Disclaimer & Bottom Line: I am kind of partial to Please Ignore Vera Dietz, so I had really high hopes for this novel. While, not exactly what I expected, I was not disappointed either.
Lucky Linderman's name is pretty ironic, considering how likely he is to get beat up by the bully, ignored by his parents, and looked down upon by school administrators. He would really much rather just fly below the radar by everyone, but manages to get too much attention from all the wrong people who either (a) want to do him harm, or (b) "help" him. Actually, Lucky would rather be sleeping.
Lucky is a freshman in high school, so life sucks to begin with, but what makes it worse is that Nader constantly has it out for him -- like in the corner of the school's locker room and at the community pool -- and Lucky feels too weak to protect himself. He stopped telling teachers or his parents about the bullying back in elementary school once he realized that nothing would ever be done about it. His dad is too distracted by his grief for a Vietnam War POW/MIA father he never got to meet, and his mom is too busy swimming laps and running from her own problems. So Lucky finds solace in his dreams (where he finds himself to be bigger, stronger, and smarter than he ever feels in real life) and in his mission (to rescue his missing, presumed-dead grandfather).
Ultimately, he's going to have to figure out a way to save himself.
Reviewed by kate the librarian.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
1 day ago