Emily's Reviews > Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
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it was amazing
bookshelves: 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.

While I can understand some people's issues with the brevity of this book (It took less than 2 hours to listen to the whole audiobook), I think it lends the story a sense of urgency. I had no issues with character development, or any of the other criticisms short books tend to get. In fact, I was impressed with how much development we got given the fact that the book is so short.

This was a very visual, very sensory read. We follow Will as he rides down an elevator, on his way to exact revenge and kill his brother's murderer, and on each floor a new ghost join's Will, each of them victims of gun violence that he knows. It felt like a play to me, with these characters entering the "stage." In this case, the elevator provides an immediate metaphor--it's a steel box, a cage, alternately a coffin and a prison cell. As Will descends, it seems likely that he will end up in one or the other.

Reynolds examines the impacts of gun violence in lower income, urban black communities, and how they're often cyclical in nature. He looks at each character with empathy, something so often denied to black people in America.

It's a beautifully written, incredibly powerful book. 100000% recommend.
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Reading Progress

October 23, 2017 – Shelved
October 23, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
February 26, 2018 – Started Reading
February 26, 2018 – Shelved as: audiobooks
February 26, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)

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Jocelyn did you listen to it or read it?

Emily Jocelyn wrote: "did you listen to it or read it?"

I hate how Goodreads sends out the update before you're done writing the review!! I listened to it :)

message 3: by Jeeps (new) - added it

Jeeps Nonsense, your voice is beautiful! But this sounds amazing.

Jocelyn Emily wrote: "Jocelyn wrote: "did you listen to it or read it?"

I hate how Goodreads sends out the update before you're done writing the review!! I listened to it :)"

HA, I see your review now! I did too. I'm sure I would've loved it written as well, but damn Reynolds really gave a beautiful voice performance.

message 5: by Diane (new)

Diane Wallace Great review, Emily!

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