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Long Way Down

4.4  ·  Rating details ·  13,460 Ratings  ·  3,417 Reviews
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back wais
...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 24th 2017 by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
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Shannon
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Melody Yes, on the Today show yesterday. Pre-ordered the book. Read it on my Nook this morning. Love it. Really love how the chapters were delineated.

Community Reviews

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Jesse (JesseTheReader)
wow wow wow wow i loved this so much. i've read several books written in verse now and this one was superior to all the ones i've read before. the characters were fleshed out so well and the story itself was engaging and rather suspenseful. i highly recommend this if you're looking to try a book written in this style.
Kat O'Keeffe
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
a fast read (only took about an hour to get through) but still very powerful and impactful. jason reynolds has a way with words, and the free-verse format really suits his talents. i haven't read a ton of books in verse, but this is by far my favorite--the word choice, the imagery, the message, the emotional punch--it was all so good. the ending was a little abrupt, but i think it works for the story, and that bit of ambiguity can open up some really interesting discussions. definitely looking f ...more
Hannah Greendale
Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.



A haunting cautionary tale delivered in verse, in which fifteen-year-old Will is forced to consider the potential consequences of his actions as he, armed with a gun and seeking revenge, waits for the elevator in his building to reach the ground floor.

THEN THE YELLOW TAPE

that says DO NOT CROSS
gets put up, and there's nothing
left to do but go home.

That tape lets people know
that this is a murder scene,
as
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Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you're in a slump and you want a quick interesting read, I would totally recommend this book!

It's all about the cycle of violence and written in verse. Really liked it!
Trin
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Me on Page 1: Oh great, another novel in verse.

Me on Page, like, 5: HOLY SHIT.

Then I read the whole thing in one sitting.

Incredibly powerful, beautifully written. Reynolds doesn't use the device of verse as a crutch; he wields it like a weapon. I think I held my breath for the entire book, and the ending left me gasping. Truly unforgettable.
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Uncle Mark should’ve just bought his camera and shot his stupid movie after the first day. Unfortunately, he never shot anything ever again.

But my father did.

This was incredible. Not only is it so emotional and well-developed, but oh my god, the writing is so good.

Ellen Hopkins’ use of verse and poetry is dead and Jason Reynolds killed it, personally, by himself. The double meanings alone are perfect. Jason Reynolds has a way with double meanings. Look at the top quote. A camera shoots. A man
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Jillian Heise
240 pages
67 seconds
7 floors
6 visitors
Each with a piece
of the story
not known
until now.
Will grieving
his brother
with a
gun
and a
target
thinking he knows
what he has to do
following
The Rules
wondering
what
to do
who
to be
and what
comes next.

Jason Reynolds is masterful in the way he can use such sparse language in these free verse poems for such a powerful and emotional impact. I'm going to be talking about and sharing this book for a very long time.

Jason's skill at putting words together that grab your h
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C.G. Drews
This was so so emotional and brutal and just wow. I'm kind of torn with what to think though because I didn't really understand the ending?! I read it twice and I'm still not entirely sure what happened. MAYBE THIS IS JUST ME!??

Anyway! It's a book about violence and murder and it's so freaking sad. Basically Will's brother Shawn was just shot and killed and Will gets his gun and goes out for revenge. But he gets in the elevator to go downstairs and shoot this guy...and the elevator just fills wi
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Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

In case you haven’t heard, jasonwritesbooks(.com). More specifically, jasonwritesIMPORTANTbooks. Books that are RELEVANT and NOW and REAL and HEARTBREAKING. Books that make my non-book-lovin’ kid not fight me when it comes to reading. Books that give a voice to a population who so often is rendered voiceless. Books that when I muttered to myself on Sunday morning “what should I read next?” had said non-book-lovin’ kid running to his ba
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Laurie Anderson
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: racial-justice, ya
Absolutely genius writing & storytelling, plus so much heart it will drive you to your knees.
Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
That was incredibly powerful. I can’t wait to read more from this author.
Whitney Atkinson
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
I downloaded this intending on possibly getting to it sometime, but I opened it up out of curiosity and ended up reading the entire thing in about an hour.

I don't have too much to say other than I think this is a really effective coming of age story about how violence and toxic masculinity affects so many young black teens. Reynolds writes really honestly and the directness of this is such a well-needed nudge in the side.

My only issue is that I struggled with the plot of this book a bit becaus
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April (Aprilius Maximus)
Dec 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Really powerful and unputdownable.
Imane
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya
“ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE RULES
They weren't meant to be broken.
They were meant for the broken
to follow.”
― Jason Reynolds, Long Way Down


description

Long Way Down is a novel written in verse that tells the story of fifteen-year-old Will who seeks to venge his murdered brother Shawn. But as he takes the elevator down, with a gun tucked in his pants, it stops on each floor and a ghost from Will's past enters, all victims of gun violence, but will that be enough to change his mind ?
This was a powerful and unique
...more
destiny ☠ howling libraries
“ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE RULES:
They weren't meant to be broken.
They were meant for the broken to follow.”

I’ve always loved stories written in verse, so when I heard about this own-voice tale of the struggles that toxic masculinity and systemic racism place upon young black men, I was immediately interested. I wanted to focus on supporting as many new-to-me black authors as possible in February, and Jason Reynolds was at the very top of my list. This man has a writing voice that absolutely need
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Kassidy
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-release
Extremely powerful and important. I absolutely loved the poetry.
joey (thoughts and afterthoughts)
*incoherent screeching here*

Is this one of the first verse books I've read? Yep. And damnit to hell because Long Way Down just set the bar pretty high for other poetry books.

Speaking to the verse (and I don't know if all poetry is like this so I could be grossly misguided on this front), what I appreciated the most was how it read like a fully formed story stripped of frivolity where only the bare-bones -- the meat and potatoes -- of the story remained. It's almost wizardry how so much power ca
...more
Colleen Fauchelle
Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-books
I started this book 3 days ago. Wow this is a good story and it is written in verse which is a very efective way of telling it.
Its about this boy who's brother is shot dead, his mother is heartbroken and he is out for revenge.
He grabs the gun.
Then he gets into the elevator to go down.
He is following the rules that have been handed down from generation to generation, but what if the rules are wrong and all your left with is more heartache.
As he goes down at each floor someone gets on that he has
...more
Emily
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
This book was absolutely phenomenal.

The audiobook, which is narrated by Reynolds, was especially good. I often have trouble with books written in verse because I read them in my own voice, and that sh*t is NOT beautiful to listen to (sorry to everyone who watches my channel...). I'll also get hung up on which words to emphasize, the proper cadence of phrases, and trying to figure those things out takes me out of the book. Reynolds' narration solves those problems for me, plus it's just superb.

Wh
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Glitterbomb
This was outstanding.

Written in verse, it was a deeply moving and disturbing read.

The timeline is just 60 seconds long, the space of an elevator ride. Each floor representing a turning point, a course of events, that leads the main character, Will, to this moment in time.

A short read, but brilliantly executed.
Jan
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, 5-stars, fiction
Short, but so powerful and thought-provoking. A must read IMO!

The entire book is written in verse and covers the time span of 60 seconds, all starting with an elevator ride.
Who gets on, and more importantly who gets off, is what makes this read so powerful.

Storytelling at it's best!!
Trina (Between Chapters)
I'm most definitely not the intended audience, so take my review with a grain of salt. I personally just find with every book in verse I read that it isn't a style that works well for me no matter how much I try it. I chose to listen to the audiobook, which the author himself reads and hearing him read it the way he intended was amazing. However, I was still left pondering this style because it left me a bit confused by the ending. Maybe I was reading too much into things, looking for structure ...more
Maria (Big City Bookworm)


*Disclaimer: An ARC of Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds was provided to me by Simon & Schuster Canada in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

--

Initial post reading thoughts:

This is one of those stories that will stay with you forever. Even though it was a super quick read, it was completely engaging and I'll definitely be thinking about this one for a long time. The story is so uniquely written and it hits you hard. Loved it!

--

What I Liked

The pacing. This
...more
Hamad
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, 2018-reads
“And you know

it's weird to know
a person you don't know

and at the same time

not know
a person you know,

you know?"
-Will”


Wow, this was beautiful and powerful.
I believe this is the best book written in verse that I have read!!
The core of the book is important and I went into it without high expectations but it surpassed those expectations anyway...
Maybe not the best ending in the world but it was good nevertheless :)
Patty
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
...I...I don't know if I can actually explain how absolutely amazing this book is. Just buy, read it.
Erin
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books
Audiobook performed by author, Jason Reynolds. 1h 43

After reading The Hate U Give at the end of 2017, two educators told me that Jason Reynolds was a must. I feel so many words swimming around my mind after listening to the author himself present this beautiful story. But I am going to keep it really simple.

READ. THIS. BOOK.
Haley
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You coming?
Krista Regester
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
but if the blood
inside you is on the inside
of someone else,

you never want to
see it on the outside of
them.


Jason Reynolds takes a tragedy that happens far too often and gives it new, heartbreaking life.
Jessica
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Holy. Flipping. Cannoli.

Just read this book, guys. I don't have enough superlatives for it, but trust me.
Rachel Strolle
I honestly believe that in 50 years, when people are making lists of the best YA books of all time, that this will be at the top of the list. Full disclosure: I am not usually a verse lover. So far, there have been few exceptions. But this book? If any book could make me believe in verse novels, it's one by Jason Reynolds. I still have chills thinking about the ending of this, and I think I'll have it on my mind for a long time. It is already in my top list of best YA books I have ever read
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SSJCPL (Stockton-...: Long Way Down 2 4 Jun 01, 2018 10:02PM  
1,795 followers
After earning a BA in English from The University of Maryland, College Park, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, where you can often find him walking the four blocks from the train to his apartment talking to himself. Well, not really talking to himself, but just repeating character names and plot lines he thought of on the train, over and over again, because he’s afraid he’ll forget it all before he ...more
More about Jason Reynolds
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“ANOTHER THING ABOUT THE RULES

They weren't meant to be broken.
They were meant for the broken

to follow.”
12 likes
“but if blood inside you is on the inside of someone else,

you never want to see it on the outside of them"
-Will”
12 likes
More quotes…