Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack
I went into this book with no knowledge other than it was set in America and it discussed racial issues, so when I reached the middle of the book and Justyce and Manny were shot it came as a complete and utter shock to me. Of course if I had read the blurb this wouldn’t have been such a shock, but I am so glad that I didn’t. Sometimes it’s so much nicer to go into a book and not read the synopsis.
Trying to write a review for this book is proving difficult. I was left speechless after finishing the last page. I finished it at about 3am (I just could not put it down!) and I laid in bed afterwards just staring at the wall thinking about how stunning this book is.
Throughout the novel, Justyce writes letters to Martin Luther King and these were a really nice touch to the story as it showed the desperation, the loss of hope and the regaining of hope. Seeing him struggle with trying to stick to King’s teachings and living the way King lived his life made me feel even more for Justyce.
The book had my heart crying all the way through. The racial discussions throughout the book weren’t just a piece of fiction and knowing that this is still a major issue in the US (and worldwide) was heartbreaking. This should not be still happening and yet it is. I felt so much for Justyce and seeing him struggle so much in what the next step of action would be was infuriating at some points but yet totally understandable. A teenage boy is going to struggle; he is not going to know where to go for guidance if law enforcers aren’t giving him support.
To sum it up: I felt a lot of heartbreak.
It is an eyeopening book. It was a memorable book. I’m going to be talking about this one for a long time. If you’re a fan of The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, you will definitely be a fan of this book.