This is needed. This is current. This is relevant. This is NEEDED.
Short recap: Justyce McAllister has not had an easy life but he is brilliant. His mom has sacrificed a lot to put him in the best school that will give him the best opportunity to make it far in life. The one problem? Justyce is a black teenager. He is constantly profiled by the police and faces racism on a daily basis. Justyce writes letters to Dr. King Jr as he has started a project – Be more like Martin. Can Justyce do that? Can he be the bigger person when so many people still judge him based completely on the color of his skin?
This debut novel left me speechless. I read it in one day and I wish I could read it again for the first time. DAMN. This was raw, emotional, needed, and masterfully done. Nic Stone is an author that everyone needs to remember because she will do great things, has already done great things.
Reading this book, I felt a wide range of emotions: anger, hatred, disgust, fear, sorrow, and hope. I was screaming, shaking, and sobbing as well. It takes a powerful story to do that and that was exactly what I found between the covers of this book. Stone hit it out of the park. This felt real. I felt as if I was standing right beside Justyce the entire time he was going through everything. I knew there were a lot… a lot of injustices out in the world but this story felt like Stone plucked me out of my cozy suburbia home and put me right in the middle of Justyce’s story. She broke my heart and opened my eyes at the same time. I don’t know a lot of authors that have that much control with their words. Stone must have some hidden magic she isn’t tell anyone about.
I feel she captured the teenage experience, struggle, and daily battles with grace. Justyce was a brilliant teenager trying to get into the best college possible so he can overcome his upbringing. He was fully submerged in his studies and after school activities. He was also surrounded by a wonderful circle of friends. I think that made a big difference. Justyce had a great support group that he could always reach out to for help. Hands down he was my favorite character because he stayed true to himself no matter what.
I feel like I’m tripping over my words here. I don’t want to give too much of the story away but I want everyone to read it. Know that a major life changing event happens that throws Justyce’s world on its head and it will shatter your heart. It will make you scream in anger, cry in sorrow, and weep with hope. Please, add this to your TBR if you have not already. Read this story and come back to tell me your thoughts.