In “Dear Justyce,” LaQuan Banks and Justyce McAllister grew up in Atlanta together. Years later, Justyce roams the halls of Yale University while Quan is behind bars at the Fulton Regional Youth Detention Center. LaQuan writes to Justyce about his experiences in the juvenile justice system, his troubles at home, and misunderstandings at school that lead to police encounters and tough decisions. This book is a relatable masterpiece that should be read by anyone who is going through similar problems.
In the plot, Quan and his friends are confronted by a couple of police officers and taunted. One of his friends pulls out a gun and shoots one of the police officers. Quan is to blame for the murder because he dropped his gun at the scene. Quan is interrogated and pressured into saying he shot the officer, but he doesn’t budge, which leads him to getting thrown into a cell. His friends had a heated argument about the conflict that took place that sent him to the detention center. They know he did not shoot, but they will not tell anyone who did. Through a series of letters back and forth from Justyce and Quan, Quan gives little hints to Justyce. Quan cannot say too much because it will put his case in jeopardy but Justyce understands the subliminal messages.
The character development in the story is very important due to the strong emotional connections it creates people who are in similar situations as the characters. LaQuan explains the struggles in his life, leading to being arrested for a murder of a cop he knows he never commited, and he later comes face to face with his feelings and how to cope with them. Meanwhile, Justyce has to balance the struggles of the outside world while Quan is sitting in juvenile detention. For example, getting pulled over by police, school, and the basic problems of being a young black man in America. LaQuan and Justyce have similar experiences but are in different situations which makes this story ironic.
The main ideas of the story are love, betrayal, and forgiveness in an emotional atmosphere. Quan struggled with love for anybody as a child because of the mental and physical problems he had to deal with living with his mother. His mother was never there for him when he needed her the most, so he roams the world detached. Quan has been betrayed by his brotherhood and his organization and has been sent to jail for their actions. However Quan isn’t not so guilty, he had a gun on him and most likely knew the consequences if anything horrible was to take place. Quan later in the story has to learn how to forgive and come face to face with his problems as a man.
The character development in this story is very touching and is easily relatable to anyone in a similar situation. The plot plays a big part in the story and makes the book very special in it’s own way. With the important themes of love, betrayal, motherhood, and forgiveness, this story can have a major impact on life today. This book is a masterpiece and should be read by everyone going through similar struggles. This book receives 5 out of 5 and can be bought on Amazon or at nearby booksellers.