Sarah Crossan’s Moonrise is a thoughtful, emotional read

MoonriseMOONRISE, by Sarah Crossan, Bloomsbury YA, May 8, 2018, Hardcover, $17.99 (young adult)

Timing is everything. There are times when you come across a book that you know is good, but you just can’t read it. Moonrise, by Sarah Crossan, is one such book for me.

Seventeen-year-old Joe hasn’t seen his brother in ten years. Ed didn’t walk out on the family, not exactly. It’s something more brutal.

Ed’s locked up — on death row.

Now his execution date has been set, and the clock is ticking. Joe is determined to spend those last weeks with his brother, no matter what other people think … and no matter whether Ed committed the crime. But did he? And does it matter, in the end? —Synopsis provided by Bloomsbury YA

I began reading Moonrise, and was immediately drawn in, but the subject matter was so heavy, I couldn’t read much. Again, I think it’s timing. I’m writing this review on a couch in my mother’s hospital room. She’s going down for multiple arterial stents in a few minutes. She’s been sick for a while, with things ramping up to a weeklong hospital stay preceding this procedure.

I started reading Moonrise when all of my mother’s medical issues started coming to a head, and I think the book was just too much. It’s definitely a book I hope to revisit in the future, but since I’m not sure when, I wanted to share what other people have said about it.

“This exquisitely well-balanced novel-in-verse is painful to read yet almost impossible to put down. … A must-purchase for collections serving thoughtful older teens.” —Eileen Makoff, Starred review for School Library Journal March 2018 issue.

“This is a brutally emotional novel in verse that explores the complexity of the American justice system, the death penalty, and the irreparable toll taken on the families of loved ones who are in the penal system. The characters in this story are all white, but issues of race and class are lightly touched upon—particularly the severity of punishment for individuals accused of killing white law enforcement officers. Crossan’s (We Come Apart, 2017, etc.) eloquent usage of language in this deeply affecting novel puts readers right at the heart of a very sensitive and timely story.” Kirkus Review

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About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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