Ever since I finished reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas earlier this year, I’ve really been looking for books similar to it and that’s when Nic Stone’s Dear Martin caught my attention.
In Dear Martin, we are introduced to Justyce, an African-American boy, who attends a private school and is set to enroll in an Ivy League college after graduation. Unfortunately for Justyce, none of these things matter when a police officer spots and arrests him in the middle of the night. Luckily, Justyce is able to get released – but it’s not the last time he encounters a police officer and the next time, things don’t end so well.
I was very lucky to be approved to read an eARC of this book and I’ve never read an ARC as quickly as I did this one! I had gotten an e-mail earlier in the day and kept finding myself thinking about the book, so I finally gave in and started reading. Three hours later I had finished the book.
Nic Stone writes in a way that allows to the reader to read her work quickly while still delivering the punches. I remember reading the first fifth of the book and just getting so angry with certain characters and the way they spoke about racial issues and equality especially because they brought up the exact arguments we have seen so many times in the media in the past couple of years. And I really loved that aspect of Dear Martin because it helps hold up a mirror to the reader and hopefully makes them realize some of their own mistakes in dealing with the issues.
Nic Stone’s decision to have her characters be members of a debate club also made for some really important discussions within the story as it evolved and allowed them to realize what was happening and to change – some more than others.
And while I love seeing character growth, I feel like one story arc and how it progressed was too convenient. Especially the pacing of that story arc. I wish we would have gotten to explore the growth more and witness more of how we got from point A to point B.
We often talk about parents’ roles in YA literature and how they are often absent or not as present in our protagonist’s life and I feel like this was true for Justyce’ mother too. It often felt like he had more of a connection with his debate class teacher than his mother. He was more willing to listen and give advice when Justyce needed it rather than – in a way – dismissing it.
Overall, I have to say I’m really glad and thankful that I got the chance to read this book earlier because I had been looking forward to it for quite a while and now I get to tell you guys to please go out there and read this book! Support Nic Stone and stories like this to make sure that we get a lot more of its kind in the future!
Have any of you guys ever gotten an ARC you were so excited about reading that you dropped everything to read it? Or a book in general, obviously.
Is Dear Martin on any of you guys’ TBRs (I know some of you have shared your excitement over it in previous posts) and did my review help you make a decision to maybe pick this book up sooner than you originally planned? Or pick it up in general if it wasn’t on your TBR yet? If so, please let me know!