Nic Stone is an author I’ve made sure to keep up with over the years. Surprised by the sequel announcement of Dear Justyce, reading Stone’s author note was perfect. Dear Justyce is about the power of belief. The impact it can make for someone to truly see you. Keep reading this book review to find out my thoughts on this recent sequel.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: panic attacks, anxiety, domestic abuse
Dear Justyce is a powerful and emotional sequel. Listening to the audio book only enriched the experience because you can feel the emotions of the narrator so acutely. Overall, Dear Justyce is a book about the power of having someone believe you. To see you for the person you are, not what they expect, not what they media describes you as. Because when people see us for exactly what they want to see, treat us with prejudice, these decisions change someone’s life forever.
Told in letters, memories, and the present, this book questions how much our actions change. Sometimes it feels like we are put on a path that feels inevitable. Like we were always going to end up here. But people can alter this course. Keep us on this path, or show us the possibility of another. How much can we influence our own future? Stone presents a complex look at desperation, community, and loyalty. Dear Justyce is an emotional story about second chances and belief. About cycles of violence and prejudice, hope and loyalty.