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.
Click here to find a Black owned bookstore to preorder Dear Justyce! Current publishing date is set for September 29, 2020!
Adjectives to describe this book (arranged alphabetically):
Brief description of a panic attack
Death of a stepparent
Descriptions of sleep paralysis
Graphic language (R rated, the F word and N word are used)
Usage of the N word