Rummanah Aasi
Description: 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.

Review: After finding out about his cousin Jun’s violent death, Jay Reguero travels from America to the Philippines to uncover the truth behind the mysterious death. Jay does not have much of a connection to the Philippines, the place of his birth, and has recently discovered that the nation has changed in the face of a sweeping drug war initiated by President Rodrigo Duterte, a war that Jun’s father, Tito Maning, enthusiastically endorses. Jay digs into the circumstances of Jun’s death, which is much more complicated than what he had anticipated.
   I really enjoyed The Patron Saints of Nothing which deftly weaves a mystery/suspense elements regarding Jun's death and a coming of age story that taps into the deep, nuanced, and complicated yet realistic family drama between family members who stayed in Philippines and that of Jay's father who decided to raise his children in America. Ribay perfectly captures the feelings of those who straddle two different cultures. He faces microaggressions at school and while attempting to try to convey his feelings to his American friends. Yet he also feels like an outsider in the Philippines because he does not speak the language though he looks Filipino.
  This book is a window for me in terms of learning about the current the current-day war on drugs ravaging Filipino society, characterized by extrajudicial vigilante killings endorsed by the highest levels of government, which unfortunately I do not hear too much about in the news. The author also touches upon the Filipino history of colonization, occupation, and revolution, but I needed a bit more to fully wrap my head around. After reading this book I can definitely see why it was nominated for the National Book Award for Young Adults.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is language and discussion of drug abuse, sex trafficking, and violence initiated by the government and police. Recommended for Grades 10 and up.

If you like this book try: Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson
1 Response
  1. I think this book is an excellent one so I'm glad (but not surprised) that you enjoyed it. I think it covers topics that we don't often see in YA lit, which is nice.

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails