Book Review: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone

September 2, 2020 in Young Adult
AD • I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. For more information, please read my Disclosure.


Guys, I am so excited to be sharing this post! If you’ve been here a while, you might remember that I read Dear Martin by Nic Stone a few months back. I absolutely loved it and have championed it as one of my favourite book of the year so far. But I think that it might actually have some competition because I recently got to read the follow up, Dear Justyce, and oh my goodness. It is equally fantastic! So without further ado, I am going to share my book review of Dear Justyce by Nic Stone!

Side note: Although it works as a standalone story, I highly recommend reading Dear Martin first if you haven’t already. There are a lot of references and cameos… And it’s basically just one big spoiler alert if you want to read Dear Martin in the future. So yeah, read that first then Dear Justyce.

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster Children’s UK and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Dear Justyce
by Nic Stone

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone - Book Review

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s UK
Date of Publication: 
6th October 2020
Genre: 
YA Contemporary
Format: 
eBook (288 pages)
Rating: 
★★★★★

Content & Trigger Warnings

Domestic abuse, PTSD, attempted suicide, racism, gun violence, inequality in the justice system, mental health, panic attacks, poverty, classism, references to drugs, murder

 

Summary

Dear Justyce is the story of an incarcerated black teen, Vernell LaQuan Banks Jr. (aka Quan) who is writing to his childhood friend, Justyce, from prison. Until the end of part one, we have no idea why he’s in prison which makes it a super compelling read. We’re shown various snapshots of Quan’s life that essentially lead up to his arrest alongside the letters to Justyce in the same style as Dear Martin. For Justyce fans, there’s also a big arc in part two where we see him using his privilege to help Quan.

 

My Review

Because I loved Dear Martin so much, I had very high expectations for this and I’m pleased to report that it exceeded all of them. It’s a very different story to Dear Martin but an equally important one. Quan is a fantastic main character, I absolutely adored him and was rooting for him throughout the book.

What I loved most about Dear Justyce is how character driven it is. You really get to connect with Quan on a deeper level. We see what he goes through and how he becomes more disconnected over time because he doesn’t have a support system. So when we see him connecting with people, even Martel’s gang, you really get to see first-hand how important those relationships are to him. I think character development was done so beautifully throughout. And again, I loved Quan as a main character so much.

If you’re looking for a light and fluffy read, this isn’t it. There are a lot of heavy themes going on. You’ve got domestic violence, mental health, classism and of course the big one: inequality and systemic racism within the legal system. This is a big area for discussion and I can see both books in this series being great resources for educators teaching about racism and inequality.


Highlights

  • Underdog protagonist
  • Mental health representation (anxiety, panic attacks and PTSD)
  • Complex family dynamics
  • All the emotions!


Read this if you…

  • Enjoyed Dear Martin by Nic Stone
  • Love YA Contemporaries with strong social themes


Favourite Quote

“I guess I didn’t realize just how big of a difference it could make to have somebody really believe in you.”

So there you have it, my review of Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. It’s out next month but you can pre-order it from all good bookshops. And again, I strongly recommend checking out Dear Martin if you haven’t already. Both books are just incredible and well worth the read.

Will you be picking up a copy of Dear Justyce? Let me know in the comments below!

32 Comments

  • Lisa Marie Alioto September 2, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    It sounds like an interesting book and esp. relevant right now. I’m in!

    • Hayley September 2, 2020 at 3:31 pm

      Thank you so much Lisa, I hope you enjoy it!

  • Jenny in Neverland September 2, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Thank you so much for this fab review! I absolutely love the sound of this and it’s going straight on my to-read list. Sounds like it covers a lot of very important and prevalent themes right now, which I think we all need to read a bit more of.

    • Hayley September 2, 2020 at 3:36 pm

      Thanks Jenny, you’re so right! I think we could all do with widening our perspectives – whether fictional or not. 🙂

  • Lucy September 2, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    I really like the sound of this book, it sounds like you really enjoyed it and I may pick up a copy too! x

    Lucy | lucymary.co.uk

    • Hayley September 2, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      Thanks Lucy, I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Kelly Diane September 3, 2020 at 10:49 am

    These sounds like a great book to read. I love that it features so many different topics within the book.

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Kelly, it is a great book! 🙂

  • Fadima Mooneira September 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    Sounds like a cool book to read. The cover looks cool too. Thank you for sharing your review with me.

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Thank you Fadima! 🙂

  • lifestyleseason September 3, 2020 at 3:42 pm

    Great post! This sounds like an amazing book! Thank you for this review!

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      Thank you, it really is an amazing book! 🙂

  • That Happy Reader September 3, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Great review! This is not my genre, but it sounds like a great book!

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      Thank you! 🙂

  • Claire September 3, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    This is a brilliant review. Your excitement throughout was infectious x

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Thanks so much Claire, that means a lot as it was a fantastic book!

  • Jaya Avendel September 3, 2020 at 9:19 pm

    I love books that push us to see darker things in our society and find that often a story helps drive people to change. I will be picking up a copy of this book, along with Dear Martin, and look forward to enjoying a story that unfolds.

    • Hayley September 4, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks Jaya, I really hope you enjoy them both! 🙂

  • Heather September 4, 2020 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing your review Hayley, especially with all that’s going on in the world just now, this book sounds like a must read.

    • Hayley September 7, 2020 at 10:31 am

      I completely agree Heather! 🙂

  • ShootingStarsMag September 4, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    Great review – I really like how you set it all up!

    I still need to read Dear Martin, but it’s on my list, so I’m glad to hear this was just as good.

    -Lauren

    • Hayley September 7, 2020 at 10:36 am

      Thank you so much Lauren! I hope you enjoy both books as much as I did. 🙂

  • Reads and Ramblings September 4, 2020 at 5:51 pm

    I am so keen to read this series!!! All the different representations are so important and I keep hearing more and more amazing things. This review is so good and i love how clear it is about how you felt especially with the highlights!!! Xxx

    • Hayley September 7, 2020 at 10:47 am

      Thank you so much! It is a great series, I honestly can’t recommend it highly enough. 🙂

  • Theeuphoriczat September 4, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    I have not read dear martin yet. I might try that one first before preordering this one. But i have heard only great things about Nic Stone

    • Hayley September 7, 2020 at 10:52 am

      Oh for sure, I definitely recommend checking out Dear Martin first! Hope you enjoy it. 🙂

  • Sue Berk Koch September 4, 2020 at 10:46 pm

    Great review. I’ll check out Dear Martin first. Thanks.

    • Hayley September 7, 2020 at 10:55 am

      Thanks Sue, hope you enjoy it!

  • Stephanie @ Bookfever September 14, 2020 at 1:15 pm

    Definitely sounds like a heavy read, like you said but absolutely a very important book. And I love that it seems to be a character driven book. I love those!

    • Hayley September 16, 2020 at 10:34 am

      Definitely very character driven but not the slow burn kind? A lot happens very quickly. 🙂

  • […] Genre: Young AdultSource: ARCMy Rating: ★★★★★REVIEW: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone […]

  • […] REVIEW: Dear Justyce by Nic Stone (AD) […]

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