Dear Martin - Nic Stone

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction

Image result for dear martinBlurb (on back of book): 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.


This was a FOUR AND A HALF STAR book.

Lemme tell you why.

This book is another one of those stories that deal with racial injustice, police violence, and stereotypical situations. It was a really short but really POWERFUL read, full of truth and honesty and tears. I read it in an hour, I believe, but I found it eyeopening and almost beautiful, in a sense, though the events that happened were tragic and horrible but also sickeningly real.

I recently read The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and it's definitely my favorite book of all time. And not because I can exactly completely relate to the characters, but because it shows me of all the things that some other people may have to deal with, despite the fact that it's unjust, cruel, and horrifying.

This book went along the same guidelines, being an eye-opening novel about the hardships that some people face because of the color of their skin and those who believe that color is everything and the shade of your skin is how they perceive you as a person. Honestly, it's disgusting to realize that there are people in this world who believe that someone is a bad person because of the color of their skin. SURE, maybe one person may have done something over the line, but one person does NOT define an entire race of people. One in a million.

However, there were some things about this book that didn't strike me as a SIX star book like The Hate U Give did.

In my opinion, and I'm just one judge, there was something... off about this book. I think it's because--and I hate to say it--I'm comparing it to The Hate U Give, which, as some of you know, was a much longer book that had a bigger impact on ME, personally. I'm sorry for doing such a thing as comparing one book to an entirely different one along the same topic, but it's hard not to. And anyone who's read both has to agree or at least partially agree with me: the other book was on my mind somewhere in the way wee back.

And to me, this book just wasn't as impactful. And maybe because it's shorter, maybe because it's more abrupt and blunt, but this book just wasn't AS powerful as The Hate U Give. But putting that aside, I DID love this book through and through and it's definitely something that I will reread sometime in the near future.

This book starts with a boy named Justyce going to "rescue" his very drunk ex-girlfriend from driving intoxicated and preventing an accident. However, the police officer who catches him and puts him in handcuffs doesn't see it that way. He thought Justyce was trying to "pick up a white girl" and he won't let him go until hours and hours later.

This beginning was definitely a virulent opening because there was so much potential coming from it, though it was something dangerous to say to begin with. I really liked this intro to this book and it was already enlightening and honest.

The book also reminded me Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, because it involved a lot of shootings because someone was getting back on someone else, etc. I don't know if that was just my intuition but in my mind, the people were getting killed because of some ulterior motive of revenge.

As the book progresses, we see a lot of events that spur on Justyce to "be like Martin". He starts to write letters to Martin Luther King Jr. because MLK was important and Justyce is striving to be like him. However, those letters to me didn't really make as big of an impact as I thought it would, seeing as the title of the book is Dear Martin. However, they DID help me to understand Justyce's thoughts thoroughly which was extremely helpful to me.

Sarah-Jane is now one of my favorite characters. Her thoughts and brain pathways were amazing and the way she voiced those thoughts was powerful and something that we needed to have.

I'm going to cut this review short because it's late and I'm technically supposed to be studying so...

I would recommend this book to fans of The Hate U Give. I would also recommend it to people who are looking for a book that will change their view of life and help them see things from a certain person's point of view.

Remember, everyone in the world has a brain and a heart and a soul, and though some people may stray away, you cannot let ONE person define who YOU or anyone else is. Be kind and spread that kindness. WE ARE ALL EQUAL.

Main Character: Justyce
Sidekick(s): Manny, SJ, etc
Villain(s): Racism, SOME police officers specifically in this book, etc
Realistic Fiction Elements: All of this, sadly, is very real to life.