Long Way Down

Long Way Down Summary

“An intense snapshot of the chain reaction caused by pulling a trigger.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Astonishing.” —Kirkus Reviews(starred review)
“A tour de force.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

A Newbery Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Honor Book
A Printz Honor Book

A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021)
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner for Young Adult Literature
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature
Winner of the Walter Dean Myers Award

An Edgar Award Winner for Best Young Adult Fiction
Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner
An Entertainment WeeklyBest YA Book of 2017
A VultureBest YA Book of 2017
A BuzzfeedBest YA Book of 2017

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is New York Timesbestselling author Jason Reynolds’s electrifying 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 offthat elevator.

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.

Book Reviews


Wonderful5 star

I love the way this story is crafted.55


Great Read!5 star

Absolutely love this! I was completely glued to the text.55

👻 sc mendez.hayden

BLM5 star

Love the book55


Not Exactly What I Expected4 star

So this is the first book I’ve read of Jason Reynold’s. And as someone who has just gotten back into reading and has torn through almost 20 books in the last month this one was a little harder to go through because I was used to cliffhangers and attention grabbers. But, this is an absolutely beautifully written book. And even though it is a fast read, it leaves an impact. I read it in 1 day and I’ve been talking about it and the weight of it to everyone I’ve spoken to since finishing it. I HIGHLY suggest this book and I cannot wait to read more of Jason Reynold’s work.45


Ending5 star

So, the book was amazing. I read this on my own time due to my teacher recommending I should read it. Like a lot of people, I was confused on the ending at first. Then, this year, during lockdown, I read it again. I realised that at the end, with the smoke and whatnot, he dies. He most likely shot Riggs, or he missed and was shot himself. The “you coming” most likely means that he is in purgatory or the afterlife, so yeah. If you’re confused, there you go.55

Emily strudwick

review5 star

read for school. engaging and a quick read. a little confused on the ending.55


Sadly True5 star

This is such a great book, but sadly it’s all true. If you don’t cry a bit you didn’t read all the way through.55


beautiful story5 star

it hit so differently. shines a light on an issue that’s not talked about55


Long way downhill5 star

This book was really amazing55

Giovana Dos Santos

Emotional Book2 star

I couldn’t help but cry when certain people walked into the elevator and spoke to Will. When you know that sometimes this whole situation with the rules actually happens to real people in real time, this book hits different. This is definitely a book that’s worth recommending. Well written and put together too. So glad that I read this one!25

Other Books by Jason Reynolds

All American Boys


All American Boys
4.5     295


4.5     365

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