This is the story of Will, a young black boy whose brother is murdered. He decides to follow the “rule” that has been passed down through their neighborhood: Get Even.
Will takes the gun from his brother’s dresser, puts it in the back of his pants, and heads to the elevator to go an enact his revenge on the person who he knows killed his brother. While in the elevator, a new person enters it on each floor. The thing is, all of these people are victims of gun violence in their community and are connected to Will in some way. Their goal is to talk Will out of perpetuating the cycle of violence, to put down the gun and step away.
This story takes place in sixty seconds and in those sixty seconds Will’s life is changed. And so was mine. I listened to this as an audiobook and since it was so short, I read it very quickly. It’s told in verse and the flow of the writing really adds to the experience. Jason Reynolds does a fantastic job of immediately connecting you to Will and each character as they are introduced. You understand their hurt, their pain, their regret, and you hope that Will listens to them and takes what they have to say to heart. Since it’s so short, I don’t want to give anything away, but I really think you should pick this up. It’s such a fast read that there’s no reason not to in my opinion. Let me know if you’ve read this and what you think!