Asha is a mixed-race high school senior with creative ambitions. When she is insulted at an Asian- American pool party she remembers all the times people have blindly mistaken her for anything but her mutt mix of Irish, Mexican, and Indian. She realizes she doesn’t feel comfortable identifying with any one part of her heritage, and more than that her heritage is just a small part of her.
Asha sparks on an idea. She, and many of her friends, are all mixed up. They are just like Asha’s favorite drink; they are lattes. Asha enlists the help of her best friend to start a business selling a t-shirt to the lattes of the world that unites people in a new way. The money is to be used for a well deserved break between high school and college.
Asha never could have predicted it but her t-shirts open the door for something so much bigger than sharing a little awareness with the world while making a few bucks. It turns out many mixed race Americans needed an outlet to let their voices be heard. Lattes are the present, Lattes are strong, and Lattes are mixed up to be more than the sum of their parts, and they come in endless blends. The Lattes are tired of being dismissed as less, or addressed as diluted, when they offer so much more. A mix of cultural backgrounds, and a heightened social awareness, put Lattes in the position to be huge contributors to society and they want to make themselves known with The Latte Rebellion.
1. This is a coming of age story with a feminine point of view. It has all the elements, growing up, giving up some things from childhood, self-realization, and a little love-interest. With the added bonus of it being wrapped in social awareness, involvement, and making a positive difference.
2. The writing seems young like the author’s style is still evolving. But the story is engaging. It builds and grows along with the main character, Asha.
3. The author makes her character realistic. She shows a girl getting ready for college. She doesn’t concentrate much on the setting, which is California, but rather the things that come up in Asha’s world. As this story is about a college bound young woman, with a lot on her plate (and, as humans we can become quite self centered.), the true setting is Asha’s mind. This is very realistic and executed beautifully; I didn’t miss not connecting with a world because I felt very connected to Asha.
4. This story is wonderful. It starts off a little silly, then journeys through some hardships, and ends up giving great example of how to handle the unexpected. I recommend it to anyone who is going through a big life change; such as starting college or leaving college for their “first real job”. Also to anyone who likes stories about young women growing into themselves and realizing their strength and potential.
*This is a 2011 Debut Author Challenge book, go to http://www.thestorysiren.com/2011/03/2011-debut-author-challenge-march.html for more information about Debut Authors in 2011.