I wouldn’t have believed it, but this read even surpassed Dear Martin for me and I think that was somewhat to do with the continuation and connection to these characters spinning on from book one. Jus was his epic self but he was a side character in Quan’s story.
Nic Stone wrote realistically, painfully so, transmitting all the feelings and hurt. Quan who I didn’t like all that much in Dear Martin, carved a special place in my heart. Being able to see the world through his perspective, his narrative and reflections, truly was something; something profound.
The journey, the bad decisions that often seemed like the only decisions, the injustices, were all falling off the page. If you like a read with impact, this is it. There were so many lines that touched me, kicked me in the gut and spat me out.
But he was telling me how growing up, he was this real good kid until some stuff happened in his family. So he went looking for a new family. Like a lot of us do.
Nic Stone has that ability to touch me and teach me without preaching to me. This duo of books is on my required reading list now and I have a feeling I will revisit myself and definitely continue to rec the socks off these books.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster UK for the review copy.
Flaws of characters centre-stage? It's complicated
Dear Justyce is the unexpected sequel to the best selling book Dear Martin. In the foreword, Nic Stone talks about how she never expected to write this book until she had the realisation that she felt she couldn't potray one side of the black experience without looking at the other.
Quan almost feels destined to be on the wrong path from surrounding factors and I found him such an easy character to love. I adored his letters to Justyce at the end of every chapter and how Justyce almost became a sort of father figure to him.
The hard part was knowing that, while this story is fiction, Quan's experiences of being roped into gangs and ended up in jail for periods of time, failed by the system are happening in the real world every day. Nic Stone did a fantastic job of showcasing that and I think a big part is the time she took into talking to actual youths in Quan's situation.
I think this may be one of my favourite reads of 2020.
Graphic: Gun violence and Drug use
Moderate: Domestic abuse, Emotional abuse, and Racism
I mean....perfection. A phenomenal companion/follow up to Dear Martin, and such an important story to tell. I’m consistently blown away by Nic Stone’s ability to get me so invested in characters in such a short amount of time. The story is short in terms of the number of pages, but the emotional impact is there right from the first page. I would honestly love to read a million stories in this verse - Dasia, Gabe, his father, Martel, Tre...just so many amazing characters with so much depth to them. All the stars!!