Author: Sarah Crossan
Genre: Poetry, Contemporary, YA, Verse
Publication Date: September 7th 2017
Summary: 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 …
For a long time now Sarah Crossan has been one of my auto buy authors, so whilst at YALC i was lucky enough to find this ARC right as i walked in on my first day. I grabbed myself a copy and i knew it would be the first thing i’d read after YALC. I was right.
Before grabbing the ARC i knew very little of what this book was about. I was aware Sarah was releasing a new novel, however knew little of the premise. It took me until Sarah’s panel with Brian Conaghan to find out a little more about it. Here’s a little bit about it:
Ed is sentenced to death after killing a police office. His brother Joe travels to Texas to visit him in his final month to have questions answered. They both didn’t have a particularly good upbringing, but Joe is skeptical that his brother committed the crime he was to be killed for. After a long time apart, their relationship is strained and they have to find a way of communicating with each other to get to know each other again. It’s very heavily based upon relationships and who you should and shouldn’t trust.
Sarah explained all this in her panel and said that it is in fact based upon a real family who went through something similar with their family member on death row. She wanted to tell the story of the family, not just the person that this was happening to. I really loved the fact that we got a back story to something that’s not covered very often in the press (not in the UK at least) and it is something i’m very interested and opinionated in.
The relationship between the siblings in this novel was very believable and i’m so glad Sarah didn’t write it all being perfect. Coming from the family they did, it helped to have flashback to Joe as a young boy to see what his relationship with Ed was back then. It made the reader trust Ed a lot more.
One thing that i didn’t particularly enjoy about Moonrise was the addition of Nell, a young girl who Joe meets whilst in Texas. I felt there very little point to the relationship (except to introduce another character, i won’t say much more on this), and to me, her character felt very ‘John Green-ish’ and i didn’t connect with her. It is useful to see Joe cling on to another person who is not a family member whilst he’s in this traumatic position though.
I’ve never read any books that are based around death row and the trials and tribulations of constantly finding loopholes, i found this interesting and i’d be excited to see if i can find anymore with this topic. I think the verse layout that Sarah is famous for really helped the story to flow well and add just the right amount of emotion in to it. To me, whilst reading it felt very clinical, and i feel like that worked quite well for the story being told. It was dry and often quite emotionless as Joe doesn’t express his feelings very often. For this i think Joe is one of my favourite Sarah Crossan characters.
Without a doubt you should pick up this novel when it is released. It’s interesting with wonderful characters who are (over anything else) believable. I cannot wait to re-read it and pick out my favourite poems from Moonrise.