long way down // Jason Reynolds

published: 2017
pages: 306
ISBN: 978-0-553-52403-1
read: 3/19-21/2018
rating: good read
book: 8 of 12 (secretly aiming for 52 but happy with 30) of 2018

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and 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.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. 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.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

MY THOUGHTS
short version: 
liked it. good/quick read. loved the interpretation.

"long" version: 
i came upon this book based on Meredith's recommendation. and i decided to give it a go because i was (still am) in a reading funk and so another verse style book was definitely something that i could do. 
commitment without full commitment. especially since its now week 12 and this is only book 8 (and I'm anal about counting audio books towards a 52 books read goal).

so i started reading it and then i ran into a book that I DO want to read so i was waiting for that one and not really feeling this one which is unfair because this is a fairly good book. 

AND THEN I MADE THE FATAL MISTAKE OF READING THE QUESTIONS THAT CONTAIN SPOILERS ON GOODREADS ....like i always do. 
and it wasn't so much a spoiler as it was the interpretation of the book from another readers point of view that when i started reading it again i was like "shit." 

but overall, its a good book and even if i did have that in my head and even if everyone is still pissed about the ending, this was an overall really good read. 
and i think the best part of it is the ending because it's up to you to realize what this book means to you. 
at least that's the way i see it. 

i know deep down, i didn't appreciate it for as good a book as it really is and that is honestly all my fault. but i do hope that whoever else reads this really loves it for what it is. 


thanks for reading! 
#lesreads on IG
SPOILERS: 

Will's brother gets killed in the streets and as the rules go: you don't cry, you don't snitch and you get revenge. 

so he finds his brothers gun. and decides that he will kill the guy he's sure killed his brother. 

the next day he gets on the elevator to go down and at every level he is met by the ghost of someone he knew. 

the first person to get on was Buck. 
all i remember was that he was the guy to give his brother, Sean, the gun he is know holding himself. 

the next person is this little girl that he used to play in the playground with when they were kids. 
she was killed during a drive by right in front of him. 

the next person is his uncle. 
and he tells him the story about how he was killed over a "camera" and a corner. 

the next person to get on is the guy that "killed" his uncle. but Will trips out over how cool and nonchalant his uncle is with the guy. 

then its his own father that gets on. 
he talks to him about how he killed the guy who killed his own brother. 
except he got the wrong guy. 

the last person to get on is Sean. 
he is the only person who gets on that doesn't really say anything to him. 
but before he gets on, Will learns that his brother killed someone. (i believe the guy who killed their father) and that's where he learns why the gun he has on him only has 15 bullets instead of 16.

and it ends with them finally getting to the lobby where everyone walks out and Sean looks at him and asks him if he's walking out with them. 

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