Welcome to the blog tour for Dear Martin, by Nic Stone, presented by Rockstar Blog Tours (don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway at the end of the review)! I’m so excited to be a part of this, because this book is so so good. I’ll be recommending it for years to come, and it’s a great companion to The Hate U Give, which was also published this year and was also fantastic. So, without further ado, I’ll get right into this gem of a book.
Dear Martin starts with Justyce MacAllister going to help his ex-girlfriend, Melo, who is falling-down drunk in a parking lot and threatening to drive home on her own. He is helping her into her car when a police officer happens upon the scene and assumes that Jus is trying to steal her car. Jus ends up in handcuffs for hours, even after Melo’s parents show up to explain who he is, even after everything. A gun is held to his head, he is threatened, he’s scared for his life. It does something to him. After that day, he starts his own personal project called Be Like Martin, where he writes letters to the late Dr. King and tries to be more like him in his daily life. All the microaggressions start to add up, and Jus realizes his life at a prestigious mostly-white school isn’t what he thought. He’s in turmoil. And then something terrible happens, something that is going to change his life and the life of everyone close to him, and he is never the same.
I HAD A LOT OF FEELINGS IN REGARDS TO THIS BOOK. THIS IS YOUR WARNING.
3 Things I Loved
- Justyce. I tend to like narrators a lot in books, and Justyce was a wonderful narrator. He was able to convey his thoughts and feelings in a very authentic way, and I appreciated it more than I’ve appreciated a narrator in a long time. He’s honest, he’s frustrated and often angry, and he’s real. I want to know what Justyce is going to be when he grows up. I just want him to grow up, not in the sense that he’s immature, but in the sense that he has a good future ahead of him.
- Manny. The best best friend. I have too many feelings to say more.
- SJ. Sarah-Jane is the sweetest, and I loved that she was able to be a good ally without truly knowing and understanding everything that Justyce is going through. She tries, and she listens, and she fights for what she knows is right. Also, she and Jus are the cutest.
I noticed nothing. This was so good.
The only thing I’ll say is that I think it’s interesting that both Starr in THUG and Jus in Dear Martin are in interracial relationships with white people. I feel like this plays into a lot of things that are outside my lane and I don’t want to get into, but I also really liked reading it. It was real, and the struggles were accurately showcased, I think.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
This is a five-star read, hands down. I flew through it, and I have met Nic Stone and find her to be lovely, and I just. This book is so good. Therefore, I am clearly giving Dear Martin a PURPLE rating. Go read it.
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.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of DEAR MARTIN, US Only.
Thank you to the publisher and to the folks at BookCon for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I’m going to pick up a copy the next time I’m in a bookstore, because I want one to cherish forever and always.