BLOG TOUR: Dear Martin - Nic Stone

Dear Martin - Nic Stone
Published by Simon & Schuster on 3rd May 2018
My rating: 5/5
Book Depository purchase link.

Unless you’ve been on an internet ban for the last few months, you have amnesia, or you don’t normally read contemporary YA (I’m not sure which is worst) you’ll be familiar with the cover for Dear Martin. American booktubers and book bloggers have been raving about this incredible debut from Nic Stone and I’ve had my eye on it for a long time.

Dear Martin tells the story of Justyce, a smart high schooler on track for Yale. It sounds like he has a pretty good life on paper. However his white friends, participation in debate club and excellent grades don’t exempt him from facing racism and he’s painfully aware of the police brutality in his home country. To process all of his thoughts, he starts writing letters to Martin Luther King Jr and asking: what would Martin do?

At less than 300 pages, this is a direct and to the point read. Despite being short, it packs in buckets of emotion and left me feeling like it might be the most blunt novel I’ve ever read.

Justyce’s voice is so raw and real that he’s a memorable character amongst lots of the same in YA. At times the dialogue is turned into a script, with no space for setting or movement. All that matters is the conversation, both inside the book and out. I say that because this book has already got so many readers in the US talking and it’s bound to have the same effect in the UK.

One of the most prominent and important themes is how Justyce has to deal with the ignorance of the white guys in his school and the police outside of school, not to mention the media storm after the shots are fired. On top of that, he thinks he might be falling for a white girl his mum would never approve of. This level of tension is present right from the outset as the novel starts when he’s wrongfully arrested for helping his drunk girlfriend and from there, everything just keeps getting worse. So much happens in this tightly written story and most of it is heart-breaking.

This is a direct and heart-wrenching reflection of a society that is making a lot of noise about change and now needs to follow through.

Love, Jess

Thank you Simon & Schuster for providing a review copy.

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