Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You're Jealous because I WON!

OUTSIDE: Bright and cold. Important--NO SNOW.
LISTENING TO: White Stripes on shuffle. So bummed that they are parting ways.
READING: Warped by Maurissa Guibord
BREAKFAST: a cocktail of Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey. And vitamins. Yuck.

At last (told you it takes me forever to do anything), I'm posting my first 2011 Debut Author Challenge review!

I actually won a copy of this book through a contest on Twitter--having to tweet about my favorite warm beverage which was, at the time, a cup of Alice's Tea Cup Christmas blend and a cookie. Personally I think it was the mention of the cookie that won the day, because I never win random drawings, but luck was with me and I WON... 

From the first time I heard the premise of this book, I really wanted to read it. The folks at Flux do a tremendous job at intros, so I'm not even going to try to do my own:

"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."

Interesting premise, and without giving any spoilers, I thought that Sarah Jamila Stevenson brought the reader through Asha's ups and downs in this adventure to a very satisfactory conclusion.  What really hooked me though was how very realistic and true the story and the characters were.  Asha is absolutely believeable and imperfect--in a very good way. Her flaws and the self depreciating wit with which she delivers observations about herself, her friends, her family, her situation, made her a strong character with an appealing fragility and humility about her. This is not an easy thing for a writer to pull off. Asha is someone you'd want to be friends with (if she were real, of course).  Then there were characters I wanted to smack (come on, Carey!) and hug (Miranda). 

I love when I have an emotional reaction to a book--to me it means that the writer brought me into the world he or she has created; SJS did this and more. Now, some personal notes--points that were little treats and made me smile while reading...

* This book is going to make the tour of my house--we are a mixed race family, and there are several challenges that the rebellion members face that we've come up against. I like the overall attitude of the characters--its very uplifiting but realistic too.



* LOVE the "exhibits" and illustrations throughout the book.  I later discovered that the art was the work of SJS herself. One thing that came immediately to mind when I first saw them was "Persepolis" and I wondered if SJS had read any of Marjane Satrapi's work.  It's like comparing peas to apples, I know, but I may have to ask her that one day (answer will be posted if I manage to collect it!).

* I thought it was hysterical that Asha and co. refered to themselves not only as "Lattes" but as "Brown." My husband (half Pakistani, half Irish) has been doing that for years. I laughed out loud every time I came across it.

* Equally cool is the companion website to the book. Click the picture below (one of SJS's illustrations) to visit:


Don't be jealous because I won (I never win anything, really!). Instead, why not visit  Flux and get your own copy. Or visit your local bookstore--if they don't have it, ASK FOR A COPY--good for you, and the author too.

I'm really impressed with myself that I am trucking along with this challenge!  Next up, WARPED!

5 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for the review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :) And yes, I've read Persepolis (both of them) and love it. Actually, I'd love to do a graphic novel myself someday.

    Cool that your husband is half-Pakistani--that's what I am, too!!

    - Sarah

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  2. I was born into a mixed race family and now I'm raising my own so I'm eager to get my hands on a copy of this book. Thanks for the great review!

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  3. Thanks for stopping by! I don't want to pigeon hole this book--because I think any teen reader would be able to relate. Asha came alive to me as a person. My son graduated high school last year and she seemed like so many of his friends--the things she said, her manner of speech, etc. But there is that twist of her being a child of several distinct cultures--not only incorporating the nationalities of her parents, but American culture as well, that was very interesting and well done. Daughter (13) is reading it now.

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  4. The Latte Rebellion is already on my to-read list, and your review just makes me want to read it even more. Congratulations on your win!

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  5. Beautiful post combining mocha latte, cookie, and a COOL book! Wow. P.S. Kid Creole: "If it weren't for my cream-and-coffee color, I'd be a diety." Actually, he is a deity. :-) Times were tough adjectivally, though, before the mocha latte craze... and I want one right now.

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