Wednesday, July 6, 2011

THE LATTE REBELLION by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Title: THE LATTE REBELLION
Author: Sarah Jamila Stevenson
Publisher: Flux Books
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 327
Source of Book: Bought the paperback
Author's Website: www.sarahjamilastevenson.com

Goodreads Summary:

Our philosophy is simple: Promote a latte-colored world! —from the Latte Rebellion Manifesto
When high school senior Asha Jamison gets called a "towel head" at a pool party, the racist insult gives Asha and her best friend Carey a great money-making idea for a post-graduation trip. They'll sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students.

Seemingly overnight, their "cause" goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide fad. As new chapters spring up from coast to coast, Asha realizes that her simple marketing plan has taken on a life of its own-and it's starting to ruin hers. Asha's once-stellar grades begin to slip, threatening her Ivy League dreams, and her friendship with Carey is hanging by a thread. And when the peaceful underground movement turns militant, Asha's school launches a disciplinary hearing.Facing expulsion, Asha must decide how much she's willing to risk for something she truly believes in.
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I'm feeling a little bit mixed about this book. There are things I liked. I liked the premise with the social action elements related to mixed race students wanting others to be more accepting of them and acknowledging their uniqueness. I liked the strength of character Asha gains through the course of her senior year as she learns more about becoming involved in causes and staying true to oneself. I liked that she learned to speak for herself and be strong in her own ideals outside of what others may think of her. I liked that she learned the importance of having her own voice heard. I liked the elements of dealing with the realities of friendships at the end of high school-how they start to change based on what people want to do with their lives, as their priorities change, as they grow apart into their own people. I also liked the way the author chose to set up the story with telling chronologically what was happening, but having flash-forward moments to the disciplinary hearing that occurs at the end of the story, helping add tension and building suspense throughout.

Then there are some things I didn't like as much. I felt that the pacing just dragged on a little bit. At times I was trying to get through the book just to get to the end and on to the next one - which is unfortunate because I think there were strong messages in this book. However, I did feel like it read long. Asha narrates this story, so we're very much in her head as the reader. At times, that is helpful, but at times it got a little bit monotonous. Basically, I just wanted more action to be happening faster. The major events were good and I cared what would happen, I just wanted it all told to me sooner. I also felt that it wasn't as descriptive and engaging as I would like. In addition, there was a romantic interest subplot, but it fell a little flat for me. Overall, it is an okay book with a good message that I would recommend, just not needing to be moved to the top of your to be read pile.
Book 12 of 12 for DAC2011 ~ Challenge Completed!!!

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