Book Review: Long Division by Kiese Laymon

Long DivisionLong Division by Kiese Laymon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a book is really good, I’m excited to get to the end to see what happens, but when a book is great, I’m most anticipating reading it again in the future.

In Long Division, Citoyen ‘City’ Coldson is a wave brush-toting, slick-talking high schooler, growing up in present day Mississippi. After getting into a bit of trouble at school, City somehow finds himself reading a book titled Long Division, in which the main character is also a teenager named ‘City,’ in 1984.

I absolutely loved this book, from the first page, and I don’t think I’ve audibly laughed from a single book so many times in my life. It’s told 1st person, from City’s point of view, and he’s hilarious in thought and voice. He’s kinda wordy, which may turn some people off, but it makes his sentences seem oddly balanced, to me, as if at a certain word in the sentence, there’s a pivot, and the second half drops. I doubt that I’m expressing that clearly, and it probably doesn’t make much sense, but just know that it’s a good thing. Another thing, I especially appreciated, is that this book doesn’t get caught up in the magic of it’s fantasy elements, and doesn’t make that the story. It’s less important why or how these things are happening, but that it’s happening and how it affects the characters, that makes this book special. Long Division touches on everything from, love, to hate, from sexuality, to racism, and responsibility, but is only ever really about one of them. Give it a read, seriously.

This is one of those books that I know I’m going to read at least a few more times in my life. I picked up my copy at the library, but I know I’m going to buy it. All things considered, it’s the least I can do…

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