BWW Review: DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone
DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone has been getting a lot of buzz since before its debut and hit the New York Times Best Sellers List at #4 upon launch. The book has been blurbed by Jason Reynolds (ALL-AMERICAN BOYS) and Angie Thomas (THE HATE YOU GIVE), two authors who have also written searing novels that expose the injustice in the lives of many teenagers, and whose books DEAR MARTIN will proudly sit next to on the shelf.
Justyce McAllister is a good kid and a great student. When helping his ex-girlfriend into the car after a night of too much drinking to get her home safely, he's profiled by cops and handcuffed. The experience shakes him, and he starts writing letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he searches for answers and examines what is going on around him. When a second run-in with the cops leads to tragedy, his life will never be the same again.
Nic Stone is a fantastic new voice that needs to be heard, and her debut novel explores so many levels of what is wrong in today's society. This doesn't predominantly focus on one thing, but also explores the thoughts of peers in both a classroom and homelife setting. It explores hot button issues such as police brutality, but also looks at everyday micro-transgressions such as ill-thought costumes or interracial dating, as well as larger issues such as the way otherwise good kids might get sucked up into the world of gangs. There are so many facets to what Justyce and his friends go through, and the trial that comes from his second encounter with a cop and the way the public reacts to what happened is heart-breaking, yet feels all too real because it is what so many are facing every day in today's world.
DEAR MARTIN has been hyped as being the follow-up to read after THE HATE YOU GIVE by Angie Thomas, which has sat at #1 on the New York Times Best Sellers List for most of 2017. However, the two books focus on different aspects of injustice and shouldn't be directly compared as being the same. They each stand on their own, and each expose tough subjects through the eyes of the teenagers most affected every day. They are both amazing and real and raw, and both will lead readers in tears and hopefully get conversations going so that we can finally bring change to the world and make it safer for people of all colors.
About the Book:
Title: DEAR MARTIN
Author: Nic Stone
Pub. Date: October 17, 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year-but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can't seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce's gorgeous-and white-debate partner he wishes he didn't have a thing for.
Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King's teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn't so sure.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night-some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.
About the Author:
Nic Stone was born and raised in a suburb of Atlanta, GA, and the only thing she loves more than an adventure is a good story about one. After graduating from Spelman College, she worked extensively in teen mentoring and lived in Israel for a few years before returning to the US to write full-time. Growing up with a wide range of cultures, religions, and backgrounds, Stone strives to bring these diverse voices and stories to her work.
You can find her goofing off and/or fangirling over her husband and sons on most social media platforms as @getnicced.
You could WIN a finished copy of DEAR MARTIN from Rockstar Book Tours!
3 winners will receive a finished copy of DEAR MARTIN, US Only.