Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Book Review)

Publisher: Crown Books
Page Count: 220

I’ve wanted to pick up Dear Martin for the longest time, but I am just glad I finally got around to actually reading it. Not going to lie, I always find it hard to review books like this one. The topics of racial profiling and police brutality are so very important and especially these days, but they also aren’t easy to digest. While I always have that urge to say that it’s a bit different in my country, because the police isn’t as trigger happy as let’s say the US, it would be a blatant lie to say we aren’t struggling with racism as well. Also, my temporary discomfort is nothing compared to the continued struggle of people of colour, so I really just want to recognise how important of a read this is!

Dear Martin is reminiscent of books like All American Boys and The Hate U Give, but also very much its own story with its own style (definitely loved the mixed format of regular text, letters and news broadcasts). Where the other books took me days and days to read, I couldn’t put down Dear Martin and I was done within 2-3 hours. I thought about whether I would have wanted more, but with a little time to ponder over it, I think it really was the perfect length. While I would have appreciated a little more character development from various people here and there and a bit more of a cohesive timeline, I overall can’t say anything really bothered me in this book. In fact, I absolutely loved reading it!

“It’s like I’m trying to climb a mountain, but I’ve got one fool trying to shove me down so I won’t be on his level, and another fool tugging at my leg, trying to pull me to the ground he refuses to leave.”

From the get go, Justyce is a good guy. You see him making all (or at least mostly) the right choices and you are rooting for him, while you also see life and even more so people trying to tear him down every step of the way. My heart really hurt for him, because why be good? Why be the reasonable one? Why keep trying and making those right choices when the reward will never come? No one can tell me they wouldn’t feel defeated after a while, if they knew there were others out there who didn’t want them to succeed. It’s a struggle and one some people will never understand but I hope that this book will get them a little closer to it. Black people or people of colour in general should not have to be excellent at everything they do to be valued members of our communities. It’s a ridiculous notion and something a lot of white people have to work hard to dismantle in their minds.
If I had any say in this, I would make the book part of so many schools reading lists, because I am sure it will not only give people a way of seeing themselves in literature, but it also opens up a discussion about so many important and very current issues.

Obviously, this book has my recommendation written all over it! It’s gripping and real. It’s a punch in the gut and an eye opener. In short, it’s a real must-read.

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Definitely wouldn’t mind if this book was part of a mandatory reading list in some schools!

Did you read Dear Martin? Do you intend to? Let’s talk!

30 thoughts on “Dear Martin by Nic Stone (Book Review)

  1. Glad you loved this! This is on my TBR and I’m excited to start this one. I’d love it if books like this were part of school reading too! I totally agree with that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really happy books about police brutality are gaining popularity because they’re so important! I cannot wait to read this one😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have just finished reading THUG and I feel like I need to read this one too. It definitely sounds like an important read and I am glad to see the theme of police brutality being covered more in literature. Thanks for the recommendation.

    Liked by 1 person

    • As tough as it is to read about, I am very glad the topic gets more attention as well. Dear Martin has a bit of a different focus and style than THUG, but I still think they both fit in a category a bit.


  4. Great review, Kat! ❤ I think I might start reading this book sooner than I initially thought because I love books with special formats, I'm so here for all the creative ways of telling a story.
    But this book is also very important and I think you did amazingly in reviewing it. Racism is such a huge issue and I'm so happy that more and more people are reading those books and reviewing them and promoting them. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh brilliant review for this book Kat, and I’m so glad you enjoyed it as well. Dear Martin is on my to-read list as well (I’m not sure it’s been released in the UK yet, haven’t seen it in any bookstores or anything) and I can’t wait to get around to it because I’ve seen nothing but good reviews for it.
    I get what you mean about books like this one and The Hate U Give being hard to review, but you did a great job with this one. 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I always order my books online, so it isn’t as crucial where they are published for me :/ I hope you get to read it soon though!
      And I am really glad you think I did a good job with the review. I really wanted to do it justice.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you and it’s teh same for me when I order the sequel in a series and want the books to fit. But buying actual physical books in English is not an easy task where I live. And if they have English books, they are like 30% more expensive than online and then it’s just an easy decision to make.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That was a lovely review, Kat, and I’m so glad that you enjoyed this book so much 🙂 I agree that these kind of books are so hard to review, especially when they tackle such importants topics and all you want is for them to be on school reading lists and to throw them into people’s faces and scream, just read that book right now hahaha. I find it so very hard to be coherent whenever I loved a book so much. I think you did an amazing job though and certainly made me want to read this one a whole lot 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing review Kat!
    I am so glad you enjoyed this as much as me and I agree with how you say it’s got it’s own style. It was a fast paced read whereas the others were a little slower paced. Definitely think this should be part of a school’s reading list alongside THUG. x

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Haven’t read this yet, but it has literally been on my TBR since it was announced… which is “a while ago”. Really sounds like something I would love!! Really like it when books tackle important topics as well 💛
    Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s different to THUG in a lot of ways, but I definitely think it deserves more attention as well. Those incidents aren’t always the same and reading different perspectives on it can never hurt. I liked that Dear Martin was impactful, but felt a little less heavy. I seriously finished it in a couple hours, which I wasn’t really able to do with the other books with similar topics.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.