Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Joe hasn’t seen his brother  for ten years, and it’s for the most brutal of reasons: Ed is on death row. But now Ed’s execution date has been set, and Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with him, no matter what other people think.

I received this copy from the publishers for an honest review. 

This is the third Sarah Crossan book I have read and they just keep getting better and better. I am not a massive fan of poetry (particularly free verse poetry) but Sarah Crossan’s writing style is just perfect! Her writing resembles that of a famous puerto rican poet that I adore. Each chapter has the power to be read as its own individual poem, yet the whole novel comes together to form one very impressive, thought-provoking tale. Through the medium of verse, Crossan is able to tell her story in far less words than a conventional novel but, in doing so, never fails to lose any detail or emotion.

Moonrise is told from the perspective of Joe whose older brother, Ed, is on death row for killing a policeman. But did Ed commit the crime he is accused of and will Joe be able to save him? The story moves back and forth between the past and present, as Joe experiences flashbacks to a time before Ed was arrested. Acting as more of a father figure than a brother, Ed was the one who got Joe up in the morning; packed his lunch; attended his parents evening, and it is this strong relationship between the two boys that makes the present day circumstances all the more poignant. Just how do you say goodbye?

Moonrise is a subtle criticism of the American legal system and capital punishment, perfectly pitched at its young adult audience. Yet more than this, it is a cleverly-written exploration of life, death, family and forgiveness and the life-changing effects on those that are left behind.

This is a book to be read in one sitting that will leave you thinking about it for weeks.

Rating: 5/5


Death Row is a place for broken people

just like Tom Hanks

They can’t be fixed,

warped out of shape

by the cracks and splinters inside them.

And what else can you do with stuff that’s broken

except throw it in the trash?



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