May 16, 2011

Review of "The Latte Rebellion"

"The Latte Rebellion"
by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

The Latte Rebellion2

Pub. Date: January 8, 2011
Pages: 327
Publisher: Flux

Synopsis:  When high school senior Asha Jamison gets called a "towel head" at a pool party, the racist insult gives Asha and her best friend Carey a great money-making idea for a post-graduation trip. They'll sell T-shirts promoting the Latte Rebellion, a club that raises awareness of mixed-race students.

Seemingly overnight, their "cause" goes viral and the T-shirts become a nationwide fad. 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, and her friendship with Carey is hanging by a thread. And when the peaceful underground movement turns militant, 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 really wanted to like "The Latte Rebellion", but the book just didn't do it for me.  I originally got into the book thinking it would be an interesting read about girls banding together to make a difference in the world, but there seemed to be very little of this.  It didn't really bother me that Asha and Carey's plan stemmed from a marketing scheme to help them plan a summer trip, the fact that they did believe in what they were putting on the shirts made it okay for me.  What I didn't like was how Asha and Carey fought the entire book.  I get not wanting to lose an important friendship, but when your friend only has contact with you when it is beneficial for them, then that is a one sided relationship.  I kind of felt like Carey was only Asha's friend to bum rides off of her to school, help her study for tests, and so she had somewhere to sit at lunch.  Asha's character was also driving me nuts.  She kept ignoring her schoolwork and then was shocked when she got back grades.  It was also annoying because she kept whining about how unfair her parents were being, but she is the one who let her grades slip.  There was a lot of time spent on Carey and Asha's friendship, on Asha's grades, and on love interesting- this just really detracted from the overall story to me.

Another thing I really didn't like was the portrayal of adults in the book.  Almost every single adult thought the Latte Rebellion was a terrorist group or that teenagers were wasting time on something that wasn't important.  I have to say that if my child were to start a group to raise awareness of important social issues, I would be so proud of them.  I would not be ashamed and disappointed.  I would of course warn them that sometimes acting on your beliefs could cause trouble, even if you have the best of intentions, but I would still stand up for them if the school tried to expel them.  I can't believe no parent stepped in to talk to the school about how exclusive they were being to groups of students.  I know this is a teen book and maybe teens wouldn't like adults taking charge, but that is usually what happens.  Especially in a circumstance such as this where the school system is overreacting to a peaceful group trying to bring social awareness about mixed races.  The schools reaction was actually pretty disgusting; I'm surprised more wasn't done in this area.

Overall, the book was okay, but honestly I could have skipped reading this one.  Even though Asha did seem to want to bring awareness about mixed races to the world, I just thought "The Latte Rebellion" would have been a more successful book if more focus had been spent on the issues instead of Asha's personal life.  I know that other people have really enjoyed this book, but I'm just not one of them.

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May 14, 2011

5 Minute Zombie Makeover and List of Zombie Books

(If I had gotten a close up on my face and taken the picture at the beginning of the night instead of the end it would have looked a lot better, but oh well!  Too late!)
Things you will need:
1- Black eyeshadow
2- Clothing you don't mind possibly ruining or tearing
3- Red Gel Food Coloring (I used Betty Crocker and it worked great)
4- A very light shade of liquid foundation.
5- Some kind of hair gel that will keep your hair looking messy

What you need to do:
1- Get dressed in clothing you don't mind possibly ruining with fake blood or tearing to look more rugged.
2-Make your hair look at messy as possible using some kind of styling gel.  
3-Put on a good coat of the liquid foundation (do not add blush!).  
4-Put black eye shadow underneath your eyes with your finger.  
5-Smear the red gel food coloring all over your body.  Be sure to get some on your lips and all over your chin.  

TA-DA!  I'm not sure how the food coloring would look if you smeared it on your clothing because I didn't go that far.  I am just posting this because I found a lot of information online that made the makeup aspect seem so much more complicated.  I was trying to add the food coloring into corn syrup, but it just was way too pale.  I even tried adding things like chocolate syrup, a drop of blue food coloring, and other ingredients.  There probably is a way to make terrific blood using corn syrup and food coloring, but if you just want something super fast that looks good then I am just trying to save you some time and effort!  I was worried I wouldn't be able to get the food coloring off, but I had it on my skin for almost 6 hours with no problems.  It came off in the shower with regular soap and no scrubbing.  I am glad that I wont be freaking out all the children in the Children's Department tomorrow! :)

Looking for your next great Zombie Read?  Here is a list of Zombie Books:
"Forest of Hands and Teeth" Series- Carrie Ryan
The Forest of Hands and TeethThe Dead-Tossed Waves (Forest of Hands and Teeth)The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth, Book 3) 
"Zombies vs. Unicorns"- Holly Black
Zombies vs. Unicorns 
"Zombie Blondes"- Brian James
Zombie Blondes 
"Zombie Queen of Newbury High"- Amanda Ashby
Zombie Queen of Newbury High 
"Generation Dead" Series- Daniel Waters
Generation DeadGeneration Dead: Kiss of LifeGeneration Dead: Passing Strange 
"Rot & Ruin"- Jonathan Maberry
Rot & Ruin 
"Beautiful Dead" Series-  Eden Maguire
Beautiful Dead Book 1: JonasArizona (Beautiful Dead)Summer (Beautiful Dead)Phoenix (Beautiful Dead)

"World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War"- Max Brooks
 World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War
"You are so Undead to Me" and other Megan Berry Books- Stacey Jay
You Are So Undead to Me (Megan Berry, Book 1)Undead Much? (Megan Berry, Book 2)Valentine's Day of the Undead (Megan Berry)
"Never Slow Dance With a Zombie"- E. Van Lowe
Never Slow Dance with a Zombie

If anyone has other Zombie Book suggestions please comment.  Maybe I'll do a post about zombie movies...

May 11, 2011

Review of "Delirium"

Lauren Oliver

Pub. Date: February 1, 2011
Pages: 448
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Inc

Synopsis: Before scientists found the cure, people thought love was a good thing. They didn’t understand that once love -- the deliria -- blooms in your blood, there is no escaping its hold. Things are different now. Scientists are able to eradicate love, and the governments demands that all citizens receive the cure upon turning eighteen. Lena Holoway has always looked forward to the day when she’ll be cured. A life without love is a life without pain: safe, measured, predictable, and happy.

But with ninety-five days left until her treatment, Lena does the unthinkable: She falls in love.

I am so glad I bought this book because it was AWESOME!  I have been reading a fair amount of dystopian fiction in the last year, but I loved the original plot behind "Delirium".  I didn't think this book could be as good as it sounded, but it totally was.  I finished reading it only a couple of days ago and I still feel like gushing!  I wasn't sure how Oliver would be able to make me believe in a society where love was thought to be a deadly disease, but she pulled it off.  Characters' thoughts and actions consistent with what would happen in a society where love was thought to be something that must be cured to avoid death.  Oliver added quotes and children's rhymes that showed how the fear of love was spread from a young age to ensure that everyone looked forward to the day they were lode enough to undergo high-risk procedure.  I thought this was a nice way to show some of the regulations and lies the government disseminated.

I really liked the characters in the book.  Even though Lena seemed week and uptight at the beginning of the book, it was interesting to see how she developed as she unraveled some of the truth behind the lies she grew up believing.  I wasn't sure how I felt about her best friend Hana, part of me wanted her to stop being so reckless and to be a better friend to Lena, but that completely changed by the end of the book.  Alex stole my heart from the moment he was introduced, he is definitely a crush worthy character!  The best aspect of the characters is that they surprised me until the very end of the book.  This is one of those books where the last 75 pages fly by and characters just blow your mind.

If nothing I have said above convinces you to read "Delirium" then maybe the fact it has mystery, love, and danger all rolled into one package.  It really was a FANTASTIC book; I can't wait to see what Lauren Oliver has planned for the next book.  I didn't think "Delirium" could be as good as "Before I Fall", but I actually enjoyed it more; although, I have a feeling that preference will depend on what genre you enjoy more.

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