Featured Review: Patron Saints Of Nothing (Randy Ribay)

41941681._SY475_

About This Book:

A powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino-American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousin's murder.

Jay Reguero plans to spend the last semester of his senior year playing video games before heading to the University of Michigan in the fall. But when he discovers that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, and no one in the family wants to talk about what happened, Jay travels to the Philippines to find out the real story.

Hoping to uncover more about Jun and the events that led to his death, Jay is forced to reckon with the many sides of his cousin before he can face the whole horrible truth -- and the part he played in it.

As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
 

 

 

 

*Review Contributed By Inah Peralta Staff Reviewer*

 

 

 

It’s a thought-provoking masterpiece that blurs the line between fiction and reality

Reading Patron Saints of Nothing invokes a lot of emotions, especially for someone who’s socially aware of the current political situation in the Philippines. There is pain and grief in Jay’s loss of his cousin, Jun; anger from the fact that this Drug War is explicitly anti-poor and that some privileged Filipinos choose to stay with their apathy because this doesn’t affect them; and shame and disbelief from the fact that a lot of Filipinos support this constant violation of human rights. 

I was able to read a manuscript of this book since Randy reached out and asked if I could be one of the sensitivity readers for Jay’s story. Even from then, I love the fact that he was able to capture the reality and elicit empathy with the book’s premise.

Of course, I was a little worried since the main character is a Filipino-American who has little knowledge of the Philippines besides their occasional visits. I was worried with how Jay would digest the reality of the problem we have, but the author addressed it in such a way that it was a learning experience for Jay. No white savior nonsense and the likes, Jay was actually willing to learn and even gets called out a couple of times. His character growth and realizations about the truth and his journey towards finding himself was a delight to see as we go along the story.

Another notable thing was how genuine the characters’ voices are. Realistic portrayals are important especially when it comes to stories that take on cultural representation. I’m really just grateful that Randy Ribay was able to show accurate Filipino representation from different aspects in the book such as politics, religion, family relationships, and even food!

However, I wanted to talk about how adults were presented in the story. It’s a classic case of “the adults are useless so the youngins better do something about it”, and I kid you not, this is the reality of the Philippine Society. We’re taught to respect our elders. We’re allowed to have an opinion but we’re not allowed to call them out when they’re wrong. 

The funny thing is all these were personified in Tito Maning’s character so my hatred was just focused on one person. If you’re not from the Philippines, has read this book and you found yourself hating on Tito Maning, I just want you to know that most people have the same mindset as him. It’s pretty much infuriating.

Overall, my reading experience with Patron Saints of Nothing was purely positive. It brought a fresh perspective to a highly sensitive topic in the Philippines. It’s a thought-provoking masterpiece that blurs the line between fiction and reality and forces you to question where you stand. Besides politics, it also tackles socioeconomic inequalities, racism, and sexism. God, I’ll never shut up about this book’s importance because it’s truly an eye-opener. All the more reasons to pick this book up if you’re having second thoughts. Trust me, it’s worth your time.

Good Points
realistic and genuine voice, accurate portrayal of Filipino characters, thought provoking and eye-opening

 

 

 

*Find More Info On This Book HERE!*

 

 

What's New In YA ~ July 2nd, 2019
YABC Staff's Current Reads ~ July 1st, 2019

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...
The Survival List
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sloane Weber is devastated when her older sister dies...
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed YA debut pits a deadly siren princess and...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy...
Kingdom of Souls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay. The...
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
"This heartwarming story deals with friendship, empathy, caring, nurturing and...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young...
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
The third installment of the Making of America series, Abraham...

Latest Member Reviews

Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Winter's Captive
 
5.0
"YA fantasy has always been my favorite. However, the past few months, I'd been in a slump. I struggled getting..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
"I don’t know where to start! The Fractured Empire by Robin D. Mahle is the first in the World Apart..."
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
"A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."
Jolly Jingly Christmas: The Best Christmas Book Ever!
 
5.0
"JOLLY JINGLY CHRISTMAS is a cute rhyming, lift-the-flap, musical, non-religious celebration of the season. Each of the five full page..."
Dear Sweet Pea
 
4.0
"Sweet Pea is in her last year of primary school (K-7th grade) and will be starting at secondary school the..."
I Can Make This Promise
 
5.0
"I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE is a moving middle grade contemporary fiction about trusting your parents, finding your heritage, and..."
Peppa Pig Festival of Mud
 
4.5
"What I Loved: The story is based off an episode of Peppa Pig, and definitely reads like one. It..."
Everybody Says Meow
 
N/A
"What I Loved: This is one of those books that you can't help but smile while you read, even..."
The Other, Better Me
 
4.0
"THE OTHER, BETTER ME is a contemporary middle grade novel that follows a ten-year-old, Lola, as she explores herself and..."
Goldilocks For Dinner
 
5.0
"What I loved: The illustrations in this book are unique and eye catching, engaging the children from the outset. The..."