Simon Teen has this amazing action this December in which you can read 25 books for one day only. So far, I’ve gotten through both Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Autoboyography by Christina Lauren. I’m also currently reading WANT by Cindy Pon. Anyway, I’m going to review these two books!
A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
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.
I had only seen raving reviews about Long Way Down, so I was definitely intrigued to start reading it. Long Way Down is also written in verse, which is something I haven’t seen often before. So I went into this book, with relatively high expectations. However, throughout reading the book, I felt my expectations were too high. I really liked the way it was written, but the story didn’t leave me feeling anything. I just felt very indifferent about it altogether.
I liked the idea of the verse, but it might have just not been my thing. Maybe I rushed through the book too much, or maybe verse is just not my thing. This story is written like it should really impact you, but it only left me feeling confused about my own opinion and about how others loved it so much, while I didn’t even know what to think about it.
Anyway, I’m giving this book 3 stars just because it somehow missed the mark for me. I don’t know what exactly it was, that made me feel so indifferent about it, but I did. However, I can recommend reading this book. It is very short and I think, for a lot of people, it really can speak to you.
pulled me in
for a hug,
but how you
hug what’s haunting you?
Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
Autoboyography was so incredibly cute! Autoboyography follows Tanner, who is bisexual and not religious, while he falls in love with a very religious Mormon boy. I loved how the story didn’t avoid the topic of religion, because that is often not discussed in YA books. It also didn’t stay clear of discussing sexuality. I loved reading from the pov of a bisexual boy, which I have never done before. I just loved how diverse this book was and how it talked about things, that usually aren’t discussed.
All seriousness aside, this book was so cute. It had an adorable romance that made me squeal with joy, it has amazing friendships and I loved the family dynamics. I loved how Tanner’s family was so different from Sebastian’s and how they both dealt with this. I loved how they both were flawed, made mistakes, but were great characters. Another thing I loved was how the story was also about writing (who doesn’t love a book about writing??). Sebastian is an almost-published author and Tanner is attempting to write a book himself.
Overall, I am giving this book 5 stars because it made me so happy and also a little sad. It had every aspect I wanted from an LGBT+ story, from being adorable, while also discussing the more serious topics! I would highly recommend this book if you love the Heartstopper web-comic by Alice Oseman and Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda. Both have a very similar vibe to it and have m/m romance.
“Our eyes snag, and hold. His are green and yellow, with these razor-sharp flecks of brown. I feel like I’ve taken a running leap off a cliff and have no idea how deep the water is.”