Hey all, Dani here.
I am finally getting around to posting some of my Diverse December book reviews. I did a lot of reading at the end of November and it made the first couple weeks of December pretty interesting for my post schedule. So look for more Diverse December reviews scattered through the rest of this month and continuing into January.
Anyway, Diverse December was created by Kathy over at Books & Munches, and the goal is to read as many diverse books in the month of December as possible. These can be diverse in terms of race, religion, sexuality, mental health, etc.
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.
Rating: 4.5 stars
The only reason I marked this one down a .5 star was because the format just threw me off throughout the book. I was fine with just dialogue during the debate portions of the story, but in person or on the phone, it would have been nice to have descriptors and observations of body language and movement.
Otherwise I think this was a pretty powerful read, especially with its short length. I know there were many actions and words spoken that grated on me or made me feel a bit uncomfortable because of how blatantly and racially charged some of them were.
There were characters all across the spectrum, from white kids who recognized their privilege and tried to speak up for minorities, and privileged white kids who thought there was no racial divide, even as they spoke blatantly racially charged statements. You had characters of color who were frustrated and upset for some of the situations they were put in simply because of the color of their skin, and there were characters of color who tried to let racist remarks slide because reacting would not have helped their situation at all.
I appreciate how varied the characterizations were, and how much of an impact this story had with so few pages. I’m also glad for the changes a couple characters went through by the end of the story. It was nice to see that living through these situations did have an impact on them.
Overall I would definitely say this covers an important topic and it is something I recommend for people to pick up and read.