Long Way Down

Long Way Down

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
There are three rules in the neighborhood: Don't cry ; Don't snitch ; Get revenge. Will takes his dead brother Shawn's gun, and gets in the elevator on the 7th floor. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to Shawn gets on. Someone already dead. Dead by teenage gun violence. And each has something to share with Will.
Published: New York :, Atheneum,, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781481438254
Branch Call Number: YA REY
Characteristics: 306 pages ;,22 cm


From Library Staff

Edgar Award for Best Young Adult

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 18, 2019

Told in the time span of one minute, Long Way Down is a thought provoking novel (in verse) about a teenage boy who is seeking revenge on the man who killed his brother. On his way, he encounters five people that cause him to question 'The Rules' he's lived his life by. Reynolds' ability to hold the readers attention for 300 pages worth of one minute verse is impeccable. I'm eager to read more from this astounding author.

Feb 05, 2019

I must say, I thought the reviews were going to be great for this book, so the lack of reviews, and very poor ratings shock me(currently 1 star right now). To call this book terrible would be misleading; I could easily see people enjoying this book. However, it was not for me, nor is it for the vast majority of readers. Being Cafe Book nominated, I had high hopes coming in, but it was a big disappointment. There are a lot of things in this book that I really dislike, so I will make a checklist of things that I personally disliked. If you dislike 2 or more, I don't think you will enjoy this book.
1) Absolutely terrible grammar, to the extent I can't believe this was written by anyone older than 5.
2) Very anti-police.
3) Plot jumps all over the place, introduces characters and acts like we've known them forever.
4) About 10 words per page(great if you are logging pages though! It's about a 20 page book in about 300 pages!)
5) Characters go totally out of character.
6) Very depressing.
7) A cliff-hanger ending without all the good parts of cliff-hanger endings.
I don't know about you, but I checked all 7 boxes. Overall, I give this book a 4/10, and a "Would Strongly Discourage From Reading" review.

PimaLib_ChristineR Nov 27, 2018

Heartbreaking in part because of its simplicity. Will's brother has been killed. Will KNOWS who did it and his world is bound by rules, one of which is revenge. As Will rides down in the elevator on his way to take revenge, a new person gets on at every floor. Will, over and over is shown the chain that "the rules" have tied him to.

Reynolds has trimmed all excess from the core problem of lives based on "the rules" without sacrificing character or plot. His quick lines are like a punch to the gut, and Reynolds doesn't leave us, or Will, with easy answers or aphorisms.

Nov 03, 2018

This book is absolutely astonishing. I love the fun writing style, although it is annoying at times. Besides that, it is a great novel with a very harsh meaning behind it. I find the idea of the main character, Will, in an elevator the whole time quite creative because taking an elevator only takes a few seconds and somehow the author, Jason Reynolds, made an entire book out of the situation.

0Charlie Oct 10, 2018

A selection from the 2018 OPL Teen Battle of the Books, this work provided challenges on several levels. First, the subject matter - a teen plans to get revenge for the shooting of his older brother. Second, the style - the entire story is presented in verse. While poetry is not my first choice, I found this style worked very well to relate the rhythms and phrases of the characters. It was also a fast read (sometimes very few words on the page) which supported the time frame of the story (just over 60 seconds). Highly recommended to any reader.

Oct 03, 2018

This book was absolutely outstanding, it’s a fictional crime investigation story. Will a fifteen year old boy. His brother was just murdered, he knows who did it and he can’t say a word. Will gets onto an elevator to go meet the killer, but every floor he goes up by a person he knows gets on, first a teenage girl, a friend of his brother and more people. Then the elevator stops, and he gets off. This book was really interesting to read because it really resembled the book called “the client”. Rating 5/5. @momo of the Hamilton Public Library Teen Review Board

Sep 27, 2018

"Overall, I very much-LOVED Long Way Down because it was such a real story but it was contained. It was a minute and so much happened. I loved meeting all of the characters, I loved how Will would react to things and how the other characters would speak with him, show him love, even if they weren’t necessarily close to him. I loved the emotional aspect of the story, as well as the writing because Jason Reynolds is a wordsmith. A WORDSMITH!"
Copy and paste the link for the rest of the review!


Jul 07, 2018

This book is BEYOND amazing!! It is so amazing and I read it all in one day I 100% recommend it for anyone who is thinking about reading it!!!!

ArapahoeErinR May 31, 2018

There are rules and you are taught to follow them, but what happens when you are reminded that everyone else in your life who has followed the rules has died? This book will keep you thinking about choices long after you finish it.

May 30, 2018

Brutal. Incredible. Raw. Thought-provoking. Genuine. A tear-your-heart-out read that gives you nothing to hold on to on your way down with the crew. I loved every moment of it, and as everyone likely knows by now, poetry is not my favorite, so that's a big deal for me to say. Reynolds put his whole heart and soul into this one, and it shows.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Jun 18, 2019

IReview thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Feb 05, 2019

blue_dog_31717 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 03, 2018

amma13888 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

OPL_KrisC Apr 06, 2018

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


Add a Quote
Jun 18, 2019

it's weird to know
a person you don't know

and at the same time

not know
a person you know,

you know?”

Jun 18, 2019


is when you take a word and rearrange the letters to make another word. And sometimes the words are still somehow connected ex: CANOE = OCEAN. Same letters, different words, somehow still make sense together, like brothers.”

Jun 18, 2019



Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DBRL

To Top