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Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

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Jason Reynolds's Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff. Will's older brother, Shawn, has been shot. Dead. Will feels a sadness so great, he can't explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES: No. 1: Jason Reynolds's Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff. Will's older brother, Shawn, has been shot. Dead. Will feels a sadness so great, he can't explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES: No. 1: Crying. Don't. No matter what. No. 2: Snitching Don't. No matter what. No. 3: Revenge Do. No matter what. But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there's always someone else who knows to follow the rules...


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Jason Reynolds's Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff. Will's older brother, Shawn, has been shot. Dead. Will feels a sadness so great, he can't explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES: No. 1: Jason Reynolds's Newbery Honor, Printz Honor, and Coretta Scott King Honor–winning, #1 New York Times bestselling novel Long Way Down is now a gripping, galvanizing graphic novel, with haunting artwork by Danica Novgorodoff. Will's older brother, Shawn, has been shot. Dead. Will feels a sadness so great, he can't explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES: No. 1: Crying. Don't. No matter what. No. 2: Snitching Don't. No matter what. No. 3: Revenge Do. No matter what. But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there's always someone else who knows to follow the rules...

30 review for Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bookishrealm

    Anyone who knows me just a little knows exactly how I feel about Long Way Down. I read it for the first time this year and it was AMAZING. Reynolds utilizes this story to capture the discussion around cyclical violence. I think that it's easy to judge people especially youth that are victims of violence when you don't take the opportunity to really learn and understand how they get there in the first place. Both the graphic novel and the book focus on Will's attempt to get revenge for his brothe Anyone who knows me just a little knows exactly how I feel about Long Way Down. I read it for the first time this year and it was AMAZING. Reynolds utilizes this story to capture the discussion around cyclical violence. I think that it's easy to judge people especially youth that are victims of violence when you don't take the opportunity to really learn and understand how they get there in the first place. Both the graphic novel and the book focus on Will's attempt to get revenge for his brother's death. When Will attempts to get revenge he ends up meeting a series of people who are also victims of the cycle of violence. I love that Reynolds leaves the ending as a mystery. We don't necessarily know whether will goes through with it or not. This is all about empathy and how we shouldn't force labels on people especially youth. The graphic novel adaptation was so good and I'm happy about the way it turned out. The water color drawings with the defining of the black ink were absolutely beautiful and I feel like the images I had in my mind the first time I read Long Way Down were captured so well in this adaption. I heard through the grapevine that there is supposed to be either a TV show or movie adaptation of this book. I CANNOT WAIT!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    The rules in this neighborhood are - in the event of a loved one being murdered - 1. No crying; 2. No snitching; 3. nearest male relative to the victim must kill the killer, no argument. The first two rules are not too difficult. The third rule, logically, inevitably, creates the next victim, and the next person to require revenge. And so....on. Jason Reynolds already had a hit with this short raw story about a 15 year old boy who thinks he has to kill his brother's murderer, so this is the graph The rules in this neighborhood are - in the event of a loved one being murdered - 1. No crying; 2. No snitching; 3. nearest male relative to the victim must kill the killer, no argument. The first two rules are not too difficult. The third rule, logically, inevitably, creates the next victim, and the next person to require revenge. And so....on. Jason Reynolds already had a hit with this short raw story about a 15 year old boy who thinks he has to kill his brother's murderer, so this is the graphic version. I hadn't heard of any of this but when I saw that it had just arrived in my house (not ordered by me) I grabbed it and read it before the person who did order it could get round to it (Why not? No harm done!) mainly because I haven't read a graphic novel all year and I was suffering withdrawal symptoms. The story consists almost entirely of a trip in an elevator lasting one minute and seven seconds. There is a boy, a gun and some other people, most of whom are already dead. It said what should be said about such a tragedy, but I was remembering the same strong message being shouted loudly by movies like Boyz n the Hood in 1991 and Menace II Society in 1993. Thirty years ago. Thirty years ago. And the beat goes on. 3.5 stars

  3. 4 out of 5

    destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]

    I loved the original version of Long Way Down, so I was excited to check out this new rendition, and I have to say I'm really loving the way this story was re-imagined for this graphic novel. The watercolor artwork just functions so well to aid in the storytelling, especially since the story itself is a little wispy around the edges with the ghosts, the high emotions, and the lack of knowing what exactly is going on at times. I think this was a beautiful new take on a really important, incredibl I loved the original version of Long Way Down, so I was excited to check out this new rendition, and I have to say I'm really loving the way this story was re-imagined for this graphic novel. The watercolor artwork just functions so well to aid in the storytelling, especially since the story itself is a little wispy around the edges with the ghosts, the high emotions, and the lack of knowing what exactly is going on at times. I think this was a beautiful new take on a really important, incredible, heart-breaking novel in verse and I highly recommend picking up either version (or both!). Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with this review copy in exchange for an honest review!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Fauchelle

    I read the story version of this last year and loved it and the graphic novel is just as good and a very effective way to tell this important story. This book should be in all Schools around the world so children will think before they act in the decisions they make. What family members have done may not be the right way of doing thing and it takes one person to change the way things are done, this story is about anger, killings and 'The rules' but are the rules right surely there is a better wa I read the story version of this last year and loved it and the graphic novel is just as good and a very effective way to tell this important story. This book should be in all Schools around the world so children will think before they act in the decisions they make. What family members have done may not be the right way of doing thing and it takes one person to change the way things are done, this story is about anger, killings and 'The rules' but are the rules right surely there is a better way. Will's brother is shot down so he gets the gun out of the draw and catches the elevator down to the ground so he can get his revenge because he 'knows' who did it. In the lift at each level someone gets on that will challenge his thinking because they have been there done that. Love the ending always will. The graphics in this book are so good and bring the story to life in away that suits the story.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    It's always a struggle for me to rate graphic novels, so I'm going to leave it unrated for now. I read Long Way Down as an audiobook last year and it blew me away. It was such a haunting, unforgettable read, so naturally I decided to pick this up. I've been struggling to finish literally anything this year, so I decided that a graphic novel would be the best way to transition back in to reading. And it worked. I loved the art style, but I think this works best as a re-read. If you're reading t It's always a struggle for me to rate graphic novels, so I'm going to leave it unrated for now. I read Long Way Down as an audiobook last year and it blew me away. It was such a haunting, unforgettable read, so naturally I decided to pick this up. I've been struggling to finish literally anything this year, so I decided that a graphic novel would be the best way to transition back in to reading. And it worked. I loved the art style, but I think this works best as a re-read. If you're reading this story for the first time, I'd strongly suggest to listen to the audiobook while reading the physical story (I've only listened to the audio, but I've heard that the formatting of the physical book adds so much to the story). The audio is absolutely brilliant because it's narrated by the author and I got chills the first time I read it. But if you've already read Long Way Down and want to experience the story in a new format, I would highly recommend this.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Basic B's Guide

    Heartbreaking, poignant and unforgettable. I listened to this on audio earlier this year and have been anxiously waiting to see this story come to life as a graphic novel. It does not disappoint. A MUST read that will be re read again and again.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    I think there was a reason I hadn't gotten my hands on a galley ahead of time and seemed to wait FOREVER to get it delivered to the high school. It's because I needed to be able to sit with it at night by myself. I remember when I read the galley of Long Way Down-- on the train coming back from SLJ's Day of Dialog in the city. I read it on the train ride back to Albany and closed it and held it and ran my hand over the top thinking: this man is a genius. And seriously, how can you top that? Well I think there was a reason I hadn't gotten my hands on a galley ahead of time and seemed to wait FOREVER to get it delivered to the high school. It's because I needed to be able to sit with it at night by myself. I remember when I read the galley of Long Way Down-- on the train coming back from SLJ's Day of Dialog in the city. I read it on the train ride back to Albany and closed it and held it and ran my hand over the top thinking: this man is a genius. And seriously, how can you top that? Well, you get a cool chick who has some skills to do the graphic novel adaptation of it. Yup. And you kill that retelling by eliciting the pain, emotion, confusion, beauty, tragedy, and humanity of what happened and what might happen. What will he choose? The water color backdrop is ethereal. The choice of scenes is spectacular. The focus and perspective. The words on the page. The emotions portrayed in others. It is a gut-punch. But it's necessary. It's a story that resonates and makes you think. It's all laid out there. Then there's the choice. Yup, multiple copies on order like it's brother verse novel copies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    When I first read Long Way Down I loved it... then I listened to the audio book and I realized there were things that I didn’t pick up on the first time... the emphasis that were important to the narrative didn’t hit until I heard them emphasize... tonight as I finished the graphic novel, with tears running down my face I realized how many layers to this story existed... how important it was for my understanding to see the story. I’ve loved this book since it came out... but I loved it as an out When I first read Long Way Down I loved it... then I listened to the audio book and I realized there were things that I didn’t pick up on the first time... the emphasis that were important to the narrative didn’t hit until I heard them emphasize... tonight as I finished the graphic novel, with tears running down my face I realized how many layers to this story existed... how important it was for my understanding to see the story. I’ve loved this book since it came out... but I loved it as an outsider... not really able to comprehend it because my white, privileged mind could skip the magnitude of which it couldn’t understand... the graphic novel format left me feeling raw in a way that the other formats hadn’t.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance

    Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel may be the best graphic novel adaptation I have read. I loved Long Way Down, but I LOVED LWD:The Graphic Novel. A powerful story of violence and the perpetuation of violence and the dramatic finality of violence is made more powerful through the placement of the story on the page with expressive pictures.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    Stunning! I loved the graphic novel as much as I loved the original and the audio.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Phoenix (Books with Wings)

    Wow. This book. I've read a few Jason Reynolds books before - his Track series, for one - and he is an amazing writer. I actually have not gotten to read the original 'Long Way Down' but I picked up this graphic novel two days ago. Like I said above, I haven't read the original book but I feel like this book especially worked really really well as a graphic novel. Because you don't only feel the pain but you see the pain. You see the things happen and that makes it so much more real. What an eye op Wow. This book. I've read a few Jason Reynolds books before - his Track series, for one - and he is an amazing writer. I actually have not gotten to read the original 'Long Way Down' but I picked up this graphic novel two days ago. Like I said above, I haven't read the original book but I feel like this book especially worked really really well as a graphic novel. Because you don't only feel the pain but you see the pain. You see the things happen and that makes it so much more real. What an eye opening, heart breaking book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    By now, almost everyone in the world knows that Jason Reynolds is an all-star, an essential and important voice in the world of books for young people. This graphic adaptation of LONG WAY DOWN is stunning. The combination of Reynolds' powerful text and Novgorodoff's art is a gut-wrenching story of a violent cycle of anger and fear and revenge. A must-buy for any public or school library. By now, almost everyone in the world knows that Jason Reynolds is an all-star, an essential and important voice in the world of books for young people. This graphic adaptation of LONG WAY DOWN is stunning. The combination of Reynolds' powerful text and Novgorodoff's art is a gut-wrenching story of a violent cycle of anger and fear and revenge. A must-buy for any public or school library.

  13. 4 out of 5

    michelle

    *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this title. All opinions are my own. Stunning. Amazing. Phenomenal. Powerful. I mean, we are talking about Long Way Down and then add in that it is a graphic novel? Reynolds's story is as powerful as ever and Danica Novgoradoff's illustrations took it to another level. I still think that reading the original is important, but graphic novels work better for some readers and the story on its own is important. A must read. *Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this title. All opinions are my own. Stunning. Amazing. Phenomenal. Powerful. I mean, we are talking about Long Way Down and then add in that it is a graphic novel? Reynolds's story is as powerful as ever and Danica Novgoradoff's illustrations took it to another level. I still think that reading the original is important, but graphic novels work better for some readers and the story on its own is important. A must read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    A worthy adaptation of an already amazing book. I will definitely be looking for more projects the illustrator has been involved in. Jason Reynolds is a national treasure. Whereas the graphic adaptation of Kwame Alexander's novel in verse Crossover is line for line the same book, this one uses the images to convey some of the words--for some reason I'm thinking specifically of the scene where he admires the girl's butt! A worthy adaptation of an already amazing book. I will definitely be looking for more projects the illustrator has been involved in. Jason Reynolds is a national treasure. Whereas the graphic adaptation of Kwame Alexander's novel in verse Crossover is line for line the same book, this one uses the images to convey some of the words--for some reason I'm thinking specifically of the scene where he admires the girl's butt!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Diana-christie Biancardi

    This blew my mind. I didn't think I'd like it! Art was kinda rough to look at. It tells it like it is in the real world, how kids grow up around shootings and robberies like I did in bad neighborhoods on the South side of Chicago. I like that. We had a shooting of a sheriff right across the street at the end of our block who was my mom's friend's dad. This blew my mind. I didn't think I'd like it! Art was kinda rough to look at. It tells it like it is in the real world, how kids grow up around shootings and robberies like I did in bad neighborhoods on the South side of Chicago. I like that. We had a shooting of a sheriff right across the street at the end of our block who was my mom's friend's dad.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    I have read Long Way Down in most formats (all the formats?) I have listened to the audiobook, read the original, read the illustrated UK edition, and now absorbed the graphic novel version. And I do mean absorbed. The water colored images and Jason's words were such a powerful combination that one can't help but soak up the narrative. I have read Long Way Down in most formats (all the formats?) I have listened to the audiobook, read the original, read the illustrated UK edition, and now absorbed the graphic novel version. And I do mean absorbed. The water colored images and Jason's words were such a powerful combination that one can't help but soak up the narrative.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca Plaza

    Enhances the text version with varied illustrations-from comic frames to full-page drama. Another squeeze of the reader's heart by Jason Reynolds and illustrator. Enhances the text version with varied illustrations-from comic frames to full-page drama. Another squeeze of the reader's heart by Jason Reynolds and illustrator.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Llyr Heller-Humphreys

    Stunning art brings alive one of my favorite books.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sam Bortle

    I didn't realize just HOW MUCH this text needed to be turned into a graphic novel until I held the graphic novel in my hands. A necessary version of an already necessary book. I didn't realize just HOW MUCH this text needed to be turned into a graphic novel until I held the graphic novel in my hands. A necessary version of an already necessary book.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Abby

    I've already read the novel and listened to the audiobook, so I thought I'd complete the trifecta! This version brought something new to the already amazing story. I've already read the novel and listened to the audiobook, so I thought I'd complete the trifecta! This version brought something new to the already amazing story.

  21. 4 out of 5

    risdq

    The rules weren't meant to be broken, they were meant for the broken to follow. The rules weren't meant to be broken, they were meant for the broken to follow.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    Wow. I cannot believe how powerful this book is as a graphic novel. The illustrations are gut-wrenching. I love the water color and how they brought Jason Reynold’s poem to life. Or more to life. His words are powerful enough, but the graphic novel made it more so. Must read. Thank you to Simon Schuster and NetGalley for sharing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)

    read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com Have you ever read a Jason Reynolds book? No? Please do yourself a favor and pick one up – any one. Or you say you have read his stuff (and love it, of course) – then please pick up his newest book in graphic novel format: Long Way Down. This is quite possibly the most beautiful graphic novel artwork I have ever seen. Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot. And according to The Rules, when someone you love is killed, read this and more reviews on Frayed Books: http://frayedbooks.wordpress.com Have you ever read a Jason Reynolds book? No? Please do yourself a favor and pick one up – any one. Or you say you have read his stuff (and love it, of course) – then please pick up his newest book in graphic novel format: Long Way Down. This is quite possibly the most beautiful graphic novel artwork I have ever seen. Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot. And according to The Rules, when someone you love is killed, you get revenge. On the morning after, pulling Shawn’s gun from the middle dresser drawer, as Will steps into the elevator, thats exactly what he plans to do. I originally listened to this book as an audiobook when it first came out, and I also recommend the audiobook – for one, Jason narrators it himself and he has one of the best voices I’ve ever heard. Second, the story is told in verse so listening to it is one of the best ways to read it. It has been quite a few years since I first read Long Way Down, so reading this graphic novel was almost like the first time reading this story. On the way down in the elevator, Will is met with six ghosts who tell him the reality of the situation he’s in and what he’s about to do. The choice he is about to make. The interactions take only as long as an elevator ride, but it has a lasting impact. This graphic novel is drawn in watercolor and ink and I’m not kidding when I say this might be the most beautiful graphic novel I’ve ever read. I can’t think of another graphic novel that has used watercolor and ink as the medium. This medium truly conveys the feelings in the best possible way. If you aren’t familiar with watercolor, it is very unforgiving. It’s not an easy medium to master. Every mark you make is there, how much or how little water you use – it matters. And the way the artist uses monotone ink, instead of colored watercolors. The ink is used for “black and white” flashback moments and it vividly highlights these moments. I took my time reading this, admiring each brush stroke and placement in the image. The showing of details or leaving out of details – it all matters and it sends a strong message, especially in this story. I do recommend this one as a print book if you can, rather than ebook, as I think some of the art will lose its feeling. But please, read this book. Recommend it to others. It’s such an important story shown in a beautiful medium. Recommend? Yes yes yes. I can’t recommend this book enough! It is SO good. The artwork is amazing. Anything Jason Reynolds writes is fantastic and this is no exception. I could talk about his works all day. So good, so important. We need diverse books. I hope this book gets into the hands of the kids who need it the most. Frayed Books - blog | twitter | bookstagram | fb

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nicole M. Hewitt

    I absolutely loved Long Way Down when I read it a few years ago, and my feelings didn’t change when reading this graphic novel version. You can feel free to read my full review of the original verse novel, but here are a couple of the highlights: “I honestly don’t even know how to describe in words how I felt about this book. You almost just have to experience it for yourself to understand its brilliance.” “This book gives lyrical resonance to the cyclical nature of violence in inner cities—a patte I absolutely loved Long Way Down when I read it a few years ago, and my feelings didn’t change when reading this graphic novel version. You can feel free to read my full review of the original verse novel, but here are a couple of the highlights: “I honestly don’t even know how to describe in words how I felt about this book. You almost just have to experience it for yourself to understand its brilliance.” “This book gives lyrical resonance to the cyclical nature of violence in inner cities—a pattern that can be nearly impossible to break out of.” So, let’s talk just a little bit about the graphic elements of the book and how the text compares to the original. I love that the graphic novel version opens this book up to a whole new audience. Some kids are drawn to verse novels because they feel less imposing than regular novels. The white space on the page is reassuring to some readers. But there will always be kids who are still intimidated by verse, even free verse. The graphic novel format of the book will help those readers to visualize the action and the emotion in a way they might not have otherwise been able to. When a prose novel is reimagined in graphic format, you obviously lose most of the text. However, in verse novels, the text is much more spare. Because of this, the graphic novel version of Long Way Down is relatively faithful to the original verse novel, with some omissions where the meaning is portrayed graphically. Novgorodoff’s art highlights the emotion of the story and cleverly uses grayscale versus color to delineate between events in the past and the present. Pops of color (especially red) draw the reader’s eye and accentuate the violence of many of the circumstances of the book without becoming gory. The illustrations feel like a perfect match for Reynold’s compelling verse. In the end, I recommend this book in all its formats. I need to take a listen to the audiobook next! ***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sacha

    Thanks to NetGalley and Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books for this arc, which I was THRILLED to receive in exchange for an honest review. If you love the original - as I do - you'll be impressed with how much this format adds to an already remarkable work. I'll post the full review upon publication. Updated 10/14/20 5 stars I love _Long Way Down_, and I like the graphic novel even more. The plot and characters are straightforward but interact with complex issues, social structures, relationships, and e Thanks to NetGalley and Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books for this arc, which I was THRILLED to receive in exchange for an honest review. If you love the original - as I do - you'll be impressed with how much this format adds to an already remarkable work. I'll post the full review upon publication. Updated 10/14/20 5 stars I love _Long Way Down_, and I like the graphic novel even more. The plot and characters are straightforward but interact with complex issues, social structures, relationships, and expectations. While the original is excellent, the added visuals highlight some of the scenes that can be more challenging to visualize, especially for younger readers. The bedroom and elevator scenes are particularly noteworthy in terms of who is present. Also, every image of the sky is incredible. So...basically every page is awesome. Jason Reynolds is a genius and a central voice of our time, and I really like how the shift into this genre highlights his work instead of overpowers it. Readers who enjoy the original will find even more texture here. Readers who don't know there is an original...you're in for two treats.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Alexia

    This is my first time reading a Reynolds book, and now I entirely understand why his writing is so loved. This book does a great job of examining generational trauma, masculinity, gun violence, and how our surroundings influence our behavior. I haven’t read the original book of Long Way Down , but I really enjoyed Novgorodoff’s art style and think it makes the story accessible for a lot of people. I also don’t mind ambiguous endings, so I liked grappling with what I thought the ending meant. Th This is my first time reading a Reynolds book, and now I entirely understand why his writing is so loved. This book does a great job of examining generational trauma, masculinity, gun violence, and how our surroundings influence our behavior. I haven’t read the original book of Long Way Down , but I really enjoyed Novgorodoff’s art style and think it makes the story accessible for a lot of people. I also don’t mind ambiguous endings, so I liked grappling with what I thought the ending meant. This book reminded me of a verse in Lil Baby’s song “The Bigger Picture”: “I did what I did ’cause I didn’t have no choice or no hope, I was forced to just jump in and go.” A lot of the decisions made in this book occurred because of people trying to prescribe to a rigid set of rules and thinking that they had no other options. I think this can apply to a lot more than just gun and gang violence as society’s rules tend to be unattainable and inequitable, especially for Black people. Overall, I think this book leads to a great conversation, and I’m glad that it could be transformed into a graphic novel. To see my favorite quotes from the book, check out my blog post: https://www.bookishends.com/blog/long... *Thank you to Hear Our Voices and the publisher for a free copy. All opinions are my own*

  27. 4 out of 5

    Connor Sullivan

    Wow. I think this is even stronger than the original verse novel! Stunning graphics, too.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Che

    I enjoyed the novel a little bit more Because it expanded the emotions. This was a great graphic novel and I'm glad they did it, but I recommend you treat yourself to the full story, especially before the movie comes out. I enjoyed the novel a little bit more Because it expanded the emotions. This was a great graphic novel and I'm glad they did it, but I recommend you treat yourself to the full story, especially before the movie comes out.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    Title: Long Way Down Author: Jason Reynolds Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Pub Date: 13 Oct 2020 Many thanks to Hear Our Voices Tour, Simon & Schuster, and Athenem/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books for my gifted e-ARC. This was a powerful and heartbreaking loss about a loss of a brother and the quest for revenge. Will and his mom try to deal with Shawn’s loss to gang rivalry in different ways – his mom turns to bottles and Will gets out Shawn’s gun to go kill who he believes was responsible for Shawn’s death. On his way, he Title: Long Way Down Author: Jason Reynolds Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Pub Date: 13 Oct 2020 Many thanks to Hear Our Voices Tour, Simon & Schuster, and Athenem/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books for my gifted e-ARC. This was a powerful and heartbreaking loss about a loss of a brother and the quest for revenge. Will and his mom try to deal with Shawn’s loss to gang rivalry in different ways – his mom turns to bottles and Will gets out Shawn’s gun to go kill who he believes was responsible for Shawn’s death. On his way, he gets into the elevator and during the long ride down, different people come on and they give Will new perspectives and insights. The peculiar thing about all the fellow passengers is that they’re all dead. They all died as a result of gun violence and gang rivalry, and they’re all related to Will in one way or another. I won’t be giving any more spoilers to who the passengers are, you’ll have to read for yourself to find out. I’m really glad I read this and I believe everyone else should read it, because it’s so important. One of the central points in this book is a set of rules that’s supposed to guide your reaction to a person getting shot/killed. I felt it was very full of toxic masculinity, as crying is supposed to be a natural and welcome reaction to death and loss. The illustrations in this book were very beautiful, graphic, and detailed. I highly recommend this book, and everyone should check it out!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    If you are in my orbit, there is NO WAY that you have escaped my gushing about the novel-in-verse Long Way Down. I have raved and raved about that book. Then I read it in audio format and raved and raved about that. Now…watch out…I’ve read the graphic interpretation and I will be raving and raving about it! Jason Reynolds words are powerful music. Those words become “ear worms,” wiggling into your brain, taking root, and not letting go. His works have formidable messages, stories are told with a If you are in my orbit, there is NO WAY that you have escaped my gushing about the novel-in-verse Long Way Down. I have raved and raved about that book. Then I read it in audio format and raved and raved about that. Now…watch out…I’ve read the graphic interpretation and I will be raving and raving about it! Jason Reynolds words are powerful music. Those words become “ear worms,” wiggling into your brain, taking root, and not letting go. His works have formidable messages, stories are told with a force that is beyond description (though I try). And, in the graphic novel of Long Way Down, add in the lush, gorgeous watercolor illustrations by Danica Novgorodoff and you have a double whammy of a story that already had wham. My only hesitation will this novel is that the artist is not a POC. Danica's work is amazing but I think this was an opportunity lost for a bright young POC artist. I was only a few pages into the copy I picked up from the library and I was thinking “Why the heck did I not buy this to begin with? This needs to be on my bookshelf next to the novel-in-verse!” I’ve fixed that – my personal copy will be here tomorrow. Then, I’ll take another perusal through the book, gazing upon the incredible artwork, and musing forever about how Will answered “You coming?”

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