Author: Sarah Jamila Stevenson
Paperback, 326 pages
Date Published: January 8, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.
"Get ready to start your own rebellion after gulping down Sarah Stevenson's deftly written, multi-layered story about growing a voice, growing apart, and most of all, growing up girl." —JUSTINA CHEN, AUTHOR OF NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL
The Latte Rebellion starts off slow, much like any grassroots group would. I enjoyed getting to know Asha and her family, and seeing how the Rebellion grew from being just a way to make some cash for a post-graduation vacation, into a movement that not only ignited the minds of others, but transformed Asha as well. The issues of race and inequality are tackled seriously, but never in a way that makes The Latte Rebellion an ‘issues’ book. Asha becomes the de facto leader of something that is so much bigger than her. And even though it gets out of control and it becomes too much for her to handle, living through that, growing through that, allows her to figure out who she is and who she can be.
Sarah Jamila Stevenson’s writing is realistic and fun. Each character brings something to the story, good or bad. I couldn’t help but be drawn to Asha’s sudden passion for the Rebellion and the realization that a single idea can wield so much power. Miranda’s go get-em’ attitude and overall awesomeness made me love her. Even the characters who I disliked contributed to the story and Asha’s growth.
One of my favorite aspects of the book is how it tells the story about how the Rebellion gets built up, but opens each chapter with snippets of its aftermath and the disciplinary hearing that results from some momentous occurrence. Throughout the book, the Rebellion becomes this tangible movement. Sarah’s propaganda drawings help to pull the Rebellion together and really make it feel like a real movement and I loved the code names Asha and her friends use.
The Latte Rebellion is a different kind of contemporary story that explores what it means to be proud of who you are and how to be that person in the midst of something so huge, with such polarizing sides. The book made me want to join in the movement, go to the rallies, and fight for what I believe in. It also left me smiling, and if a book can do that, it can’t be a bad thing.
Opening line: The jeering male voice came from somewhere behind me, waking me up from a heatstroke-induced doze. ~ pg. 1
Favorite lines: What mattered was that people believed in the Rebellion, and if enough people believed, then we, like Thad and Greg with their clinic, might actually be able to change the world. ~ pg. 230
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.
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