Friday, February 21, 2020

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

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Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds
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From National Book Award finalist and New York Timesbestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions a walk home can take.

This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy—

Talking about boogers.
Stealing pocket change.
Wiping out.
Braving up.
Executing complicated handshakes.
Planning an escape.
Making jokes.
Lotioning up.
Finding comfort.
But mostly, too busy walking home.

Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
I often hear it said that writers are bred, and sure you can breed some decent writers with whatever amount of work it requires, but I think the most gifted writers are born.

Jason Reynolds is the latter. He’s naturally good at writing tales that leave out all the pomp and stance, but are so well written you don't miss it.

His writing is connecting and pulling, so enthralling, every book feels like an experience you walk away from changed.

Look Both Ways is a masterful work of intertwining short stories told from the multiple perspectives of different students all from within the same zone, but at different points. Every story is unique but tightly knit like three-strand braids.

The characters transcend the pages. I felt as though I knew them. Reynolds is a master at telling the stories of Black youth, and he does so with relatable finesse.

Reynolds doesn't shy away from telling these stories in a truly and authentically way. He provides Black youth with stories they can grow up with. They are the stories that get passed on from one generation to the next.

Look Both Ways was no exception from his usual repertoire. The novel will grip you and hold you until the last page. Look Both Ways is stunning, clever, raw, and humorous. It began and ended every chapter on a high note, leaving little room for breathing. Reynolds is a true talent.

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