They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Cos people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.
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 …
From one-time winner and two-time Carnegie Medal shortlisted author Sarah Crossan, this poignant, stirring, huge-hearted novel asks big questions. What value do you place on life? What can you forgive? And just how do you say goodbye?
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia for providing a review copy of the book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s no secret that I love Sarah Crossan’s books and Moonrise was definitely no exception. It might actually be my favourite of all of Sarah Crossan’s books. It involved such a hard-hitting topic and the way that Sarah Crossan’s writing made me feel has definitely skyrocketed the book into one of my top five favourite books of the year so far. In fact, it affected me so much that I couldn’t bring myself to write a review until now.
This novel is about 18-year-old Joe whose family has been torn apart since his older brother, Ed, was arrested 10 years ago. Joe hasn’t seen Ed since he was arrested but now finds himself moving alone to Texas after Ed’s execution date was set. While staying in a filthy apartment and trying to work to keep himself alive, Joe finds himself visiting and spending time with Ed, all the while wondering whether Ed is innocent or guilty… and whether he can live knowing the answer. It’s a story about family, loss, and life and death, and Sarah Crossan definitely does all of these themes justice with her story. I thought the topic was handled brilliantly and the importance of having conversations about issues like these really came through. I loved how raw and emotional the novel was and how much it made me feel. I definitely had a big ugly cry fest at the end of it but the story was just that good.
I loved all of the characters in the book and how they were all flawed in some way. There is Joe who may be too forgiving, according to some of the other characters in the book, but is also willing to do whatever it takes to have a roof over his head and food in his belly. There’s Ed, who Joe remembers to be a warm and loving brother, but may have committed a crime worthy of the life penalty. There’s Aunt Karen who may have given up on Ed too soon. All of these characters added something to the story, no matter how badly you wanted to hate them or love them. And there’s really nothing I love more than when every character is integral to the story.
‘Be happy,’ Ed says.
‘It’s your duty to me, man.’
As always, the verse poetry as beautiful and added to the emotion of the novel. There were so many poems that I absolutely loved and wanted to share with everyone who would listen to me. Every page that you flip to contains a wonderfully quotable poem. Sarah Crossan’s writing is just so impactful and beautiful to read and I cannot wait for her next release.