Nala is 17, about to enter senior year, the final school year in the American system, and, because of a dispute with her Mom, has lived with an aunt and uncle and her ‘cousin-sister-friend’, Imani, for four years as the story starts at the beginning of the summer vacation. Imani has chosen to celebrate her birthday by going to a talent show, and there Nala falls for the young MC, Tye. Imani and Tye, and other friends, volunteer for ‘Inspire Harlem’, and are vegetarian, healthy and keen. Nala is persuaded to become a volunteer and becomes more active and changes her eating in public, in spite of her longing for bacon and a movie-night with a tub of ice-cream. As her relationship with Tye deepens, the lies she has to tell become more complicated. For example, her visits to her Grandma in a retirement home and help with a jigsaw are exaggerated into a project whereby she says she runs an activity programme for the home, but of course the truth emerges, and she feels she should break up with Tye. Nala is big, and comfortable in her own skin but, under family pressure to apply for college, she realises that she has to work out who she is and what she wants to do with her life. Her relationships with Imani and with her Mum also need to be sorted out, and the revolution of the title refers to her finding her true self and being able to love it. Only then can she approach Tye, to see if their relationship can be restored.
This loving family of Jamaican origin comes across strongly, and the food and clothes are important, but hair and how to style it is even more so: braiding or straightening take a long time, with opportunity for chatting. There are several romantic relationships in this book, but none of them seem to get further than kissing, so this is safe reading for young people.