Long Way Down (Book Review)


Will is heading out to finish what seems to have started yesterday, when his brother, Shawn, was shot. He’s just trying to follow The Rules: No tears, no snitching, and always get revenge. With Shawn’s gun hidden behind his back, Will is going to kill the guy that he just knows killed Shawn.

When Will gets on the elevator, he’s met by the ghost of an old friend of Shawn’s. At each stop of the elevator, Will encounters another person from the past. With each encounter, another revelation is made.


This was my second read of Booktubeathon. It’s no secret that Jason Reynolds is one of my favorite authors. I got into All American Boys because of my school’s book club. The following year, I read The Boy in the Black Suit and fell deeper in love with Reynolds’ writing. I got to meet him at an April is for Authors event last year. He is a really down to earth man and very “for the culture.”

Enough about Reynolds, now onto the book. Long Way Down was wonderful. It gave me lots of Walter Dean Myers vibes, which is what Reynolds seemed to be going for. This mix of prose and poetry worked very well for the story.

The parallels between Will and his father Mikey were magnificent. The use of figurative language to make these connections was really natural.

This was my first time listening to a book of poems as an audiobook. I am so happy that Jason Reynolds decided to do the reading for the audiobook. It felt like I was listening to Spoken Word. This book really makes me want to write my own. And the interview at the end gives me so much hope that one day I could really be a writer, too.

4.5/5 Stars


Author: Rachelle Saint Louis

Rachelle Saint Louis is a Haitian-American writer, born and raised in South Florida. She received a 2018 Silver Medal in the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition for her poem “Red Blood Cell.” She is currently a Psychology and English double major at Florida Atlantic University. Her poetry has been published in Rigorous Magazine. Rachelle has been writing poetry since the 7th grade and you can often find her performing Spoken Word at local open mics.

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