The lovely Alex @ Coffeeloving Bookoholic sent me a box with all books and bookish goodish for Christmas. One of the books in there was Dear Martin by Nic Stone.
I had been eyeing it ever since it came out and everybody started raving about it. After reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, I honestly was even more eager to read Dear Martin!
Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.
Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.
This is going to be a hard one because I pretty much loved everything. First and foremost the format was unique. Composed of letters, regular text and script-like chapters, it was so easy to read. I kept turning the pages, wanting more. Of course, Nic Stone’s writing style is linked to this. She writes in a straight-forward and genuine way that really draws you in. I could pretty much hear someone talking as Justyce does while reading.
“Yeah. Black Man’s Curse. World’s got diarrhea and dudes like us are the toilet.”
“Guess that’s one way to put it.”
Then we have Justyce, our MC. His struggles with himself, the world and racism is pretty clear from the get-go. I was hurting for him all the time and shared his frustrations, doubts and struggles. Honestly, if he’d pop up in front of me, I’d give him the biggest hug ever. His life – as so many other’s – cannot be easy. Safe to say my respect for them grows and grows.
I said it before, after reading The Hate U Give, but racism simply isn’t something I’m confronted with often. Reading books like Dear Martin opens my mind, my heart to what’s going on in different parts of the world. I love that.
And I really do believe that there should be more books like this, that people battling these struggles should get more voices, louder ones.
Yeah, there are no more “colored” water fountains, an it’s supposed to be illegal to discriminate, but if I can be forced to sit on the concrete in too-tight cuffs when I’ve done nothing wrong, it’s clear there’s an issue. That things aren’t as equal as folks say they are.
The only thing I pretty much didn’t feel okay with, was how SJ and Justyce grew closer. At times it just felt off; like it didn’t fit, wasn’t the right moment and that really was a pity. In all honesty, I do believe that it might’ve been better without it.
People often learn more from getting an undeserved pass than they would from being punished.
As for the munches, I’m going with Jus’ favorite dish: Chicken cacciatore. Google image, sorry, guys! We’ve been eating a lot of chicken lately and I just.. didn’t want to, haha.