Rebels Like Us
What worked: This story is inspired by true events that happened in the South where a school's Prom was segregated. I liked that we're introduced to a diverse character who encounters racism and prejudice in her new school in a small Georgia town.
Anges "Nes" Murphy-Pujols is mixed but finds that some in her new school only see her skin color. Nes struggles with her new home and coming to terms with her mother's betrayal after she has to leave her one job after having an affair. The emotions of Nes are very real like when she misses her BFF back in Brooklyn and when she tries to move on after she finds out about her ex-boyfriend's cheating. I really liked when we see her in her new surroundings and her encounter with the cute new guy Doyle.
I did feel though that the real strength of this novel happens after Nes and Doyle come out together as more than friends and the reactions of the town and school.
The dialogue exchange is snappy between Nes and Doyle and even the mean girl Ansley who seems to run the school.
One scene stood out. The scene where Nes is pulled over by a police officer, who happens to be Doyle's cousin. His exchange is filled with racist comments and threats. Nes experiences first hand the racism based on her skin color. I've had friends that have had similar experiences.
Some of the pages seemed to drag while others were filled with tension as Nes realizes that she can make a small difference. In this case, it's to help with the alternative Prom.
The romance between Nes and Doyle starts out slow and then builds even when things stand in their way like his ex Ansley and centuries old tradition of segregation.
Engaging portrayal of a diverse teen trying to make sense of her new school while coming to terms with her own heart.