Patron Saints of Nothing is one of my most anticipated releases for this year. I actually included this book several times on the blog already: Can’t-Wait Wednesday #1, Top 5 June 2019 Releases I’m Most Excited For, Books I’d Slay A Lion To Get Early and many more.
So I got so ecstatic when I saw on twitter that Bookworm’s Unite PH will be hosting a local tour. I’m one of the luckiest blogger who got accepted to read this masterpiece early.
*Many thanks to Penguin Random House Global for the free ARC in exchange of an honest review.
Title: Patron Saints of Nothing
Author: Randy Ribay
Publication Date: June 18th, 2019 by Kokila
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.
Patron Saints of Nothing is a powerful and poignant story about family, identity, justice and grief. I finished it brimming with lots of realizations but also another questions.
We follow Jay Reguero, a biracial Filipino-American living in the states, as he uncovers the truth behind the death of his Filipino cousin, Jun, as part of the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. This is the book each Filipinos needed.
The moment I heard about this book in Twitter — I was completely sold. A book with Filipino mc and is set in the Philippines that bravely talked about societal issues? Susan, it’s a yes for me.
Ribay really touched my heart in this story in a different way no other book ever does. Maybe it’s because this book is something I strongly identify with as someone currently living in the Philippines under Duterte’s war on drugs. Despite of that, it is a shame I knew very little about it.
It opened my heart and eyes to what’s really happening in my own country. It explored the harsh truths not only about the war on drugs but also hundreds of tough topics with pure raw. Such a thought-provoking story. I also can’t help but feel for Jay. He’s a character filled with determination to seek truth and find his identity. I can’t help but empathize as he tried reconnecting with his family and building ties after a long time. I never shed a single tear but I felt the pain and ache the characters are going through. I know it will touch many more hearts of other readers across the world. The emotions felt so raw and real.
One of the many things I love about this book is whenever Randy Ribay shared a bit of Filipino culture and things. It delighted me reading Jay’s, as someone who didn’t grow up here, observations about it.
On another note, I don’t hate nor like the romance side of the story. It doesn’t actually add up to the overall plot and it wasn’t even given enough screen time so I think it’s not something to dwell much into. Also I think this book can stand without having romance in it and still be great. Not saying romance is essential to have a good book, btw.
Overall, this book gave light to topics like politics, injustice, cultural identity, loss of loved ones and hard truths of reality. Randy Ribay was full of passion and emotion portraying the reality of the Philippines under the war on drugs. He masterfully conveyed the word through this fiction novel with an aim to open the eyes of lots of people. To end my review, Patron Saints of Nothing is such an important and beautifully written story that will leave you with a lot of life lessons and realizations and endless whys.
Okay, so today (June 14th) BUPH announced on twitter that there will be a Randy Ribay PH book signing (AREN’T THEY AWESOME??)! You might want to come and join them (I can’t join bc of school, sadly).
If you enjoyed the book and want to meet the author personally then this is your chance!
Don’t forget to join the twitter chat hosted by Bookworm’s Unite PH on June 22 at 8:00PM PHT!
Follow along with the tour using this tour launch post by JM @ The Book Freak Revelations with the complete tour schedule!
☞ What are your favorite thought-provoking YA books?
☞ What’s your latest ‘it is a book I strongly identify with’ read?