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Excellent, excellent, excellent!
I highly recommend this (sadly) contemporary read about race and culture in America. Very real and gets you right in the gut.
This was a fast-paced and thought provoking piece about race relations in the 21st century. I think there could have been a little bit more exploration into less overt racism to kind of a show a sliding scale, but one part that I really appreciated (and thought was unique to this piece as compared to other books with similar plot lines) was when a white ally apologized for speaking on behalf of the main character about racism rather than giving him the space and support to speak for himself.
A fast paced, thought-provoking engrossing read, that will delight fans of Angie Thomas's "The Hate U Give". Told in compelling prose, Nic Stone's novel focuses on the reality of race relations today, and the struggle that seventeen college-bound Justyce McAllister faces in trying to understand them, and who he is, through the letters he writes to the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Such a good read! If you like this you need to try out The Hate U Give.
A lighter version similar to "The Hate U Give", "Dear Martin" is a compelling story of a young black teen's struggle to resolve the racism he experiences with his personal ambitions.
Raw, captivating, and undeniably real.
I originally saw this title when I was grabbing the link for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas and actually thought it was about Trayvon Martin. It turned out to be a novel about a 17 year old who is trying his hardest to be more like MLK in today's society. It was a very quick read (I think it took me maybe 2.5 hours to get through it), but super powerful. I enjoyed the way the story was told from an outsiders perspective, but then had an incredibly personal touch from the main character's letters he was writing "to" MLK. This is a story that needs to be told. We live in a world where racial inequality exists but just because it commonplace does not make it acceptable, right or permissible. Being disappointed, frustrated or disgusted is not enough. We must ACT. I would give it a 9 out of 10.
I’m surprised by the good reviews for this book. It was full of stereotypes and it was not well written. Every African-American male in this book is either in a gang, related to someone in a gang, or seriously considering joining a gang. What sort of horrible stereotype is that? The white characters are also over the top stereotypes. I did not need this book to tell me that people who dress up as Klan members, use racial slurs, or have posters for minstrel shows decorating their houses are racist. I knew that already, and I imagine most people reading this book did too. The author had a real opportunity to show how dangerous and pervasive subtle racism can be, but instead the message was that overtly racist people are racist. That is a painfully simplistic way of looking at racism, and there is nothing revelatory about that. The potential of Justyce’s letters to Martin Luther King Jr. is squandered too. He says he’s going to be like MLK, but then 20 pages later he goes to a Halloween party dressed as a “thug” with a classmate dressed like a Klan member. He clearly wasn’t trying very hard to be like MLK or to understand his legacy.
Dear Martin may be a quick read, but it is also a very raw and powerful read. This book deals with the difficult issue of American race relations in a new and unique way. The main character has to deal with numerous issues and looks to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. Justyce decides that he is going to start a journal writing to King so that he can work his feelings out. This is a book that I finished in one day and would recommend to both teens and adults.
If you read and appreciated The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, pick this one up! I read this in one sitting because I simply could not put it down. A short, but powerful and important story addressing racism, police brutality, toxic masculinity, and much more. It definitely taught me a lot and made me think more about our society's issues.
This was a very well written story. I was born and raised in Atlanta, so I could relate to a lot of the characters. Each character got to the heart of the rising issue of police brutality in America. But what I enjoyed about the book was the honest viewpoint of Justyce and how his closest friend was oblivious to the struggles that African Americans face in society. It was a great read.
The story starts a bit scattered and I wasn't sure how different events contributed to the story but things quickly start to make sense. It's a very timely read that really focuses on the injustices still prevalent in society today. It left me with a lot of emotions to process at the end. A great follow up for those who have read The Hate U Give or All American Boys.
I very much appreciated the message of this book, however it wasn't executed well. I have read other books (ALL AMERICAN BOYS, THE HATE U GIVE) with similar subject matter that just did it better.
Yes, I read this book in a day but that was because it was only 210 pages. I struggle with trusting a YA book that's only 210 pages, cause that's short! Like THE GREAT GATSBY short and surprise, I didn't like THE GREAT GATSBY. I felt like there needed to be more. I read in the acknowledgements that Nic Stone's editor helped her cut the book in half and I wish I could have read the other half.
Additionally, the format was distracting and weird. The book began with a third person narrative, which, was odd. Not the narrative but the narrator. It was clearly a female narrator speaking about a male protagonist and it was jarring and not succinct. Then it would switch to the letters Jus was writing to MLK...great, cool, I can deal with those two structures. But THEN for no reason, it would go into script format. What?! Like, why? The worst was when it would go from narrative to script within the chapter but then there was dialog in the letters and those were neither...It had no point or purpose. The constant format switches were distracting from the actual book. I appreciate those stylized choices when they have a purpose or a meaning to the story, but this just felt lazy and was distracting.
Finally, the writing itself was poor and boring at many points. It was bland and non-descriptive. There were points I wanted to explore, but were, instead, glazed over. Other points felt very preachy. The characters, especially in the debate scenes, appeared to be merely mouth pieces and not actual people. That was frustrating. A lot of the characters were 2D for me, especially Sarah-Jean and Doc. The only characters that had actual development were Jus and Jared, which was great. Their development was well portrayed but it wasn't enough for me. That was disappointing.
Oh! And the book didn't pass the Bechtel test which was highly annoying. Sarah-Jean felt like her own type of manic-pixie girl which pissed me off. Like, does that girl have a flaw? No? Okay, cool. And the other girl, Melo, was represented as a "messed-up hoe" so...yay women.
I will not deny that the message in this book is powerful and should be expressed and written about. This book has a very LOOKING FOR ALASKA feel in that there is a before and an after structure to it. I'll admit, when the big shock happened, I had to close the book and try not to cry for several minutes. I was stunned. It hit me hard. I appreciate that I got a window into a world that I--as a cis gender, straight, white woman--will never experience. It was not the best portrayal of this message. When compared to some of the other books about this same topic, it falls short. I would recommend other books before this one and yeah, that makes me sad. But it mainly has to do with the formatting and the writing itself. It has nothing to do with the message or the representation of racial issues in our world today. I respect and understand the need for stories like this, and I am happy that they are being published and wide-read. We need more of them. This one, though, it wasn't my favorite. I thought it could have been executed better.