Audiobook Review: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down
Author: Jason Reynolds

Published: October 24, 2017

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 22, 2020
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

Will’s older brother, Shawn, has been shot.

Will feels a sadness so great, he can’t explain it. But in his neighborhood, there are THE RULES:

No. 1: Crying
No matter what.

No. 2: Snitching
No matter what.

No. 3: Revenge
No matter what.

But bullets miss. You can get the wrong guy. And there’s always someone else who knows to follow the rules…

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds

Jessica’s Review:

Wow, wow, wow! This is one where I edited the book descriptions from both Amazon and Goodreads, as both together give away the plot and this is one where it is best to know next to nothing other than the bare minimum: That Will’s brother Shawn was shot dead and Will is determined to get revenge on the shooter.  Other than that all you need to know is that the novel is written in poetry/ verse and also takes place in 60 seconds. How does it take place in such a short time period? You’ll have to read this one to find out! 

As mentioned, Will’s brother was shot dead and he wants revenge. He seeks out revenge by going to kill his brother’s killer. He gets on an elevator with a gun (which he has never shot)… and then things start happening. 

The numbered chapters in Long Way Down descend as the elevator reaches a new floor level, which adds to the urgency of the situation. 

I listened to the audiobook, which is narrated by the author himself, Jason Reynolds. No one other than Reynolds could have accomplished what he intended; and even in the brief author interview, Reynold explains why only he could narrate this novel. This novel is written in verse, which usually is not for me. In this case I benefitted by listening to the audiobook. 

Long Way Down is a short yet also very powerful novel that leaves you thinking about so much after you have finished it.  This is one that will stay with you. I can say this is my top read for 2020.  The audiobook is just one hour and 45 minutes long and deserves a full listen to in one sitting.

I very highly recommend the audiobook version for everyone, especially if verse and poetry are not your typical genre. Long Way Down is a must read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK