Friday, June 8, 2012

Book Club Friday: Birthday Edition!

It's my birthday today! I'm 20-something years old! As opposed to yesterday, when I was 20-something...

Honestly, who can focus on books when birthday celebrations are to be had? Hence I'm actually writing this on May 27, 2012, but waiting to post it til June 8. I'm tricky like that.

But you knew that already, right? I mean, I totally 'fessed up to it with last week's Book Club Friday.

Thank goodness for, or I'd never remember all the books I read.

Today's two books are once again, bargains from Amazon. Every month, they offer 100 books for $3.99 or less. I couldn't resist buying four of them from the Kids & Teens category.

The Latte Rebellion by Sarah Jamila Stevenson and Cate of the Lost Colony by Lisa Klein couldn't be more different:
  • the former features a modern setting whereas the latter is set in the 16th century
  • the former is about navigating high school (and the consequences of failing) whereas the latter is about navigating Queen Elizabeth's court (and the consequences of failing)
  • the romance in the former is young and innocent whereas the romance in the latter leads to devastating consequences
But I'm pairing these two books for Book Club Friday because of what they have in common: a discussion on race.


The Latte Rebellion

Asha and her best friend Carey, both of mixed race, take a racist slur and turn it into a money-making business! But what begins as a quick way to earn funds for a summer vacation (while spreading some awareness) soon spirals out-of-control into a national movement. Asha learns more about her identity and struggles with the choice between obeying authority & doing what she feels is right.

The book alternates between the trial for Asha's expulsion from school near the end of the year and the events leading up to that moment, starting the summer before. Included are illustrations of "evidence," like from their website, flyers, t-shirts, etc.

The best part of this book are how multi-dimensional all the characters are. Even the "bad guys" are complex.

I was amazed to discover this is a debut novel. It's so well-written, so well-paced, so intriguing. It reads like the work of a veteran author.

Cate of the Lost Colony

Cate serves as a maid for Queen Elizabeth I. When Cate catches the eye of Sir Walter Ralegh, and naively begins a flirtation with him, the jealous queen punishes her. Locking Cate up in the Tower isn't enough, so Elizabeth banishes her to the New World. Along with the other settlers, Cate faces unexpected hardships.

I loved so many aspects of this book. Seeing Elizabethan England. Watching Cate slowly mature. Reading different perspectives. Klein's blending of fact and fiction.

I know it's historical fiction, I know it represents a different time and thus different ideas, but I found myself so frustrated at all the stupid (white) MEN refusing to listen to Cate and Manteo (the native who traveled to England, learned English, and tried to keep the peace between the colonists and the natives).

All in all, a great book that examines one of American history's greatest mysteries.

Do you like the bargains for kindles? Any cheap recommendations for me?


  1. I love Elizabethan novels so I may have to give this one a go! And The Latte Rebeellion sounds really good!

    1. They were both excellent!

      I love Elizabethan novels as well. Have you read Phillipa Gregory's works? She's my all-time favorite writer.

  2. I'm pretty much obsessed with reading historical fiction set in England so Cate sounds like the perfect book for me.

    1. Me too! Aka why Phillipa Gregory is my all-time favorite writer. I've reviewed one of her books before, and with the gift card I received for my birthday, just bought another book of hers!


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