Patron Saints of Nothing

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Jun 2019

Member Reviews

Wow. What an absolutely entrancing read. 
Patron Saints of Nothing is a quiet novel but it packs an emotional punch. 
The story follows Jay Reguero, a Filipino-American teenager whose world is turned upside down when he learns that his cousin Jun, with whom he used to exchange letters across continents, has been killed as part of Filipino's President Duterte's war on drugs. No one in his family wants to talk about what happened to Jun, so Jay returns to the Philippines to find out the truth about his cousin's last moments. 

I was absolutely blown away by the lyrical prose Ribay uses to describe the the culture and economy of the Philippines and how Jay reconnects with his native roots. Quite like Jay, I hadn't even heard much about President Duterte's cruel and illegal war on drugs or how the media circumnavigates the issue, but I feel like I've learned a lot about the innate bias of journalism and the desire to tell the truth even if it might end up hurting you.

This is a political novel that opens up a rarely discussed topic to the wider public, a novel that shows that a person is never just one thing, that our stories are shaped by who tells them at what point in time and what we take away from that story. Emotional, gripping and powerful, Patron Saints of Nothing should be read by anyone who wants to learn more about Filipino culture and social issues, or anyone who needs a powerful read to remind themselves that no one is perfect but as long as we try our best, the world might follow.
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*Arc provided by Netgalley and the publishers*

Omg I loved this book. 
As someone who is has grown up similar to the protagonist, being half Filipino and half white, I could relate to how disconnected he feels and how he didn't know much about what goes on in the country of origin.
I loved how the portrayal of the characters as they felt real, like how as I was reading it this could have been happening at the exact same time.
I enjoyed how although the main plot was to find out what happened to his cousin, Jun, there were also other things that occurred. 
I would recommend this book to everyone, partially due to the representation and how everyone should know about what is going on in the Philippines, to just having an enjoyable and powerful read.
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Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

WOW. I loved this. I truly did!

I loved the representation of a diaspora child. As somebody who is Bengali but born in Sweden, I can relate to Jay and his struggles with the language, culture, and history. I think it was really well-written and explored and I know that diaspora children will see their struggles reflected in Jay's story.

I really enjoyed how everything played out. It didn't play out the way I did, which was a nice surprise. I thought I had the book all figured out but, alas, I didn't! In many ways, the plot is quite predictable but it managed to subvert my initial thoughts about it.

I would call this, in some ways, a Filipino "The Hate U Give" and I recommend it to anyone who wants another political drama.
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This wasn't as great as I hoped it would be. I wanted to read this so badly and was stoked beyond words when I got approved for the ARC on Netgalley. I can't say one thing that didn't hit the mark with me, but several little things. But I didn't hate it, far from it. I just didn't love it with my whole heart and soul like I wanted and hoped I would.
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Jason is an American Filipino about to start college.  He lives with his family and spends much of his time playing video games.  He is out of touch with his extended family in the Philippines and their culture.  He lives life as an American student and has little to do with his culture.
Until he learns of the death of his cousin Jun.  Jason’s father isn’t saying enough about the death and Jason is determined to learn the truth.  He receives an anonymous text saying that Jun was murdered, wrongly and unjustly.  

Jason remembers Jun writing him letters that were never responded to, and he pulls these out to learn more and to feel a connection with Jun.  
As Spring Break approaches, Jason convinces his parents to let him travel to the Philippines to meet his extended family and to grieve with them over Jun.  He also wants to see if he can find out more about the murder but he is delving into dangerous territory.  President Duterte has declared a war on drugs and it is a ruthless war, with killings happening around the city. 

Respect for his culture and his determination to learn the truth must be balanced and this makes for a powerful and gripping read.  
Learning to grieve and say goodbye show us a heart-wrenching and heart-warming balance in the story and Randy Ribay has such a wonderful style of writing and bringing emotions to the forefront.  

An honest book with complex characters and a brilliant journey of discovery.  One to read! 
There is so much to learn, understand and enjoy in this YA book.
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What a wonderful book. I adored the characters and the story and the emotional impact of it. This is a book that people _need_ to read. Although it is a fictional story, the drug war is a truth and I think this may shine some light on a real problem. A story about family, love, and loss. I loved it and cried so many times. 

Full review to come.
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