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MOONRISE by Sarah Crossan is one of her many books that are written in verse. She is well known for her other novels such as THE WEIGHT OF WATER as well as APPLE AND RAIN.

After 10 years of never even speaking to his brother, Joe, the 17-year-old main character of MOONRISE, is finally given the chance to see him once again. The reason he has not seen or spoken to his brother in so long is that his brother, Ed, is on death row for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, a few weeks before his brother’s execution, Joe travels all the way to Texas to spend the little time Ed has left to be with him. He meets many people on the way who teach him how to cope with issues such as these, and how unfair the world is.

"Sarah Crossan has the ability to capture so much feeling in scenes that only last a couple of pages, and that is prominent in the novel."

Books written in verse are some of my favorite books to read because I find them to be beautifully written and heartbreaking. By saying that, it is important to note that I have high expectations for books written in verse, and I also tend to be more critical towards them. MOONRISE didn’t disappoint me; there were so many raw quotes that made the main character authentic and human. I copied down a good couple of verses from the novel that are perfect, but there were so many more that could have been written down as well. The writing has so much emotion punt into it, so much anger, that you can’t help but appreciate it.

Something I also loved in MOONRISE was the way Joe and Ed interacted with each other. Since they haven’t seen each other in 10 years, they, of course, would have a hard time talking to each other. When they finally do meet, it broke me. The relationship between them was agonizing yet beautiful, especially considering what had happened between them. Sarah Crossan has the ability to capture so much feeling in scenes that only last a couple of pages, and that is prominent in the novel.

There was an issue I had with the book that I also have with other many novels written in verse. Throughout the novel, we meet a slew of characters, and I often found myself confused on who was who at a few points. This was, however, only an issue that I had with the first hundred pages since the characters are fleshed out as the novel progresses. There were also some moments where the main character had flashbacks, and I was a bit confused in these scenes as well because there was nothing that let us know the main character was having a flashback. This was also an issue that I had mostly at the beginning because it also became easier to notice over time.

Sarah Crossan’s MOONRISE left me feeling a lot of emotions, most of those emotions being sad, which has become a rarity to me recently. MOONRISE felt like a breath of fresh air; it definitely is a novel different from the rest. This is definitely a novel for fans of books written in verse, or for people who are looking for a read that will break their heart.

Reviewed by Marco M., Teen Board Member on May 9, 2018

by Sarah Crossan

  • Publication Date: May 8, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
  • ISBN-10: 1681193663
  • ISBN-13: 9781681193663