#CBCA: Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Moonrise book review

What is this about?: This is the story of Joe, coming to see his brother Ed on Death Row as his execution day grows ever closer. How do you come to terms with that? Can you come to terms with that?

What else is this about?: Family and grief, and all the things that makes us who we are.

Blurb: ‘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?

Moonrise is without a doubt heartbreaking, emotional and an ambitious undertaking – telling this tale in verse. The problem, for me at least, is that as much as a verse novel brings something different to a story like this, there is far too much lacking in this format for me to definitely say I enjoyed this story.

For me, writing a book in verse affords an author a chance to be stark, brutal even, in a way writing a book in full prose doesn’t. That is something I truly appreciate, for Crossan made me think entirely differently about situations in the book, sometimes in the span of a handful of lines.

Read the rest of my review here


  • I can see why a romance would bother you, in this I wouldn’t see why it would be something needed. The story of coming to grips with what was going on with his brother would be enough. Sounds emotional though.

    • Verushka says:

      It was very much an emotional read because the author built such a beautiful, complex but angsty family dynamic that made me so sad as I continued reading. That was the beauty of the book, not so much the romance. Boo.

  • Lily says:

    there is romance in this book? wait, what? why? It doesn’t seem like the type of book that needs it ;/ sorry this did not live up to your expectations, I heard a few people really loved it and that the writing like you said is lovely.

    • Verushka says:

      That was exactly what I said when I hit the romance. It was jarring, because so much of it is beautifully focused on the family and the brothers and their relationships, that the romance made me scratch my head.

  • I’m a huge fan of Sarah Crossan – I loved One – so I’m glad to hear this is just as emotional and poignant as her other books. It’s interesting to see what you noticed about the verse style and how it left a lot unsaid despite how beautiful the writing was. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous review! <3

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