his floor to the ground. As it descends, pivotal characters enter the lift on each floor. These characters are all ghosts from Will’s past and it is a sad reflection on a young man’s life that violent crime has had such a huge impact. He has a chance to step out of the cycle of revenge but the reader can see how hard a decision it is for Will as he descends.

As I have already mentioned, this book is a quick read, but the emotional impact it has, is phenomenal. I would highly recommend reading this book.

Book was donated by Faber & Faber


Published by


Secondary school librarian at Mascalls Academy, Kent

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