Dear Martin
Rating: 5/5
Buy/Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of Simon and Schuster (Released 3rd May 2018)

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.

When I picked up this book, I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I was greeted with. I'd heard so many amazing things and so much hype was surrounding this book; which naturally made me reluctant to read it. I'm always terrified by hyped up books because I'm always left feeling a little deflated. This was not the case with this one.

It's incredibly daunting to write a review of a book that is this important. You want to say all the right things and give it all the justice it deserves. I was so thrilled to be asked to be part of the blog tour - and I wanted to do something different. So what I thought I'd do is not write Martin Luther King Jr. a letter, but write Justyce one.

Dear Justyce,

I've just finished your story. Although you're a fictional character, your story is far from it. I devoured the words and felt every emotion you felt as I read. Although I can't pretend to know how you feel, and I never will. Because I'm not black. But I try, and I hope that's enough. This story helps others, like myself, understand that although some things have changed, it's not enough. But we knew that anyway, didn't we? 

Your story highlights so many powerful topics, in a way that other books shy from. Privilege, the inhumanity of the police, racism - all topics we're scared to talk about, in fear of saying the wrong thing. But you didn't - and I love you for that. In fact, it's why you're one of my favourite characters I've ever come across - you're unashamedly yourself and we should all take a leaf from your book. 

You were a role model student. You had worked hard to find your place in the world. Yet you still seemed so lost - that's what captivated me in your story. You always thought "it wouldn't happen to me", but it did. I wish it didn't. When you were handcuffed for helping your girlfriend; when things turn murderous all because you were enjoying loud music; when you're shunned for being more intelligent than a white man - I felt your anger. You deserved that anger. I wanted to punch those people for you. 

Your story highlighted how sh*t the world really is. I'm sorry about your friend (no spoilers for new readers). I'm sorry that one of your classmates thought it acceptable to dress up as a KKK member. I'm sorry that white people are so naive about their privileges. I'm sorry that the police don't treat you with the respect you deserve. Hell, I'm sorry the world doesn't treat you with the respect you deserve. I'm glad you have some good people around you. SJ is a really great friend - or is that all she is, hey, Justyce? ;) I know even your relationships are complicated - your mum's not quite approving of SJ yet, but she's a great catch.

The debates that you do with SJ about race, equality, profiling and privilege are filled with passion, and heart. And are fuelled by a fire I don't think you realised you had at the beginning of your story. But it was roaring by the end

I'm trying to avoid mentioning Manny as it's quite a big spoiler; but it's such a huge part of the book. And this is when the rage inside you really starts to burn. The incident changes you. It changes the reader too. Your story is heartbreaking, captivating and makes me so angry - especially knowing these incidents aren't one offs. They happen every damn day. And enough is enough.

When I read your letters to Martin, it inspired me to write one of my own to you. You used your voice for good. You used your voice to educate people. You searched so hard to find your place in the world, and for me, sharing your story was it. I think you have more in common with Martin than you realise.

Nic Stone, thank you for sharing Justyce's story with the world. It was powerful. It was devastating. It was beautifully written. But most of all, it was needed. I hope this letter has given the book the justice it deserves.

All my anger-fuelled love,


Check out the other stops on the Dear Martin blog tour here:

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