‘They think I hurt someone.
But I didn’t. You hear?
Coz people are gonna be telling you
all kinds of lies.
I need you to know the truth.’
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 (a million times) to Bloomsbury Australia for sending me a copy of MOONRISE for review!
In February this year, I read WE COME APART which Sarah Crossan co-wrote with Brian Conaghan and I loved it. It’s written in prose and reads almost like poetry, which is a different structure to anything I’ve read before, but I loved it. So when Bloomsbury sent me MOONRISE, I knew I was going to love it.
And… spoiler… I did!
I don’t even know how I’m going to talk about this book because I have so many thoughts and I just loved it so much. So I’m going to try and list the things I loved about it because I feel like that’s the only way that this review is going to make sense. Oh, and there isn’t a list of things I didn’t like because this book was so incredible that there isn’t anything I didn’t like.
Like I said before, it’s written in prose and is so beautiful to read. Each chapter reads like a poem, and I love poetry! Some chapters really could be poems; they’re so short and elicit so many emotions and feelings. It takes a few chapters to get used to, but once you do, it’s incredible. I would love to write a book written in this format one day.
The story line is incredibly heartbreaking and nothing like I thought it was going to be. Joe’s brother has been in jail for ten years from a crime he claims he didn’t commit, and Joe hasn’t seen him since. Ed is on death row and his execution date has been set, so MOONRISE is the story leading up to this date as he tries to save his brother. There are also flashbacks to when Joe and Ed and their family were younger, before he went to jail, and this was a great way to find out more about Ed and see how much Joe has changed since he was a kid.
Joe and Ed haven’t seen each other in ten years, so it was also really beautiful to read about them rekindling their relationship and seeing how they connect. Obviously it’s different to before, and they have their ups and downs, it was lovely to read about a sibling relationship. Joe also meets a girl when he moves to be closer to Ed (I can’t remember her name… whoops!), but I thought this was a great side story and definitely added to the main story line (with a massive plot twist!).
And the ending! I cried! It’s such an emotional story and the sad thing is that it happens in real life and it really made me think and wonder how many innocent people are in jail, leaving the guilty ones to run free. I’ve been in a reading slump for the last couple months, but I read this book in one sitting. It was beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. I highly recommend reading it as it is such an eye opening book.
*** About half way through I began tabbing my favourite lines and quotes from the book. I’ll put them below:
“We aren’t the worst things we did or the worst things that happened to us. We’re other stuff too.”
“Time’s measured in moments.”
“Apparently. We can survive without anything but love.”
“WHAT CAN WE FORGIVE? Anything. If that’s what we choose.”
“HOPE. It’s hope that’ll kill you.”
“I don’t know. Run. Escape if you have to. If that’s the only way to live. And if someone tries to stop you, you tell them you can’t save anyone’s life but your own.”
Thanks for reading this review. If you’ve read MOONRISE, let me know your thoughts in the comments below. And if you haven’t read it… then do!