Posted 20 hours ago

Long Way Down

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Rather than presenting the reader with a neat resolution, Reynolds' ending forces the reader to come to their own conclusion. Will describes the "rules" in his neighborhood, where violence is the norm: no crying, no snitching, seek revenge. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES. You can easily read it in an afternoon, yet it will haunt you for a long time afterwards, as it has haunted me. My only issue is that I struggled with the plot of this book a bit because I'm not a fan of books that require the suspension of disbelief, and this straddled that line throughout its duration.

At the next floor, a young woman enters the elevator, glances at Buck, and comments on the cigarette smoke. As Will listens to his mother's sobs at home, he opens the middle drawer of Shawn's dresser, previously forbidden territory, and finds a gun. The "rules" are the root of the perpetual cycle of violence that is the cause of so many senseless killings. This was such a powerful read, I hope readers everywhere and of all ages (teen and up) read it and are affected by it in a positive way.These encounters challenge Will to evaluate his choices and reconsider his actions before he makes a choice he can never change.

The only thing that I wished from this book, was that to have more time with our character and to go to know more than what he presents us about his life and the people from it. Buck asks Will his plans, checks to see if the gun is loaded, and tells Will regarding his revenge plan, ''You don't got it in you. The weight of dehumanization, of being stripped of personhood because of instinctual moments and feelings, unfettered. I have even talked the head into a little revamp of the library so that we can display them properly! It has such a strong, raw, message that the impact stayed with me, long after the book had been finished.Told in short, powerful verse, the novel explores the tenacity of the cycle of violence, the pain of toxic masculinity, and the dangers of repressed grief.

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