Reviews for Dear Justyce, by Nic Stone

esmathteacher's review

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dark emotional informative reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

livinglifewithlinds's review

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emotional inspiring reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.0

elfygirl45's review

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dark hopeful informative inspiring sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

5.0

akthackray's review

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challenging emotional hopeful informative medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

hlauritsen's review

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challenging emotional hopeful sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

bayleekc's review against another edition

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emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

booksthatburn's review

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reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0

DEAR JUSTYCE follows Quan from DEAR MARTIN as he tells his friend Justyce about his life before he was incarcerated during the previous book. Told in a combination of flashbacks and letters to Justyce, this is a contemplation of the past with a chance at having a future. 

There’s so much care in this story, it’s evident in every page. In terms of narrative structure, it begins with the MC in prison, waiting for the outcome of his case but not hoping for much. It traces how he got there, how the turning points never felt like choices because of the system stacked against him as a Black boy then a Black teenager, then a young Black man. It's not trying to be a litany of traumas or disasters, the framing is that most of the sudden traumas were a long time ago, and that distance helps a bit. He's slowly gaining the tools to place his life in context and see how the pieces fit together, while also keeping tabs on the present. 

Now for the sequel check. The whole point of this story us to wrap up some thing left hanging from the previous book, namely: what happened to Quan after the events of DEAR MARTIN. There are several storylines which start in this book and were not present previously. Technically a bunch of the stuff that is resolved in this book was started in the first one, but this is definitely its own story within the series. I don’t know if there will be any more in this series, it looks like the first one was intended to be a stand-alone book, and this features someone who was a secondary character there. If this is the end of the series, it feels pretty complete, but there are definitely a lot of good candidates for another story if the author continues the series. Quan’s voice here is distinct from Justyce’s narration in the first book. This would definitely make sense if someone started with this book and hadn’t read the first one. 

Some of the secondary characters don’t get very much narrative attention here, but given that Quan literally isn’t able to spend any time with most of them, it would be more surprising if they had a lot of space on the page. As it stands, the snippets were enough to remind me of who they were from DEAR MARTIN if they were returning characters, and it was nice to see most of them again. The author is really good at making characters distinct and vibrant with minimal description, and that shone here. 

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whatifitsbooks's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

 I listened to the audiobook of Dear Martin by Nic Stone years ago, so my memory was foggy. But thankfully you don't need to have read it at all to understand what's going on here. Dear Justyce functions as its own story, which is good because everyone should read it.

Because it doesn't just tell a story, but the truth as well. It shows what happened to the black kids without a supportive system that believes in them, how society turns them into what they fear they would turn out in the end by treating them like shit and lesser than others. Quan's story may be fictional but there's many more like it out there in the real world.

I've also mentioned this before, but I really do hope that the typography was, in fact, intended and not caused by me screwing up the converting process of my ebook, because this really added to Quan's voice and the story as a whole. Every line break felt like a gut punch and I absolutely loved that. 

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sheryl_reads's review against another edition

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challenging dark emotional inspiring reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Dear Justyce is a sequel to Dear Martin and follows the story of Quan, an incarcerated teen, through his letters to Justyce.  We hear about Quan’s family, how he became involved in criminal activity and the effect all of this has on his life, both before and after being imprisoned. 

I read Dear Justyce in one day (I did the same with Dear Martin) - couldn’t put it down as I wanted to know what happened to Quan! The story is engaging, the characters are very well written - they jump off the page and feel very real.  There’s humour along with horrific injustices. Within the first 50 or so pages, Dear Justyce had made me tear up and laugh out loud. 

Nic Stone writes hard hitting critiques of American society, but in a way that is never preachy and has great stories and characters at their heart. I loved Dear Martin and Dear Justyce is just as brilliant! 

It was a 5 ⭐️ read for me! And I’d say go read both Dear Martin and Dear Justyce! Justyce does refer back to events in Martin, so it’s worth reading it first. 

I’ll be checking out Nic Stone’s other books too - can’t wait to read more from this amazing author! 😍

erinaskelley's review

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challenging emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0