Tag: Contemporary

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Author: Nic Stone
Published: October 17, 2017
Audiobook

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 21-26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning debut.

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.

Jessica’s Review:

Dear Martin succeeded for me where The Hate U Give failed: It captured the police brutality and racism that sadly does occur on a black teen youth who did everything right.

Dear Martin is a unique novel in the young adult genre: we have a male point of view!  This was quite refreshing as male POVs are a rarity.  This is a short novel ( just over 200 pages) that would be perfect for all teens. There are other subjects addressed that teens face today.

I really liked Justyce! He really is a good kid who finds himself in a bad situation more than once.  You feel all the emotions he experiences.  I really enjoyed the letters he writes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, we really get to know Justyce. I found myself wishing that MLK Jr. was still alive to answer and give advice to Justyce. In some ways I felt I got to know MLK Jr. himself.

Dear Martin takes place in Atlanta and I live in Metro Atlanta, which added to my enjoyment. When certain areas were mentioned  (“Let’s go hike Stone Mountain”: OMG, I’ve been there MANY times!) Nic Stone lives in the Atlanta area so she  is local to me, and I am all about supporting ‘local to me’ authors!

Dear Martin was Stone’s debut novel and I look forward to see what she does next.  Her second novel Odd One Out will be released October 9th. Dear Martin is one that everyone should read!

Dear Martin is very highly recommended.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

 

Say What You Will

Author: Cammie McGovern
Published: June 3, 2014
218 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars meets Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park in this beautifully written, incredibly honest, and emotionally poignant novel. Cammie McGovern’s insightful young adult debut is a heartfelt and heartbreaking story about how we can all feel lost until we find someone who loves us because of our faults, not in spite of them.

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized.

When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Kim’s Review:

I really liked this book. This was one of those stories that after I closed it, I had to sit and just ponder. I’ve never been a good one with people who are disabled. I feel the pity and the discomfort and I know that they hate it when people respond to them that way, but unfortunately, I’m still working on it. This book elicits that kind of discomfort, but in an educational kind of way.

Many people have a hard time realizing that physical disability does not mean mental disability. Say What You Will does a good job of making that distinction. Amy has cerebral palsy and is always treated like either a fragile robin’s egg, or as mentally challenged. All she wants is to be treated like a regular teenager. Matthew has his own problems, but they’re easier to hide. But Amy seems to be the only one who understands him. The story is all about the roller coaster that is their relationship. Seriously, by the end, I didn’t know if I should cry, or smile, or just sit there with my mouth hanging open. I would suggest this for anyone who has a disability or those who know anyone with a disability. I would also recommend this for mature teenagers. Getting a look inside a person who could be considered an outcast is never a bad thing.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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The Lost for Words Bookshop


Author: Stephanie Butland
To Be Published: (Tomorrow) June 19, 2018
368 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: June 10-17, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:
Loveday Cardew prefers books to people. If you look carefully, you might glimpse the first lines of the novels she loves most tattooed on her skin. But there are some things Loveday will never, ever show you.

Into her hiding place—the bookstore where she works – come a poet, a lover, and three suspicious deliveries.

Someone has found out about her mysterious past. Will Loveday survive her own heartbreaking secrets?

The Lost for Words Bookshop is a compelling, irresistible, and heart-rending novel, perfect for fans of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.

Jessica’s Review:
If you are a book lover in any way and/or an introvert this will be the book for you! The Lost for Words Bookshop is a character driven story and Loveday is our protagonist. She would rather spend time with books than people, so her job at the bookstore is perfect: In fact she has worked there for 10 years. She loves books so much she has tattooed first lines of various books on her body. She is a likeable nonconformist with a dark past that we slowly discover as the novel progresses. I also really liked Archie, the owner. Nathan is also likeable as well, he is a magician and knows all the tricks!

Don’t let the cover fool you, this book is not a lighthearted read. It has dark undertones dealing with Loveday’s past and you will experience a range of emotions while reading.

The mysteries of Loveday’s past and certain deliveries kept you wondering where the story was going to go. I really wanted to find out the answers! Loveday is our narrator and we see the story between the past and present, but it is clear and not confusing.

This was a highly enjoyable read and I recommend it, especially for the bibliophiles out there!
Thank you St. Martin’s Press for my copy: It was a pleasure to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US (Pre-order)
Amazon UK (already published in the UK)

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