Dear Martin By: Nic Stone | Review & Reaction

Dear Martin COVERDear Martin
Genre: YA Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Social Issues
Rating: 5 stars
Release Date: October 17th 2017
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
I received this ARC in a giveaway &
it in no way affects my review or unbiased opinion of this book.

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon | B&D | IndieBound

Synopsis:

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, 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 that 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.

My Reaction:

I call this “my reaction” because it not only took me a bit to type up my review for the book itself, but also all of the thoughts, feelings and memories this book made me think of.  Although this book left my mind and heart just all over the place, I truly loved it and I am grateful I was given the opportunity to read this ARC  because it had such a huge affect on me and it is something that I look forward to sharing with my family and friends.

From the moment I started reading, I was able to connect with Justyce’s character—from his thoughts, concerns, fear and anxiousness. And his attempt at trying to make sense of himself and the rest of the world through a method inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. teachings following the fall out of his wrongful arrest. It was just all so real, raw, insightful and moving.

One of the many things I loved and appreciated about this book was the way Nic Stone keeps the narrative objective because it makes it so connectable to other readers, whether they are allies, individuals who have experienced some of the same situations Justyce has faced or others ignorant of the seriousness and dangers African Americans and other POC face every day when it comes to racism.

I pondered if I wanted to focus on the situation regarding Justyce and his arrest as being the main focal points I discussed for this book, but in all honesty, it is so much more than racial profiling from authorities. The political, inaccurate and discriminatory stories spun by a lot of the media outlets and the prejudices of people—it all just hits home.

There wasn’t an instance when I did not imagine my brothers or my uncles in situations close to Justyce’s and it shook me.  However, choosing LOVE over HATE. Recognizing that we still have such a far way to go. Accepting that we can’t do it on our own. Knowing that importance of sticking together, speaking together and moving together is the only way forward. And being strong enough to face it all head on.

Even before last week’s protest in Charlottesville, VA, I was struggling to come up with the right words for how moving and important this book is to all readers, young or old, because I was hung up on how real and close to our reality it was. Of course, as an African-American woman, it was impossible not to see my brothers or my uncles and even myself in the situations that Justyce was dealing with in this book and that become such a jarring feeling.

Aside from being raised by a single parent, Justyce and I represent two completely different worlds, but regardless, I know that a POC’s story and life is hardly ever taken into account when they are profiled, victimized or harmed. With this, I am trying to choose my words so carefully here because with the weight and present state of our world weighing down on my heart and everything just feeling so wrong and backwards these days.

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A Blogger Update: Wow, It’s Been A Looong Time

Hey There:

So, I’ve moved a lot in the past six and a half years, but none of those experiences were enough to prepare me for last month’s move. 😐 Not only did I have to pack and split up all of my stuff for two different destinations (and make multiple trips over the course of three days). Not to mention settling in with a new dog whose internal setting seems to be permanently notched at crazy and wild. Whatsmore, following the move, I unfortunately was put in a position where I simply didn’t have the space or time to sit down and enjoy the books I put aside and planned to read for August.

I was so stressed and upset that I didn’t have time to read that when I was finally able to sit down and dive into the stack my stack of books, I found that I really only wanted to immediately get started with certain ones. It was in that moment that I realized it was time to stop doing the #2016TBRpile reading challenge and the #2016audiobookchallenge. While I enjoyed finally getting to that large stack of books that have been just sitting on my shelf, not all of the books were making me particularly giddy or excited to get through them.

Not like the books I’ve read for the tours I’ve been apart of or the books authors have actually reached out to me with and asked for a review.  And reading should be fun. It is fun! Reading the material and books that only I want to was the main reason I began book blogging in the first place and I’d like to get back to that feeling of excitement and thrill of sharing great stories and authors with all you lovely people ^–^.

Of the books I’ve read/started that I’ve enjoyed and had so much fun getting into in August were:

Not Your Sidekick by CB Lee (upcoming tour book)

Does My Head Look Big In This? by: Randa Abdel Fattah

True Colors Of Betrayal by: JC Kang ( Book #3 of Daughter of The Dragon Throne) Even though I’m only over the half way mark with it, I think this might be my favorite of the series. It’s soo good.

The Salarian Desert Series by: J. A. McLachlan

The Yard by: Aliyyah Eniath (upcoming tour book)

Just to name a few. I’ve also read a few kids books with my cousin now that school has started back up, but I don’t really think that they count for this particular list. 🙂

All in all,  Willow and I are finally feeling more settled and I’m already starting to feel like my natural, reader self ^__^ Let the wave of book reviews commence!

Thanks so much for reading and sticking around with me.

Until the next post (very soon),

Gia.