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Moonrise by Sarah Crossan - Review

Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Where did I get it? My mother in law bought it off my wishlist for me at Christmas. I don't know why she chose it out of loads of others, but I'm glad she did! 

What's it about? It's told in verse the same way Sarah's other books are, a medium that I'm really getting into. It's about Joe and his family. At the beginning of the book Joe is seven and his older brother Ed has taken off, and they get a call from Texas to say he's been arrested for murdering a cop. Ten years later, we join Joe who is now seventeen and who is heading down to Texas for the last weeks of his brother's life, as Ed is on death row. 

Joe finds himself an apartment and kind of a job, and visits the prison to see the brother he barely knows and can hardly remember. 

Through the poems we see the very last weeks of Ed's life and the appeals by his lawyer and learn about Joe's family and Ed's place in it. 

I loved this, I think telling stories through free verse of such varying lengths is a fantastic way of getting your point across in really poignant ways. I liked Joe as a character and I liked the glimpses of Ed that we got. 

What age range is it for? 15+, I think, because of the nature of the story

Are any main characters LGBTQ+? No 

Are any main characters people of colour? No 

Are any main characters disabled either mentally or physically? No

Is there any sex stuff? Yes, and it's lovely, I loved the way it was described. 

Are drugs mentioned or used? Yes, it is somewhat graphic 

Is there any talk of death? Obviously. I thought there was a lot to unpack about being sentenced to death. 

Are there swear words? Maybe a few? Not many for sure 

What criticisms do I have? Almost none - as always I just want more of these stories, I wanted the ins and outs, but I understand that's not the nature of novels told through poetry. I liked Joe a lot and I liked the little life he carved out for himself in Texas. 

Would I recommend the book? Absolutely. 

Why did I choose to read it at this point in life? You know, I don't know. I was just considering my next read and remembered this, so I found it on the shelf. I messaged my mother in law to tell her I was reading it and she seemed quite intrigued that it was written in poetry so maybe I'll lend it to her. 

What other books is it like? It's like Sarah's other books too I think. 

How many stars? Four out of five

Where is the book going now? Like I say, maybe I'll lend it to my partner's mum! 


I took this photo while reading on my front lawn!

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