Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Publisher: Crown Books
Genre: young adult contemporary
My Rating: ★★★★☆
This review is short and spoiler-free.
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.
[ This synopsis is from Goodreads. ]
I really liked this book. Compared to the other novels that I normally read, it was fairly short. It’s only a little over 200 pages, and it makes for a quick but powerful read. On the flip side, I found that the story felt rushed in some places.
I’m glad that this book was written because it covers something that needs to be talked about. Justyce’s story, although fictional in this book, is very similar to what is happening today in America. It brings air to some of the issues that people want to believe aren’t there anymore since it’s the 21st century and segregation and discrimination are technically illegal. I like how Nic Stone pulled views from both sides of the argument and played with them in her book.
Also, seeing an interracial couple in this story made me realize that I haven’t seen too many them in YA. I can only list a handful of YA couples that are not the same race, and it makes me wonder if interracial relationships are not common in YA or not common in the books I read. It might be because I read a lot of fantasy novels, and the characters live in worlds that are not present-day Earth. Since they aren’t on Earth, that might mean that they don’t have the same concepts as race as we do. Regardless, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to see more interracial couples in YA literature in the future.
Overall, this is a powerful read. I highly recommend it to everyone who wants something to read but doesn’t have a lot of time. It’s straight to the point and doesn’t beat around the bush on anything. It covers many issues regarding race and how its viewed in America.
The dude never gets a break, does he?
Emmanuel “Manny” Rivers
He seems like the extroverted person who’s friends with literally everyone.
Sarah-Jane “SJ” Friedman
Every time I saw the name “SJ,” all I could think about is Spider-Man’s girlfriend, MJ.
Dr. “Doc” Dray
He’s the cool teacher that everyone loves. I’m glad that Justyce has him to guide him when needed.
I give Dear Martin by Nic Stone 4 out of 5 unicorn horns.
Until next time….