Hoping to raise money for a post graduation trip to London, Asha Jamison and her best friend Carey decide to sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students.
But seemingly overnight, their “cause” goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide social movement. 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, while her friendship with Carey hangs by a thread. And when the peaceful underground movement spins out of control, 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.
I am very impressed with The Latte Rebellion. Not only does it touch base with deep issues of today, but it does it in a way that is by no means preachy. On the surface, it just another young adult contemporary, but underneath Stevenson has crafted a story that delves deep into a topic still relevant to today: race.
While growing up, I rarely came across young adult books that included a multiracial main character. It seemed to always be one race, and though there is nothing wrong with one-race characters, considering that 9 million Americans identify as multiracial, is it not odd that there are so few young adult books that even mention a multi-racial character?
As a person who has always struggled to understand my racial identity, reading The Latte Rebellion was like coming home after a long semester at college. And I think for other multiracial and/or multicultural readers may find this book just as relatable as I did.
Now moving on to the specifics:
Ehhhh… (aka my qualms with this book)
There were only two passages that cut me out of the story. The first was
My mom should have been the one to be OCD about grades. (135)
I don’t make it a secret that I suffer from both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and as a person who has struggled with OCD for many years, I don’t appreciate statements like ”I’m OCD when it comes to ___” or “I’m OCD about ___.” You know the comments.
These statements carry the implication that OCD is nothing more than a joke to be said around the lunch room, a passing phrase to open the semester as you greet your new students, a comment to help break the ice as you meet new friends.
Frankly, I'm tired of it. So, for god sakes, STOP.
And the second was
Roy tried to freak-dance with me, called me a bitch when I wouldn’t, and then proceeded to swap spit all evening with the school’s most notorious slut. (177)
I should hopefully not have to tell you what is wrong with this passage.
Hint: for a book that is all about dismantling stereotypes...
Yay! (aka the cool things about this book)
Beside those two points above, everything is awesome. [insert lego movie gif] The Latte Rebellion is a worthwhile read. There is humor, there is a romance that doesn’t make you cringe, the f-n main character struggles with her last year of high school, and though not everything is the way she expected at the end, the main character makes it through; she perseveres.
In conclusion: 4.8/5 stars
The Latte Rebellion website (yes, the author actually made a website like the one in the book. Check out the cool gear!)