Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Genres: YA Contemporary
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.
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.
Dear Martin completely blew me away.
It’s been about a month since I’ve read Dear Martin (yes, I’m behind on my reviews again, shhh) and there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t thought about it. About the events that took place in the book, about the characters, about the amazing way the book was written and how I wish this wasn’t a debut book and that Nic Stone had already written 20 other books that I could marathon read right now.
The thing about the characters in this book are that they completely come to life. Well, not literally, of course, -that would be terrifying,- but usually whenever I read a book I will stop thinking about the characters once I close the book. Maybe I’ll think of them when someone else mentions them, or when I see the book on my shelf. But with this book it was different. The characters really stayed with me. So much so that I sometimes think about what they’re up to now. Like they’re real people.
This kind of makes sense because Nic Stone managed to make the characters seem so real. She made everything seem so incredibly real. From the dialogue to the setting, everything was so incredibly perfect. You know how sometimes you’re reading a book and a character says something, and you just know that no one would ever say that in real life? Well, this book didn’t have that. At all. And it was great.
The book is only a little over 200 pages, and the way the author managed to tell such a complete story in so little pages is incredible. The whole book is incredible, and it really packs a punch. The way it deals with such difficult topics like racism, police brutality, racial profiling is so powerful, and I just know that it’ll stay with me for a very very long time.
Needless to say, I think this book should be required reading, and I will be reading every single thing Nic Stone writes in the future. From short stories to 700-page books; I’ll read it. Because, in my opinion, Dear Martin is for sure one of the best books of 2017.
Tw: violence, sudden death of character.