Title: Dear Martin
Author: Nic Stone
Publisher: Crown BFYR
Release Date: October 17, 2017
“Last night changed me. I don’t wanna walk around all pissed off and looking for problems, but I know I can’t continue to pretend nothing’s wrong.”
I have wanted to read this book for MONTHS and I am incredibly happy to say that Dear Martin did not disappoint. We follow Justyce McAllister, who’s left his rough neighborhood behind in pursuit of Ivy League dreams. After experiencing a tragedy, Justyce turns to the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. hoping for answers in how to respond.
Things I Liked
I really loved seeing this book highlight microaggressions and controlling images that directly affect the lives of black Americans, and how those assumptions are used systemically to disadvantage black people, especially in the Justice System.
Justyce was such a great MC. He was so easy to connect with and follow in his journey. It was really nice to see Justyce examine racism in such a personal way. He’s done all the “right stuff” to not seem thug-ish, and he’s still typecast as a troublemaker. We really see him explore how racism and masculinity intersect to create stereotypes and expectations.
I love Manny. He’s such a good friend and I really like how he and Justyce each explore their own personal experiences with racism and responding to it.
I actually thought the romance was sweet and cute. While not what this story is about AT ALL, the romance didn’t detract from the larger story or feel out of place.
Things I Didn’t Like
I would have loved for this to be longer! I felt like because the book was so short and focused, there were a few times I wanted to stay in a scene longer and really take a minuted to settle and think but there really wasn’t time.
This was such a great character-focused story, which I always love. While this was such a quick read, it really packs a punch emotionally and it will definitely resonate. There is such hope in this story and a yearning more what can be, that it’s impossible to not be inspired. Dear Martin is a gem of a book, and you should definitely pick it up.
Trigger warning for racism
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