Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Latte Rebellion - Sarah Jamila Stevenson

The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson
Best friends Asha Jamison and Carey Wong, senior year and friendship are threatened after an inappropriate joke at a pool party. Roger Yee, a classmates calls Asha a towel head. Asha and Carey are tired of the misconception and inappropriate remarks of their peers.

"The heat rose behind my cheeks, my head filling with any number of things I could tell her. Carey is not Japanese. And J. Lo. is not from Mexico - she's a Puerto Rican American. This is not even close to the same thing. There are these things called maps; you should look at one. And, am I dreaming or did you just say my butt was big? But in the end, I didn't say any of it. It seemed futile. Kaelyn just didn't get it. Maybe she really did think she was paying us a compliment."

The two decide to start a business selling T-shirts. They call it Latte Rebellion, for their love of Lattes and multiethnic people, who come in many shades of Brown. Soon Asha decides she wants to do more then sell T-Shirts. When everything gets too big it leads to unexpected trouble for Asha

The story alternates between Asha hearing in front of the school disciplinary board and the beginnings of the Latte Rebellion. This really worked for me, I liked being able to see Asha in both situations. Its obvious that the Asha in front of the school board is very different from the one who started the Latte Rebellion. Though I wish the author's transitions were smoother. They were too abrupt and early for me. There were many times when I felt a scene could've been developed more.

I enjoyed The Latte Rebellion but was also frustrated it. As good as it is, I don't think it reached it's full potential. The author's writing is good. I kept reading because of Asha. She was a great character, I couldn't help but care about her. Though I wish Stevenson's editor would've challenged her to flush out and develop her characters and storylines more.

I still found this a very worth while read, there's a lot here. I believe Asha got in so much trouble partly because of one word- Rebellion. To her it meant change. To her school board it meant - threat. It because of things like that I think this would make an excellent book club selection. Also it doesn't hurt that Asha remembers to have fun while taking up the cause of the Latte Rebellion. An excerpt

The sayings in italics would've made great Latte Rebllion T-Shirts.

"Yeah, here's an idea," Carey said, a little sarcastically. " We could print instructive T-shirts that say, No I am not Mexican. Neither is J. Lo. Thanks for asking"

"One of the ideas the Latte Rebellion posed early on was "ask not what the brown can do for you, but what you can do for the brown. "


Sarah Stevenson said...

Thanks for the review, Doret! I appreciate you featuring my book.

Doret said...

Hey Sarah,

Asha was a great character and I always give space to books I think people should read.

I wasn't kidding about the T-shirts.

Anonymous said...

This is the second review of The Latte Rebellion I come across. I'm getting an inch closer to reading it... soon! :)