The Latte Rebellion
I really loved this story! I'm a quarter Italian, quarter Irish, and an eighth Mexican. I'm also like Asha in that I check 'other' on all my application forms. What I really loved about this story is how Asha wants to bring awareness to mixed-raced students. I can relate with how Asha feels when Roger of the Asian club tells her she's not 'Asian enough'. That happened to me when I mentioned my Mexican hertiage while attending college. I'm also like Asha that I wanted to know more about my Mexican roots from my Grandfather but he wanted to 'forget' due to the times he lived in.
What I like is Asha decides to do something about it. I could relate with her more than her friend Carey, who though smart in some things, is afraid to speak out.
When Asha's high school turns down her request to form a mixed-race club, she doesn't let that stop her. Asha is determined and someone I'd totally follow! I like her spunk and courage to go with her idea even when some of her friends are afraid of the consequences.
Her friends are equally likeable. I like how Asha grows and finds her own 'voice' even if this means growing apart from her best friend.
I loved how Asha's thoughts on the Latte Rebellion evolve from the very beginning to the end.
Asha's determination not to be lumped into some predetermined 'box' but rather be seen as an individual gives us a heroine to cheer for! This coming of age story is one that shows us a girl who grows up and embraces the fact that she's neither coffee or milk but an individual. Yay for the rebellion!
The Latte Rebellion is a great idea for a story. I find many individuals of mixed raced often struggle to carve out a niche where they really belong. The pretense of the story is an excellent platform to help those with bi-racial backgrounds seek out this said niche.
With that said, for me, the protagonist falls flat as a true leader and getting to the meat of the conflict droned on a bit. It is a slow read that doesn't have enough action to push the book forward. The ending is given away in the beginning through too much foreshadowing, and the supporting characters lend very little support. I found it wordy, a little trite, and somewhat racist in moments even though The Latte Rebellion encourages others not of mixed race that feel their plight to join them.
The cross-over of high school students spending time with and even dating college students was a stretch for me. There are not a lot of college kids out there that would openly attend and support a high school rebellion or date a high school student. It reaches at a grass-roots effort, but falls flat on the follow through.
The mention of "terrorist" activity in the flash-forwards to the "trial" for the instigation of The Latte Rebellion were unrealistic. Even in a time of terroristic fear, school boards would be hard pressed to make these accusations stick, especially for a senior.
Overall, I thought it was a good idea for a story, but the end results left me feeling flat, and truthfully, a bit annoyed at another story on diversity and how it only separates rather than unifies us as a culture.