Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay

Review: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy RibayPatron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 27th June 2019
Source: Publisher
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: four-stars

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.

Prior to reading Patron Saints of Nothing, I knew very little about what is going on in the Philippines right now. I cannot express how happy I am that I picked up this book, as it encouraged me to learn more about the situation.

I can’t speak to the accuracy of the book and the events that happen in it, so I would suggest checking out other people’s reviews. From what I’ve seen from friends on Twitter, though, this book has really hit home and is saying some powerful things.

Patron Saints of Nothing follows Jay, an American boy whose father is from the Philippines. Jay is struggling to connect with that side of his roots, and it’s not until he hears about his cousin’s death that he wants to travel to the Philippines and figure out what went wrong.

There was a lot of abuse – both emotional and physical – in this book, and it was difficult to read about. There are other dark themes, such as murder and drug use, and to be honest it was all really quite sad.

As usual, I didn’t care for the main romance in the book. It’s not just because I don’t like romances, it’s also because there was some low-key cheating in there too. Not a fan. That said, there was some (some) LGBTQ+ rep in there, which I appreciated.

Overall, I think Patron Saints of Nothing is a fantastic book, and the fact that a lot of bloggers from the Philippines are praising it so highly means it’s a hit with me.

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