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Dear Justyce

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In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system. 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 t In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system. 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.


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In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system. 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 t In the stunning and hard-hitting sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dear Martin, incarcerated teen Quan writes letters to Justyce about his experiences in the American prison system. 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.

30 review for Dear Justyce

  1. 4 out of 5

    Warda

    Gosh, I’m so excited for this. Dear Martin is so good and so underrated. It’s up there with THUG. It’s as relevant and as important.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kai

    I picked up Dear Martin a week ago on a whim and then remembered that I was sent an e-ARC of the sequel so I made quick work of both books. I liked the first one but wasn't overly excited about it but I had higher hopes for this one since it's been a few years since the author published her debut novel and I wanted to see whether her writing had changed much. To be honest, I had almost the exact same problems with Justyce as with Martin. I didn't find the story very engaging or deep. It said what I picked up Dear Martin a week ago on a whim and then remembered that I was sent an e-ARC of the sequel so I made quick work of both books. I liked the first one but wasn't overly excited about it but I had higher hopes for this one since it's been a few years since the author published her debut novel and I wanted to see whether her writing had changed much. To be honest, I had almost the exact same problems with Justyce as with Martin. I didn't find the story very engaging or deep. It said what it wanted to say and it did solid work but that was about it. We don't get to see much of what prison life is like for an unfairly treated Black youth, which after all is where 75% of the book is set. I also questioned the connection Quan had with Justyce at first - I was wondering what the purpose behind their new friendship was except to justify a sequel, but it made more sense later on when we saw more of Justyce and his friends. Anyway, the plot didn't manage to surprise me or excite me but it spoke a clear message of hope. It all seemed pretty straightforward and if anything somewhat too simple. There were two things that really bothered me though: In book one I felt as if the story was fractured and only told in haphazard outtakes of Justyce's life. Here I feel this way about the writing. The author experiments with poetry which didn't work for me at all. I didn't see the point of these randomly intersected lines that just popped up out of nowhere in the middle of some chapters. There were other moments when the author finds alternative ways to write dialogue or speech and I couldn't decide if I found it creative or confusing. The other thing though was that in the very last chapter on one of the very last pages it is revealed that two - not just one, but two - characters happen to be gay. And I'm still mad about it even after a full night's sleep between finishing this book and writing this review. Are gay people just an afterthought? One of these characters already had a central role in the first book but we're only being told he's gay after everything is already said and done? I find that lazy and frustrating. Seems like someone wanted to cross the finish line, only barely remembered that queer people existed and wanted to receive extra points for diversity. When you get the chance to write valuable and important representation that could be really meaningful and empowering for queer teens and especially queer & Black teens, please don't wait for the very last moment to put it on the page. Find more of my books on Instagram

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Kafka | JustReadingJess

    Dear Justyce by Nic Stone is a great YA own voices novel about the American juvenile justice system. Dear Justyce is an excellent sequel to Dear Martin. It can be read as a standalone, but this series is so good I highly recommend reading both. Quan is a teen in juvenile detention for killing a cop. Dear Justyce describes how Quan got there with flashbacks, recent stories, and letters to Justyce (the main character from Dear Martin). No matter what Quan did he was viewed as guilty by everyone incl Dear Justyce by Nic Stone is a great YA own voices novel about the American juvenile justice system. Dear Justyce is an excellent sequel to Dear Martin. It can be read as a standalone, but this series is so good I highly recommend reading both. Quan is a teen in juvenile detention for killing a cop. Dear Justyce describes how Quan got there with flashbacks, recent stories, and letters to Justyce (the main character from Dear Martin). No matter what Quan did he was viewed as guilty by everyone including his mom. I love Nic Stone’s novels. I have read Dear Martin and now Dear Justyce. Both gave me the perspective of black teenagers. Stone’s characters seem so real. None of her characters are all good or all bad. Her style of writing really gets you in the character’s head. You don’t only see what they did, but why they did it. After Quan first entered the juvenile detention system, it started a cycle of being in and out of the system. Quan explains how he belonged to a group and didn’t really feel like he could break out even though he wanted to. Justyce is a high achieving, friend of Quan’s late cousin. Justyce is in college and tries to help set Quan free. The similarities and differences between Quan and Justyce’s stories is so interesting reading this series. In the author’s note, Stone explained her friends asked for a story of a typical black teenager, unlike the high achiever Justyce. I really liked going into the story knowing that and really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend Dear Justyce to fans of Dear Martin, The Hate U Give and Punching the Air.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jenna | JennaStopReading

    When people ask me, “Do you like standalone novels or series more?” I always say standalone. I am not one to read sequels very often. My experience in the past has always been that the sequel pretty much never lives up to the first book. Nic Stone may have just changed my opinion with Dear Justyce. I read this book in one sitting and gave it 5 stars – the 6th book (out of 47) I’ve awarded 5 stars to this year. The book can stand on its own without reading Dear Martin first, but I do think you wil When people ask me, “Do you like standalone novels or series more?” I always say standalone. I am not one to read sequels very often. My experience in the past has always been that the sequel pretty much never lives up to the first book. Nic Stone may have just changed my opinion with Dear Justyce. I read this book in one sitting and gave it 5 stars – the 6th book (out of 47) I’ve awarded 5 stars to this year. The book can stand on its own without reading Dear Martin first, but I do think you will get more out of the story if you read them sequentially. I loved Dear Martin – it opened my eyes to so many things by telling the story of a Black, middle class teenager that just wanted to do things right in life, but still kept getting a raw deal because of the color of his skin. But in Dear Justyce, we get an inside look at what life is like for a Black teen that isn’t given the opportunities that the main character in Dear Martin was given. This book takes place immediately after Dear Martin and brings back some of the same main characters, but it gives us the unique perspective of a kid thrown into the juvenile detention system. The main character, Quan, details his life in jail and describes how differently the outcome is for kids based off the color of their skin. This is a story that needs to be read by all. Adjectives to describe this book (arranged alphabetically): Absorbing Action packed Bold Compelling Emotionally charged Fast-paced Gripping Layered Moving Relevant Suspenseful Thought-provoking Content warnings: Brief description of a panic attack Cancer Death of a stepparent Descriptions of sleep paralysis Gangs Graphic language (R rated, the F word and N word are used) Juvenile imprisonment Parental abandonment Parental arrest/imprisonment Police brutality PTSD Racism Spousal abuse Usage of the N word

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cammie

    Dear Justyce by Nic Stone is a powerful and necessary follow up to Dear Martin, and in this novel, Nic Stone gives voices to those who are too often unheard because of their skin color, poverty, education, lack of support and legal representation. Like Justyce who wrote letters to Martin Luther King, Quan writes letters from jail to Justyce. Through flashbacks and these letters, readers learn about Quan's troubled past--incarcerated father, abusive stepfather, search for "family," unfair treatmen Dear Justyce by Nic Stone is a powerful and necessary follow up to Dear Martin, and in this novel, Nic Stone gives voices to those who are too often unheard because of their skin color, poverty, education, lack of support and legal representation. Like Justyce who wrote letters to Martin Luther King, Quan writes letters from jail to Justyce. Through flashbacks and these letters, readers learn about Quan's troubled past--incarcerated father, abusive stepfather, search for "family," unfair treatment at school--which all leads to the Incident where Quan is arrested for the shooting death of a police officer. Nic Stone is a YA author who is making an impact and everyone should read her work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    megs_bookrack

    Anyone else have 65,000 books releasing in the next two months that you CANNOT wait to read!? I am so excited for this one. The world needs more Justyce! Anyone else have 65,000 books releasing in the next two months that you CANNOT wait to read!? I am so excited for this one. The world needs more Justyce!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lou Baillache

    In this sequel to Dear Martin, incarcerated Quan writes letters to Justyce and through these and a series of flashbacks to his childhood, his story unravels. He talks about his dad being dragged away by the police when he was young, the domestic abuse his mother experiences from his new stepfather, struggling financially growing up and his experiences in the American Prison system. Even though Quan was determined not to end up in prison like his father certain life events and struggles forced him In this sequel to Dear Martin, incarcerated Quan writes letters to Justyce and through these and a series of flashbacks to his childhood, his story unravels. He talks about his dad being dragged away by the police when he was young, the domestic abuse his mother experiences from his new stepfather, struggling financially growing up and his experiences in the American Prison system. Even though Quan was determined not to end up in prison like his father certain life events and struggles forced him to steal and get mixed up with the wrong people. He joined the Black Jihad because they were a new ‘family’ who supported him and offered him protection. 5 months into working for them he was detained for a crime that he didn’t commit. Quan is persuaded to enter a not guilty plea for the death of a police officer by Justyce. From a troubled childhood and bad timing to a coerced confession and prejudiced police work, Stones new novel takes a look at the flawed practices and ideologies that discriminate against African American boys and minorities in the American Prison System. I absolutely loved this book. It gives the perspective of a black teen that isn’t given the opportunities in life that enables them to succeed (such as in Justyce’s case). It was incredibly emotionally charged and gripping and I couldn’t put it down! A very powerful and fast-paced read that really makes you think about the consequences of systemic racism especially in educational institutions and how support is needed in cases like this. Despite Quan doing everything in his power to succeed in life he was set to fail because that’s the way the system is set up. If you read this, I recommend that you read the Authors Notes. Although this particular story is fictional, the school to prison is very much a real thing. “Many children have stories like Quan’s: an incarcerated parent, deeply traumatic home lives, and limited resources for survival, let along situational improvement.” The only things that are fictional in this book is the support that Quan is able to receive.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jay Coles

    Y'all already know. Nic does it again. Just wow.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Marsh

    Such a powerful and breathtaking book! Nic Stone really did it again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Sligh

    Nic Stone does it again. The raw, real, heartbreaking story of Dear Justyce is a must read for everyone. (Not just middle grade, everyone). Let me preface this and say I am a white passing person, so I have not and most likely never have to deal with any of the injustices and blatant racism Quan faces. I will never fully understand or can act like I do. What I can do is understand how realistic this story is and continue to educate myself and family in order for stories like Quan’s to be only a Nic Stone does it again. The raw, real, heartbreaking story of Dear Justyce is a must read for everyone. (Not just middle grade, everyone). Let me preface this and say I am a white passing person, so I have not and most likely never have to deal with any of the injustices and blatant racism Quan faces. I will never fully understand or can act like I do. What I can do is understand how realistic this story is and continue to educate myself and family in order for stories like Quan’s to be only a work of fiction in the future. Stone truly captures Quan for what he is: a child. As he writes Justyce, he talks about Lemony Snicket and writes about his life in an adolescent way. It really dragged me back to reality that this is a child incarcerated, not a grown adult. A child awaiting trial for over 2 years, with no trial date, wasting away in the system that is quick to arrest, slow to convict, even with a lack of evidence. I’ve always said I loved when different mediums are used to tell the story. Dear Justyce is told though flashbacks and also letters to Justyce. The letters are a perfect way to fill in the gaps while not losing the beauty of storytelling. I don’t want to give away too much. Just know. Buy this, pick this up. Read it. Know it. Get pissed off and do something about it. Also, remember: Not everyone has resources and power in their corner. Not everyone gets the happy ending they deserve when society has failed them in the first place. This was simply written on such a difficult topic that I commend Stone for writing another book that makes the reader truly sit back and think after the last page has turned. Thank you NetGalley, Get Underlined, & Random House Children’s for my gifted copy. This is out September 29th.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    I'm pretty bummed that COVID happened the same year Nic Stone was supposed to visit my school. It would have been a perfect time for my students to read this book and hear this voice. So since "Dear Martin" was on the summer reading list for some of them this year, I am making it a point to recommend this book to all of my classes in lieu of her visit. "Dear Justyce" takes place a few months following the events of the first book, and while it's not entirely necessary to have read "Dear Martin", I'm pretty bummed that COVID happened the same year Nic Stone was supposed to visit my school. It would have been a perfect time for my students to read this book and hear this voice. So since "Dear Martin" was on the summer reading list for some of them this year, I am making it a point to recommend this book to all of my classes in lieu of her visit. "Dear Justyce" takes place a few months following the events of the first book, and while it's not entirely necessary to have read "Dear Martin", some of the same characters make an appearance. In book one, the story is told through letters to MLK from a Black teenager trying to make sense of a world that doesn't appreciate people who look like him. Justyce has to navigate the privileged White world of his school life with the culture and community of his home life. In a similar way, "Dear Justyce" focuses on Quan, a character who is in no way privileged and no matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to get ahead. Quan's character is a reflection of the real lives of too many kids of color in America, dealing with systemic racism and the impact that has on their lives. Stone touches upon big issues of poverty, trauma, domestic abuse, as well as drug and gang violence. But most importantly, she shows how kids who are faced with these hurdles are deeply traumatized and are set up to fail because they likely have few good role models to show them the way. Luckily for Quan, he has his best friend, Justyce, there to help him, as well as a whole slew of therapists, lawyers, friends, and teachers. But as Stone writes in the author's note, "the most fictional part is the support Quan receives." Not only is this book important for people who need to be educated about these social issues and the impact they can have on the young people in this country, but it is important to see characters who represent all walks of life. Although Black, Justyce comes from a place of privilege, which for many young readers may not be the reality. Quan's life will be relatable for some readers, and seeing him deal with and overcome hardships will be empowering and hopeful for those who need it. I especially appreciated that Stone discussed how trauma can happen simply from living in poverty or experiencing racism, that one does not need to suffer abuse to have something deeply and negatively impact one's life. I think too often, young readers believe that if their life isn't as bad as someone else's that there is no justification to feel a certain way. And, of course, Stone destigmatizes seeking professional help for dealing with this trauma, which is a message many young (and old) people need to hear. Overall I think what stands out in this book is the themes and representation. But the story itself is well written, fast paced, and engaging. There were a few plot points that seemed unnecessary and one character that didn't feel wholly developed for me, but besides that I found the book enjoyable. I would highly recommend this for young adults, and will happily place this alongside "Dear Martin" in my classroom library.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    This book was hard to read and also hard to put down. The follow up to Dear Martin, Nic did a great job of revealing Quan’s world and how he tried to break free from a cycle of unstable family relationships and financial insecurity; only to get caught up in gang violence. Narrative is told largely through letters Quan writes while incarcerated, to his childhood friend, Justyce, who is attending Yale. Points out the injustice and racial bias of the court system while trying to detail the circumst This book was hard to read and also hard to put down. The follow up to Dear Martin, Nic did a great job of revealing Quan’s world and how he tried to break free from a cycle of unstable family relationships and financial insecurity; only to get caught up in gang violence. Narrative is told largely through letters Quan writes while incarcerated, to his childhood friend, Justyce, who is attending Yale. Points out the injustice and racial bias of the court system while trying to detail the circumstances that gave Quan few choices to escape his tragic reality.The last two chapters are incredibly hopeful.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, Crown Books for Young Readers, and Nic Stone for the opportunity to read Dear Justyce in exchange for an honest review. Dear Martin follows Justyce in his pursuit of equal rights as he writes letters to Martin Luther King that help him express what is going on in his life and the way African-Americans are still being treated. Dear Justyce is the sequel to Dear Martin and follows the story of Quan, a young African-American boy who just seems to be in Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Children's, Crown Books for Young Readers, and Nic Stone for the opportunity to read Dear Justyce in exchange for an honest review. Dear Martin follows Justyce in his pursuit of equal rights as he writes letters to Martin Luther King that help him express what is going on in his life and the way African-Americans are still being treated. Dear Justyce is the sequel to Dear Martin and follows the story of Quan, a young African-American boy who just seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Quan met Justyce when he was a child, making his escape to the local playground rocket ship on nights when he just couldn't be at home. His family was not exactly ideal after his father's arrest. Justyce so happened to find solitude in the same rocket ship, and the boys soon became friends. Quan is very bright, but society doesn't exactly have faith in him. He's Black, so he must be a cheater, a liar, and a thief. When a long-term substitute accuses Quan of cheating on a math test in middle school, a test he studied and studied and studied for, the rest of his life seems to spiral downhill as people lose faith in him, and as he loses faith in other people. Getting mixed up in the wrong crowd brings Quan to be wrongfully arrested and to serve time for a crime he didn't commit. The majority of the story is told while Quan is in jail, reflecting through snapshots and flashbacks the events that lead up to that point. Another aspect of the story is told in letters as Quan writes about his experiences and past to his friend Justyce, who happens to be attending law school. Justyce clearly sees the INjustice of the whole scenario and begins his own plan to help Quan out. This book shows just how unjust the system can be to people of color and how racial stereotypes can affect a person's assumptions and actions for the worst. Nic Stone has a nice blurb on her research in the back of the book. While this book is fiction, it represents real scenarios that young people of color may face in today's world, more often than not. This is a beautiful book that really feels raw and real. Books like Dear Martin and Dear Justyce should be taught in schools to demonstrate just how warped the judicial system can be, and to help young people eradicate bias and racial stereotypes.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Hilary

    Dear Justyce is a very quick read and not as poignant for me as Dear Martin. I was generous in my rating only because I think books about the incarcerated youth of our country are necessary to have in circulation. I know kids like Quan. I know families he comes from, because I am from one. I could relate to the protagonist on a personal level. Now, I did have a few qualms about the book’s format and the dialogue between the characters. I did not like the deviation from story telling to pieced tog Dear Justyce is a very quick read and not as poignant for me as Dear Martin. I was generous in my rating only because I think books about the incarcerated youth of our country are necessary to have in circulation. I know kids like Quan. I know families he comes from, because I am from one. I could relate to the protagonist on a personal level. Now, I did have a few qualms about the book’s format and the dialogue between the characters. I did not like the deviation from story telling to pieced together stanzas to represent Quan’s thoughts. It felt out of place, and I had to force myself to regain interest in what I was reading. If an author is going to use a Jason Reynolds (who I love) type poetry style, it needs to be consistent. Also, the dialogue was clunky and even sometimes felt inauthentic. I say this because I could easily anticipate each of the character’s responses. If readers can write the dialogue in their heads as they read, it’s time to up the ante. Really, I would’ve liked more unseen subtext. I’ll come back for Nic Stone’s overall storytelling capabilities. She is a very much needed voice in the YA genre.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    I need to own every edition of this beautifully gutting book. Nic Stone is a legend.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meghan

    What a moving and powerful story! At times it was hard to read because this is a "fictional" story about things that happen all the time. It was so eye opening and I'm thankful for all Nic taught me through Quan and Justyce!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    4.5 stars rounded up! After finishing Dear Martin, I honestly didn't know if a sequel was necessary because I thought Justyce's story was essential done. However, Nic tossed us one heck of a curveball by giving us Dear Justyce, which mainly follows the story of Quan. I honestly can't even compare the two stories because Justyce and Quan are like apples in oranges. What I will say is that Justyce's story is one that reminds me of my own. It's the poor Black child who is able to find opportunities 4.5 stars rounded up! After finishing Dear Martin, I honestly didn't know if a sequel was necessary because I thought Justyce's story was essential done. However, Nic tossed us one heck of a curveball by giving us Dear Justyce, which mainly follows the story of Quan. I honestly can't even compare the two stories because Justyce and Quan are like apples in oranges. What I will say is that Justyce's story is one that reminds me of my own. It's the poor Black child who is able to find opportunities and escape from life in the hood. Quan's story reminds me of the kids that I grew up with who were trapped and discarded by society. Dear Justyce was more painful to read because I was made painfully aware of my own biases and prejudices. I made a lot of assumptions about Quan's character based off of the snapshots that we got in Dear Martin, but watching Quan's character change and evolve was incredible. By the end, I just wanted to hold him tight and never let him go. This book was honestly just incredible, and it is one that should be a must read for everyone. Thank you to Crown Books for Young Readers for providing a review copy through NetGalley. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Traci at The Stacks

    I liked this book and thought it was a great way to present incarcerated youth as full and complex people. The story was a little sweet for my taste and a little too clean. If you've never thought about juvenile incarceration this might be a nice place to start, especially if you're a young reader (as the book is YA) or you are uncomfortable with harsh realities.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pernille Ripp

    So I’m going to try to put into words how I feel about this book, but I’m not sure if I can properly do this book justice… Nic Stone shoves us into present reality, forces us to think about the systems where kids despite doing everything in their power to follow the crazy rules and structures we have set up for success, still fail because the system continues to remove everything that kept them going. And not always by design but sometimes just by happenstance because that’s how cruel the circum So I’m going to try to put into words how I feel about this book, but I’m not sure if I can properly do this book justice… Nic Stone shoves us into present reality, forces us to think about the systems where kids despite doing everything in their power to follow the crazy rules and structures we have set up for success, still fail because the system continues to remove everything that kept them going. And not always by design but sometimes just by happenstance because that’s how cruel the circumstantial racism can be; that kids who need us more than ever are dismissed and discarded without a thought. And then when a child fails because of our efforts, we turn around to discuss how we always knew they would. I am wrecked by this book and the truths that it continually confronts us with that was never hidden but we, White people, often refuse to see. Dear Justyce is a book that should spur us all into further action for all of the kids whose ending will not be okay without us. Who shouldn’t have to rely on a system that doesn’t see their excellence. One of the best books I have read in years. Preorder now for its October release. #pernillerecommends

  20. 5 out of 5

    Katja (Life and Other Disasters)

    *I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!* CW: racial profiling, police brutality, incarceration, domestic abuse, mention of sleep paralysis, anxiety and depression I have been a huge fan of Nic Stone’s novel Dear Martin and while I didn’t expect for there to be a sequel (or companion novel?), I was excited to get the chance to revisit these characters. However, this book isn’t as much about Justyce as it is about Quan, a boy with a very differen *I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!* CW: racial profiling, police brutality, incarceration, domestic abuse, mention of sleep paralysis, anxiety and depression I have been a huge fan of Nic Stone’s novel Dear Martin and while I didn’t expect for there to be a sequel (or companion novel?), I was excited to get the chance to revisit these characters. However, this book isn’t as much about Justyce as it is about Quan, a boy with a very different life. Right from the beginning, the author explains why she decided to write this book. As much as Dear Martin had quite the impact, the more readers Nic Stone met, the more she realized that a lot of people don’t get the same chances and opportunities as Justyce. There are people who feel trapped with a label that got stuck on them early on and like there is no escape from a future as a delinquent. People who are often at the wrong place and the wrong time and have no one in their corner. And they, too, deserve for their stories to be told and will hopefully see themselves in Quan’s experience. Reminiscent of the format in the first book, we still have a bit of a mixed media style going on (letters, prose, etc.) and I found that specific writing style very engaging. It keeps the story flowing at a nice pace, without every getting confusing with timelines and so on. Often, I am drawn to stories where characters need to find their family, their people, because for whatever reason their home life isn’t it. There might be a lack of support or an abusive environment the character will try to escape, but I rarely considered that finding a family – because you so desperately want someone to look out for you – can also end in a bad way. Quan makes some stupid choices, but once you hear how he went from one bad situation to another and at some point you are just done, you can’t help but feel for him and root for him. I was so happy to see that he had people in his corner, that truly only had his best interest at heart, even when he didn’t think he deserved them going to bat for him. I appreciated Nic Stone’s letter to the reader and author’s note so much. She really put a lot into this book and I like that the she acknowledged how much of it is fiction and how Quan’s case would have probably ended differently in real life. But a lot of the story is about how we need to belief in people and let the know that we do, how it creates hope and a mindset that there can be a difference – that’s why I am glad the book ended the way it did! I think it will help create more open minds and hearts as well, as we all can believe and support the people around us! Dear Justyce is just as raw and real as its predecessor and can easily stand on its own. It easily shows how different experiences can be, but how far a little support can go. I hope that it will encourage people to reach out to those who struggle and prevent things from escalating the way they did for Quan. Fazit: 5/5 stars! I think I liked this better than Dear Martin (not that they are really in competition though).

  21. 5 out of 5

    Fabulous Book Fiend

    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 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erica Bundy

    This is Stone’s best book yet!! A super gritty read, this books lifts the voices of kids who REALLY try to make good decisions, but everything is stacked against them. Immerse yourself in the world of the school to prison pipeline, systemic racism, our (in)justice system, domestic violence, and gang culture. Quan started out like Justyce, but no one was in his corner. He looked for family and understanding, finding it in the Black Jihad gang, and then finding himself trapped in juvenile detentio This is Stone’s best book yet!! A super gritty read, this books lifts the voices of kids who REALLY try to make good decisions, but everything is stacked against them. Immerse yourself in the world of the school to prison pipeline, systemic racism, our (in)justice system, domestic violence, and gang culture. Quan started out like Justyce, but no one was in his corner. He looked for family and understanding, finding it in the Black Jihad gang, and then finding himself trapped in juvenile detention, possibly for life. Find yourself rooting for Quan, when maybe you never thought you would...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jake

    Better than “Dear Martin?” Possibly. I don’t have the wits about to me write a coherent review after just finishing this book, but I can’t wait for my mom to read it so we can share thoughts. Highly recommended.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sara (A Gingerly Review)

    Not sure I can give this anything less than five stars. Stone has done it again (as if there was any doubt). I'm still in awe and speechless about what I read. Frtc

  25. 4 out of 5

    Theresa

    A powerful follow-up to Dear Martin. I’d give it more stars if I could. Pair with Just Mercy and give to everyone you know to read!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josh Stumpenhorst

    Dear Martin was such a powerful book, I wasn't sure how Stone could follow it up. Well, she did. This is such a great book that is both heart breaking and uplifting at the same time. One that should be read, shared, and reread.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Clara

    I reread Dear Martin right before reading this, and when I realized that this book was about Quan, I was so excited! Justyce's story was one perspective on racism in the criminal justice system; Quan's is an entirely new one. After reading this, I want to go back and reread Dear Martin again with this new background in mind! This book is divided into two parts: the first covers Quan's childhood through the event that puts him in jail. The second is more what you might expect from a "true" sequel, I reread Dear Martin right before reading this, and when I realized that this book was about Quan, I was so excited! Justyce's story was one perspective on racism in the criminal justice system; Quan's is an entirely new one. After reading this, I want to go back and reread Dear Martin again with this new background in mind! This book is divided into two parts: the first covers Quan's childhood through the event that puts him in jail. The second is more what you might expect from a "true" sequel, in that it picks up after the events of the first book. I enjoyed the second half more than the first - since you already know what's coming in the first half, it doesn't carry quite the same narrative gravity. However, I totally understand the importance of the first half, and I really value that look into Quan's early life. Quan's story stands apart enough from Justyce's that it can be read by those who haven't read Dear Martin (but if you haven't read that book, why not? Get on it). I think it's going to be eye-opening to many people; it certainly was to me. I'm very excited for it to be released so I can recommend it to people! CW: murder, racism, police brutality, gang violence, gun violence, domestic abuse, cancer, death of minor characters, panic attacks, mention of drug overdose I recieved an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Incredible. I'm blown away, again. I wish I could give this Book 50 stars, 5 doesn't seem high enough. Dear Justyce is the follow up book to Dear Martin, and If you haven't read Dear Martin yet... what are you waiting for?! You need to read both of these books asap. Dear Justyce follows the story of Quan who was featured briefly in Dear Martin. He was cousins with Justyce's best friend, Manny. He had a completely different upbringing from Manny, and through a series of unfortunate events (Quans fa Incredible. I'm blown away, again. I wish I could give this Book 50 stars, 5 doesn't seem high enough. Dear Justyce is the follow up book to Dear Martin, and If you haven't read Dear Martin yet... what are you waiting for?! You need to read both of these books asap. Dear Justyce follows the story of Quan who was featured briefly in Dear Martin. He was cousins with Justyce's best friend, Manny. He had a completely different upbringing from Manny, and through a series of unfortunate events (Quans favourite book series, he would appreciate that shoutout) ends up being arrested and sent to prison. Quan starts writing letters to Justyce from prison, and describes what happened and how his life turned out the way it did. You get to see his childhood and everything that spiralled out of control for him. In the form of letters and flashbacks. Justyce starts to give Quan hope when he needs it the most. This book is such an important read and like Dear Martin continues to tackle racism, prejudice and injustices. You will feel so many things throughout this book, but the main thing I felt was anger. Things need to change. The story in this book is reality for so many, and sadly not everyone gets a loving family, great education and a happy ending. Honestly cannot reccomend this Book enough. *Thank you to Nic, Netgalley and The publishers for my earc in exchange for an honest review.*

  29. 4 out of 5

    Roxanne

    Emotional, powerful, draining and uplifting. This is the follow up to Nic Stone’s incredible debut, Dear Martin. And it doesn’t disappoint. She doesn’t shy from extremely important discussions of anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues that plague marginalized black youth in America, particularly those that have witnessed and/or been subjected to violence and other traumas. And I truly love stories of deep, meaningful friendships that this book’s foundation is built upon. Last and very min Emotional, powerful, draining and uplifting. This is the follow up to Nic Stone’s incredible debut, Dear Martin. And it doesn’t disappoint. She doesn’t shy from extremely important discussions of anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues that plague marginalized black youth in America, particularly those that have witnessed and/or been subjected to violence and other traumas. And I truly love stories of deep, meaningful friendships that this book’s foundation is built upon. Last and very minor to the overall story, I found myself both surprised and delighted by the redemption arc she included for a supporting character. I despised this character in the first novel but his story arc was handled expertly in this book and I found myself willing to forgive (but NOT forget). We don’t see this often anymore in YA books and it’s left a void. People can change. People can do the work to become better versions of themselves. This is a real thing that gets forgotten in today’s cancel culture and it was refreshing to read a contemporary novel that reminds us of the possibility, showing us that sometimes giving a person a second chance is worth it.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Savanna (savbeebooks)

    This is the sequel to Dear Martin. Dear Martin was a tremendous book. I was so engaged and really fell in love with the characters. Dear Justyce is a similar type of book, but this one focuses more on the judicial system and about a young black man in the American prison system. This is a very powerful book about Quan, who is in jail for being accused of shooting a police officer. The chapters go back and forth between flashbacks of his life growing up and writing letters to Justyce. I will say This is the sequel to Dear Martin. Dear Martin was a tremendous book. I was so engaged and really fell in love with the characters. Dear Justyce is a similar type of book, but this one focuses more on the judicial system and about a young black man in the American prison system. This is a very powerful book about Quan, who is in jail for being accused of shooting a police officer. The chapters go back and forth between flashbacks of his life growing up and writing letters to Justyce. I will say that I would not recommend the audio of this - the one reason is that the voice who narrates has a very deep voice (which the voice itself I like) however while driving and when the voice got really low, I couldn't hear it very well. I would say reading this one would be better. Also, this is a standalone and the first one is not required to be read before this one. I will say I enjoyed Dear Martin more!

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