Tuesday 29 September 2020

Review: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

The stunning sequel to the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Martin. Incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American juvenile justice systemPerfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Angie Thomas.

In the highly anticipated sequel to her New York Times bestseller, Nic Stone delivers an unflinching look into the flawed practices and silenced voices in the American juvenile justice system.

Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, though, Justyce walks the illustrious halls of Yale University . . . and Quan sits behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center.

Through a series of flashbacks, vignettes, and letters to Justyce--the protagonist of Dear Martin--Quan's story takes form. Troubles at home and misunderstandings at school give rise to police encounters and tough decisions. But then there's a dead cop and a weapon with Quan's prints on it. What leads a bright kid down a road to a murder charge? Not even Quan is sure.

Review: Wow this book was so powerful but just like Dear Martin it left me incredibly sad. This novel has an authors note both at the beginning and at the end and they really add to the power of the message and the story within. 

I really loved the way this book links with Dear Martin, that these two characters are from the same neighborhood and that neighborhood still has the same issues uncovered in Dear Martin. This book also really highlights through the narrative and also through Nic Stone's choices the importance of support. Support within your community and having someone who believes in you. So much of the pain these young people have gone through could be so easily avoided and yet because of he way society has been and is today, they are almost unavoidable. 

One of the things I also really loved about Quan's story is that he highlights the power of a supportive teacher and someone at school who believes in him. As a teacher this really warmed my heart and helped to reinforce my ideas around the power of what happens within the school building. I think my being a teacher is one of the reasons this book felt so sad so much of the time for me. There are some wonderfully funny moments between Quan and his friends and he never really looses his sense of humour throughout the novel but I was so sad the way things so quickly declined for him and the reasons behind so many of the choices that he made. 

This book can be painful to read sometimes and feels so close to home I struggled to believe it was fiction in points but it is an important read and it does give us a sense of hope as well as that affirmation of the importance of having someone in your corner who believes in you. 

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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