Review: Dear Justyce (Dear Martin #2)
Title: Dear Justyce
Author: Nic Stone
Published: 29 September 2020
Format: Hardback, Library Book
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“Shortly after teenager Quan enters a not guilty plea for the shooting death of a police officer, he is placed in a holding cell to await trial. Through a series of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, the protagonist of Dear Martin, Quan’s story unravels.
From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Nic Stone’s newest novel takes an unflinching look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American justice system.”
Nic Stone is at it again with another hard-hitting, beautifully written story that dives deep into the American Juvenile Justice System, its’ many flaws – especially in regards to Black youth, and the appeal of gangs to young people who feel as if the world has given up on them. Readers will feel Stone’s passion through her writing. I don’t know if any readers will not be able to reflect on how we treat juvenile’s in our justice system (in the United States, especially), and how we make these young people feel completely alone and unworthy of help.
I absolutely love and appreciate Stone’s ability to write from the perspective of a teenager. As with Dear Martin, it feels as though you are in the head of a Justyce, but this time it is Quan, who is serving a sentence for a crime he did not commit, but feels powerless because of his past record and lack of support. Her writing packs a punch that will leave readers reflecting on everything for days.
I highly recommend this book to everyone, and I think teenagers will especially enjoy reading it because it is quick, the writing is straight forward, and Quan is a really interesting character to follow. He is flawed, cares deeply, and wants to do better for himself and those who believe in him. While reading Dear Martin I was unsure of Quan and his motives, but I found myself cheering for him and wishing he had the same opportunities Justyce had while reading Dear Justyce. There are many young people like Quan – with little support at home, family issues, lack of support at school, etc…. There are so many factors that might lead a young person to join a gang. Stone does a wonderful job of reminding readers of this. The issue is much more complex than the media makes it out to be.
Have you read Dear Justyce? What did you think? You don’t have to read Dear Martin first to understand what is going on in this story, but I really do recommend reading the books together! 🙂