In the stunning sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, bestselling author Nic Stone unflinchingly explores the impact of racism and inequality on young Black lives.
Vernell LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up a block apart in the Southwest Atlanta neighborhood of Wynwood Heights. Years later, 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 and letters to Justyce, 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…
Dear Justyce is the second book by the author that focuses on one of the characters that we meet in Dear Martin. Whilst it didn’t have quite the same impact on me as the previous novel, it’s still a good read.
I loved Dear Martin and getting to know Justyce and what life is like for a young black man. It was great that we get to kind of catch up with him in this one when Quan, the cousin of Justyce’s dead best friend, writes to him from the prison facility he is in. Justyce is now at college and he is keen to keep up to date with how Quan is doing.
The story alters between snap shots, letters to Justyce in present day as well as seeing what life was like for Quan growing up in the past. I think this is a stark reminder of how life isn’t always about making choices. Quan’s home life and background all shape the person that he becomes. It would be too easy to stereo type Quan. This novel gives us the bigger picture of how that person gets to be where they are today. He certainly isn’t perfect but he is a genuinely nice guy where circumstance has put him on the path he is on.
Dear Justyce is yet another read that has true meaning and a deeper value behind it. It opened my eyes and will definitely have me being more open minded and not taking everything at face value. It also offers values of true friendship and believing in someone. A thought provoking read.