“Dear Martin” is a great read

February 5, 2021

“Dear Martin” is a New York Times bestselling novel by Nic Stone. It follows the story of Justyce, a young black senior at a prestigious high school in Atlanta, GA, and his struggles with life, love, culture, and society. 

This novel was entertaining, detailed, and powerful: all aspects of a great piece of literature. Although it was a quick read, having only 208 pages, it contained many deep messages and powerful themes, told through commentary and therapeutic letters to a deceased civil rights leader.  

Nic Stone uses this novel to show the complex and awful relationship between young black men and the police in the United States. Justyce describes his feelings about the corruption and racism within the policing system that he experiences throughout the novel.  

He provides a detailed and well thought out perspective despite his confusing and frustrating progression of thought. Justyce also must deal with society’s pressure to either reject or accept his culture, in a psychological confrontation of himself 

The plot includes many realistic instances of police violence and injustice, which were inspired by shootings of unarmed black men that are all too frequent in America. The story is shocking, depressing, and ultimately powerful 

A large theme of the novel is the complexity of race relations, which provides perspectives in the argument over racial egalitarianism, as well as a devastating commentary on cultural appropriation and offensive conduct. Stone even includes her take on society’s acceptance of interracial relationships. 

Despite these powerful messages and themes, Dear Martin maintains the essential entertaining aspects of a good novel. The plot is exciting and captivating, which makes one unable to put the book down. 

Stone wrote the characters with detail, personality, and relatability, making for a wonderful story altogether. They are likable, dislikeable, and overall human, which enables the audience to connect and relate with them on a personal level.  

The unique thing about this novel are Justyce’s letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He writes to the deceased civil rights activist like they are trusted pen pals, spilling his inner thoughts and feelings onto the pages in an authentic and heartfelt fashion, as if it were his diary. 

Nic Stone’s, “Dear Martin”, is a fantastic novel with an amazing commentary on race relations, police violence, love, friendship, and life.

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