Sunday, August 13, 2017

#ArcAugust BOOK REVIEW : DEAR MARTIN BY NIC STONE (@getnicced @penguinrandom)

Hardcover | $17.99
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers
Oct 17, 2017 | 224 Pages 
| Young Adult  
| ISBN 9781101939499 

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. 

To make things clear, before I go off on my deeper issues, Dear Martin is one of the greatest books that I have ever read. It deserves the highest praise and I recommend people of every age, race, gender, and orientation to read it. I shed many tears in grief and anger and I felt a coldness in my bones at the reality of it all. This was not simply a book to be read, this is a book to FEEL and UNDERSTAND the situations we are still dealing with so many years later. I want to thank Nic Stone for this intense and brutally honest experience.

Now this is my 5th review revision. I finished Dear Martin about two weeks ago but I couldn’t form a review I felt was worthy enough. It is now August 12 and Charlottesville happened. Dear Martin has now taken on a new life for me.

Dear Martin features young high school characters dealing with the fall out of police brutality and racial profiling. There are several classroom debates that take place with majority of classmates being white and arguing about the existence of racism and slavery in this day and age. There is a party where a KKK robe is worn as a “statement” piece and then the N word is uttered rather comfortably. Aftermath is not pretty. Our main character, Justyce, is now torn between his two worlds. The world he grew up in, where stereotypes and violence runs freely, or the life he has made for himself. A life where he has been accepted to Yale and has fallen for someone that his mother won’t approve of. A life where he thought he wouldn’t become a victim.

Just yesterday, white supremacists took to the streets with no shame and in the end people were hurt and lives were lost fighting against everything they represent. We have a “President” who will not condemn their actions because, well, I think we all know why.

In Dear Martin, a life is taken simply out of fear. Their future didn’t matter, their innocence wasn’t a factor. All that mattered was their color and how that can be seen as a weapon.

Have things changed? In some ways, sure. In the full view of things, the situation was just hidden until given the green light once more.


About the Author

Nic Stone is a native of Atlanta and a Spelman College graduate. After working extensively in teen mentoring and living in Israel for a few years, she returned to the United States to write full-time. Dear Martin, her first novel, is loosely based on a series of true events involving the shooting deaths of unarmed African American teenagers. Shaken by the various responses to these incidents—and to the pro-justice movement that sprang up as a result—Stone began the project in an attempt to examine current affairs through the lens of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s teachings.

You can find her fangirling over her husband and sons on Twitter and Instagram at @getnicced or on her website

Learn more about Nic Stone at:
Twitter: @getnicced
Instagram: @getnicced & @booklookz
Goodreads:Dear Martin