Author: Nic Stone
Published: October 17, 2017
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 21-26, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
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.
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.
Author: Stephanie Oakes
Published: June 9, 2015
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4.5 stars
The Kevinian cult has taken everything from seventeen-year-old Minnow: twelve years of her life, her family, her ability to trust.
And when she rebelled, they took away her hands, too.
Now their Prophet has been murdered and their camp set aflame, and it’s clear that Minnow knows something—but she’s not talking. As she languishes in juvenile detention, she struggles to un-learn everything she has been taught to believe, adjusting to a life behind bars and recounting the events that led up to her incarceration. But when an FBI detective approaches her about making a deal, Minnow sees she can have the freedom she always dreamed of—if she’s willing to part with the terrible secrets of her past.
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly is a hard-hitting and hopeful story about the dangers of blind faith—and the power of having faith in oneself.
This is the second time I’ve read Minnow Bly and I loved it just as much the second time as I did the first. Stephanie Oakes has a way of drawing the reader into the story and immersing them in the lives of the characters. I identified with Minnow since I also grew up in a cult-like environment. Thankfully my parents had brains and used them to think for themselves and there was no violence, so I wasn’t affected at all like Minnow was. I’ll admit that there is a huge difference between the school I went to and a cult. 😊
I also love how Oakes manages to draw the mystery out to the very end. She kept the scope relatively small and intimate; everything stayed believable and realistic. Minnow was a likable character that I had no problem rooting for even when the possibility of wrongdoing came into play. The idea of her missing hands made her more fascinating. And that brings me to the missing .5 star. I don’t like how the cover has a girl with hands holding a book . . . Minnow doesn’t have hands, why would you put a girl with hands on the cover??? Petty and picky, I know, but I can’t help it! Y’all know that covers mean a lot to me, so you can’t expect me to not analyze the cover! But overall, I really loved this book! Between this book and The Arsonist, I’m at the point that I will pick up anything written by Stephanie Oakes without question. I would definitely reserve this book for older teens, because there is some language. But I think anyone who enjoys brainy, psychological reads will enjoy this book!
Author: Cammie McGovern
Published: June 3, 2014
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
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.
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.[Top]