Patron Saints of Nothing
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 Details

TitlePatron Saints of Nothing
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 1st, 2019
PublisherKokila
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Sequential Art, Graphic Novels, Fiction

Patron Saints of Nothing Review

  • Melanie
    January 1, 1970
    My best friends got me an ARC of this and I love them more than I have words to express! (Thank you so much, Madalyn, Chelsea, & Jane!) “It is a shame what is happening in this country. And it is a shame that the Church has been so quiet. That all of us have been so quiet. That the world has been so quiet.” This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and even though I didn’t love it the way that I truly thought I would, I still am going to boost it forever and always because ther My best friends got me an ARC of this and I love them more than I have words to express! (Thank you so much, Madalyn, Chelsea, & Jane!) “It is a shame what is happening in this country. And it is a shame that the Church has been so quiet. That all of us have been so quiet. That the world has been so quiet.” This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2019, and even though I didn’t love it the way that I truly thought I would, I still am going to boost it forever and always because there are a lot of good and important things in these pages, and a lot of things that Americans (and other people not living in the Philippines) need to be educated on. I don’t want to make my review about me, but just a little information in case you do not follow me or my reviews; I am Fil-Am, and biracial (white and Filipino) just like the star of this book. I also was raised in Michigan and was accepted into The University of Michigan like the star of this book. My father was born in America, but my grandparents did immigrate here from the Philippines as adults. My family are for sure, without question, “Americanized” but I still grew up embracing my Filipino culture and being proud of it. Also, all of my grandma’s family is still living in the Philippines, and she visits them frequently, sometimes alone and sometimes with us. Regardless, I just wanted to say all of these things to help you realize how much I was anticipating this book. Also, that my heart breaks daily over the war on drugs and the blood that President Rodrigo Duterte and his policies have spilled. Most Americans are not aware of the death toll (or the hidden numbers) that is because police and even regular citizens are allowed and encouraged to kill civilians who are said to be using and selling drugs. From public executions to make examples of people, to children dying and being labeled carriers, to more innocents dying but having drugs planted on them after their death, I don’t even have words for how sick I feel just even typing this paragraph. And so many families are left with heartbreak from loss and not knowing what has happened to their loved ones. And the fear that speaking out can literally cost them their lives. “So the drug war continues. The body count rises.” Patron Saints of Nothing follows a boy named Jay, who was born in the Philippines to a Filipino father and American mother, but his family moved to The United States under the pretense of having a better life for their children. Yet, when Jay lived in the Philippines, he was very close with his cousin, Jun, and they have kept up writing letters back and forth to one another their entire lives, even though Jay hasn’t responded in a little while. Heartbreakingly, at the start of this book Jay finds out from his parents that Jun has been killed because of the war on drugs. Jay cannot for an instant believe that Jun would ever use or sell narcotics, and after a mysterious Instagram message, he asks his parents if they would be willing to allow him to go back to the Philippines to reconnect with Jun’s family after his death. And his parents agree and send him out so he can travel between a few family member’s homes, and that he can reconnect with half of his culture that he has been neglecting. But once Jay arrives in the Philippines, he realizes that there is a lot more to Jun’s death than what meets the eye, and he feels an immense need to get to the bottom of his death and what really happened. Okay, so I love this premise more than words. And I really did love seeing things through Jay’s eyes and how he felt like he was completely missing out on a culture that he has been away from for so long. From being very aware of his lighter skin, to having a hard time picking up Tagalog, to realizing how fucking privileged US citizens are and getting called out on it; this book has a lot of good and a lot of important themes, and I truly wish I could put it in every American’s hands. But, sadly, a lot of things I just really didn’t like. And again, everything I’m about to say, please take it with a grain of salt. Closer to release, I plan on boosting so many of my beautiful Filipino reviewing friends’ voices, because their voices are what matter. They not only have to live under Duterte, they will know an authentic Filipino living experience way better than me and any trip I could take with my family, or any whitewashed news article I can read. I just really disliked how Jun’s storyline, and all the tips and clues Jay was following, ended. And just in general, I really think we should emphasize how just because someone sells drugs or is a drug user, they are still worthy of life and shouldn’t be killed. I mean, yes, it is terrible that children and innocents are dying every single day over this drug war, but it is also awful that people using drugs are dying, too. Sometimes I truly felt like this book, and Jay’s actions, felt very middle grade and very surface level, and we never went past the surface and truly got to see and talk about the horrible things that are taking place. And I’m not saying it is ANY Filipino’s job to educate people on the war on drugs or anything about their culture, but I just feel like had the opportunity to really go there, especially based on the book’s premise, and I was left a little unsatisfied. Next, I really hated the little romance in this book. Like, I’m never going to be here for grey area cheating in general. But I’m really not going to be here for a seventeen-year-old and nineteen-year-old either. Like, I get that it is legal in a lot of places, and I get that it is only two years, but I just don’t like it and it makes me feel skeezy while reading. Especially with Jay admitting she is part of the reason he makes the choice he does at the end of the book. And, even though this book is supposed to be set in present day, I feel like a lot of the video game references were really dated. And even though this is such a minor element of the book, it is brought up so many times throughout this novel. And each time I kind of was side-eyeing. No one would refer to Sylvanas as the Queen of the Forsaken, especially not in 2019. I mean, do teenagers really still play World of Warcraft? And acting like people have physical video game collections in 2019, when everything is digital? I don’t know, it just really pulled me out of the story at every mention. Overall, I am just a little bit disappointed. I still think this is an important read. And I still think seeing a biracial American get in touch with a culture he has felt very out of touch with is really important. And I’m always going to be here for it, truly. I would also die for Jay’s titas right this very second. There is also another mention of a f/f relationship in this book too, and I’m always here for seeing positive sexuality representation in life, but especially in the Philippines. And again, I’m feeling really bad already about writing this review, so I hope you respect my feelings, but I also hope you remember that I am very white passing Filipino who has never actually lived in the Philippines and I haven’t been to the Philippines since Duterte's election. But if you are a Filipino reviewer, I would be honored to boost your review for this if you link it below! Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Youtube | TwitchThe quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.Trigger and content warnings for loss of a loved one, talk of animal death, talk of drugs and addiction, police brutality, talk of human trafficking, grey area/emotional cheating, and assault. Buddy read with Madalyn from Novel Ink! ❤
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  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher as part of a blog tour. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. I just want to preface this review by saying this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Like the main character of this book, I am half Filipino and half white. Seeing myself represented in literature means the world to me. I also want to say that I’ve never been to the Philippines so I can’t speak to anything in that regard.Wow. This book I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher as part of a blog tour. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative. I just want to preface this review by saying this was one of my most anticipated reads of the year. Like the main character of this book, I am half Filipino and half white. Seeing myself represented in literature means the world to me. I also want to say that I’ve never been to the Philippines so I can’t speak to anything in that regard.Wow. This book was everything. I don’t even know where to begin. First off, all the Filipino culture was amazing to see. I’ve never read a book with this much Filipino culture. Every time I saw something, I was like, “Yeah, that’s my culture right there!” By the way, that happened a lot throughout this book. The blurb on the back of the cover compares this book to Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give. That was likely a marketing ploy, but in a way I do see merit to that comparison. There’s something about Randy Ribay’s writing that reminds me of Angie Thomas’s. They both like to bring up big points in subtle ways. If you’ve read my review of THUG, you’ll see some examples. In this book, one example is when the author casually brings up the American human zoos. Tito Maning says to Jay, “Do you know the Americans stole entire villages and then displayed them in your country as I they were animals in a zoo?” (pg. 153). Yes, that really did happen. Just google, “1904 World’s Fair filipino.” I only just learned about that when I was in college. I thought that the author did a great job describing the President Duterte’s war on drugs in a multifaceted way. He showcased different viewpoints on it and shared actual accounts, like the story of Kian delos Santos, who was unjustly shot and killed by the police. I also loved how the author tackled the issue of identity and being biracial. As a fellow biracial Filipino, I could relate to Jay a lot. Being biracial is such a tricky thing and the author captured it perfectly. There’s a little bit of LGBT representation which I appreciated. It’s always nice to see the LGBT community acknowledged and normalized, even when it’s not a part of the main storyline.As for the plot and what happened with Jun, there was a lot of gray areas, which made it feel realistic. Things aren’t so clear cut which is what happens in real life. I appreciated that approach. Basically, I just want to thank the author for writing this book. Not only does this book successfully highlight the biracial Filipino American experience, but it also shines a light on a lesser known social injustice. To end, I want to share a quote that really hit me:“It strikes me that I cannot claim this country’s serene coves and sun-soaked beaches without also claiming its poverty, its problems, its history. To say that any aspect of it is part of me is to say that all of it is part of me” (pg. 227).
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  • Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell
    January 1, 1970
    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI side-eyed this book a little when it got placed into my hands because on the back, it's compared to THE HATE U GIVE. Given the popularity of THE HATE U GIVE, I can see why publishers and publicists are going to be eager to draw such comparisons, but it feels like a mistake to compare every book about serious issues being faced by people of color to THE HATE U GIVE. THUG was a powerful book; let's not trivialize it with false comparisons.J Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestI side-eyed this book a little when it got placed into my hands because on the back, it's compared to THE HATE U GIVE. Given the popularity of THE HATE U GIVE, I can see why publishers and publicists are going to be eager to draw such comparisons, but it feels like a mistake to compare every book about serious issues being faced by people of color to THE HATE U GIVE. THUG was a powerful book; let's not trivialize it with false comparisons.Just my two cents.That one qualm aside, PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING was kind of amazing. I didn't have any expectations going in, which is probably the best way to enter this book. It's about a boy named Jay, who is half-Filipino and half-white. He's a pretty typical boy: he's not popular, he plays a lot of video games, he doesn't know what he wants to be when he grows up. All that is shattered, however, when he finds out that his cousin was just killed in the Philippines as a result of Duterte's War on Drugs.Frustrated with his family's reticence on the subject, and the utter lack of information online, Jay elects to spend his Easter vacation in the Philippines, living with his extended family as he tries to gather clues on why his cousin died. Jay runs into wall after wall, until he gets help from an unlikely source, but as he learns more about his cousin, Jun, and what he did after he ran away from home, Jay starts to realize that people can be quite a bit different from how you remember them in your mind.There are so many things that this book does really well. It's not afraid to tackle difficult subjects, for one. PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING brings up colorism, American Imperialism, drugs, ethnocentrism, loss, grief, privilege, and so much more. Privilege plays an especially strong role: for example, even though Jay is quick to recognize privilege when it's at his own expense, he learns that he has privilege of his own both as a light-skinned man of color, and also as a man, that people of color with darker skin and women (especially women of color) do not have. Racism and sexism exist on a spectrum, with some people getting the shortest end of the shortest stick, so it was really great to see Ribay unpack those nuances in a way that kids could understand easily.I also thought the war on drugs was discussed in a really great way. I knew about Duterte's authoritarian war on crime, but not to what extent. It was really awful to read about, and to see the wealth disparity between the slums in Manila versus the ostentatious displays of wealth by the government and the upper class. It's easy to fall into the same trap Jay (and, later, his white friend, Seth) did, I think, and marvel in pearl-clutching awe, and think to yourself, "Wow, things are so bad here, people are so poor." But that's a mistake, a huge mistake, because if you look hard enough, you can find examples of privilege and injustice in any society. Black people in the U.S. face incredible injustice from the police, and people demonize Black Lives Matter and the victims of police violence using the same logical fallacies that people in the Philippines use to excuse the drug users and sellers who are gunned down or jailed by the police. Why? Because it's easier to imagine that the recipient of violence and injustice deserved it than the alternative: that we're facilitating a grave injustice.This is a really important book and really touching. At several points, I laughed. At other points, I cried. Ribay talks about the goods and bads of Filipino culture, working in everything from food to family, and from colonialism to Catholicism. I hope PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING becomes a raging success, because so many global issues get lost in the face of domestic issues, and understanding that privilege and the importance of truth-seeking and empathy are important educational tools that help make kids into more thoughtful and compassionate adults.P.S. This was an ARC, so my copy and reading experience might differ from yours. Obviously, that didn't bias me since I'm the queen of telling it like it is, even if nobody wants to hear it. 4.5 stars
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  • Laurie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    Brilliant, honest, and equal parts heart-breaking and soul-healing. I’ll give this astounding book to all the teens and adults in my life. I suspect you will, too. I’d give it 50 stars if I could.
  • Randy
    January 1, 1970
    Hey, here's another one I wrote!
  • Inah (The Bibliophile Confessions)
    January 1, 1970
    Things I need:1. The cover Randy showed us the cover sketch when we met and I just about cried. Seeing the final covers ignites the spark and fuels the fire of my social awareness.2. The ARC 3. The Final Copy4. YOUR SUPPORT- Read as SR.-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 expl Things I need:1. The cover Randy showed us the cover sketch when we met and I just about cried. Seeing the final covers ignites the spark and fuels the fire of my social awareness.2. The ARC 3. The Final Copy4. YOUR SUPPORT- Read as SR.-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. [Case in point, nobody from the opposition’s slate won in the recent Senatorial Elections. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former police chief, and Duterte’s point person against the Drug War placed fifth overall in the Senatorial Race.]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. [Honestly, this toxic culture needs to die. When the youth takes the fight into the streets with mass mobilizations and protests, adults tend to diss on us, calling us “woke Millennials” with disgust, while they’re sitting in the comforts of their home.]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.-I have shared some reading resources in the original post in my site, you can check them out here
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  • ✨Brithanie Faith✨
    January 1, 1970
    5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used in this review are based on an uncorrected text! "There are good things I can hold on to and there are other things I have the power to change. My family, myself, this world- all of us are flawed. But flawed doesn't mean hopeless. It doesn't mean forsaken. It doesn't mean lost. We are not doomed to suffer things as they are, silent and alone. We do not have to leave questions and letters and lives una 5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review! Any quotes used in this review are based on an uncorrected text! "There are good things I can hold on to and there are other things I have the power to change. My family, myself, this world- all of us are flawed. But flawed doesn't mean hopeless. It doesn't mean forsaken. It doesn't mean lost. We are not doomed to suffer things as they are, silent and alone. We do not have to leave questions and letters and lives unanswered. We have more power and potential than we know if we would only speak, if we would only listen.""I will try not to judge because I have no idea what you were struggling with in your heart, what complicated your soul. None of us are just one thing, I guess. None of us. We all have the terrible and amazing power to hurt and help, to harm and heal."If you take any of my recommendations to heart-let it be this one! Patron Saints Of Nothing by Randy Ribay is a prime example of how things are not always black or white, and people aren't inherently good or bad! The story follows Jay Reguero as he travels back to the Philippines to uncover the truth of what happened to his cousin Jun, who was murdered as a part of President Duterte's war on drugs! I can't remember the last time I felt so many conflicting emotions in such a short amount of time! The last 50-60 pages turned me into a sobbing hot mess and I cried so much I ended up giving myself a headache! (Hence the 5 star rating- because that's exactly how I want my books to make me feel). The expected publication for this novel is the 18th of June,2019! Do yourself a favor and mark this one on your calendars- my review doesn't do this book justice!
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  • temi ★
    January 1, 1970
    characters: 4/5pacing: 4/4actual substance of the story: 5/5romance and/or significant friendships: 3.5/5the writing: 4/4creatvity: 2/222.5/25 | 4.5 STARSThis was a beautiful story. It was fr*ckin’....gorgeous. I don’t have time for a full review but here’s some lists.✦ why you need to read this book right now (or asap since I’ve got an ARC of this 🤪): ➤ There aren’t too many books written by or about Filipinos/Filipinas. This is the first book I’ve read with a Filipino main character.➤ I feel h characters: 4/5pacing: 4/4actual substance of the story: 5/5romance and/or significant friendships: 3.5/5the writing: 4/4creatvity: 2/222.5/25 | 4.5 STARSThis was a beautiful story. It was fr*ckin’....gorgeous. I don’t have time for a full review but here’s some lists.✦ why you need to read this book right now (or asap since I’ve got an ARC of this 🤪): ➤ There aren’t too many books written by or about Filipinos/Filipinas. This is the first book I’ve read with a Filipino main character.➤ I feel hella woke, like I—➤ So many difficult/taboo-ish topics are handled SO well.➤ Jay can get it..........➤ I really smiled at the end. The ending wasn’t the one I was hoping for, but my heart—➤ The characters talk like people their age.➤ Jay’s pretty relatable in terms of being a first-generation something-American kid. People always harassing you for not being able to speak your “mother tongue,” and you feeling bad about it. The only three career options being doctor, lawyer, and engineer. Any creative form of work like writing or design? Who’s that? I might’ve heard of her. I think she’s broke.➤ I learnt SO much about the culture!! That was really cool. I didn’t know Filipinos also did that thing where you pack a whole bag with gifts to give to your relatives.➤ I learnt so much about the Philippines!! The little knowledge I had of their way to independence came from my preparation from the AP world exam. I also had no idea of their political situation was like.♪ marijuana - chrome sparks ♪✦ a few things that annoyed me:➤ Can authors stop throwing in love interests for....no reason? Mia was cool, but the owo tension between her and Jay was extremely unnecessary. They never even ended up kissing. And for what? Finish what you started or don’t start anything at all.➤ Seth’s unnatural way of being racist. I didn’t really want to include this because everyone’s experiences are different, so who am I to say, “oh, that would never happen?” I just...Seth really said, “you’re white because you seem pretty normal idk bro 🤷🏼‍♂️.” Seth could’ve just said the stupid I’m colorblind line, and I would’ve taken it as something that could happen in real life.Once again, this book is beautiful. I got it at a giveaway at a book fair and I’m extremely grateful for that. THANK YOU, RANDY.
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  • Cheska the Great is Not Okay
    January 1, 1970
    Just pre-ordered this book!! I can't wait until I get my sweaty palms on it.---This wouldn’t be the first YA book I’d be reading by a Filipino author with Filipino leads, but it WILL be the first one largely set in the Philippines.And look at the sun’s rays from the Philippine flag behind the MC’s head in the cover....Everything about this is a huge fucking deal to me. I’m gonna sob.
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  • JM Cabral
    January 1, 1970
    This is one special book, and I can't wait for the rest of the world to read it too. Full review TK. Blurb:"As poignant, as it is eye-opening, readers would no doubt have lots to look forward to in Randy Ribay's Patron Saints of Nothing. It features a diverse story about losing the ones you love, grieving over such a loss, and how to move on and get past all that, all while trying to educate it's readers as to how it really is to be a Filipino today. I might not be able to comment on how accurat This is one special book, and I can't wait for the rest of the world to read it too. Full review TK. Blurb:"As poignant, as it is eye-opening, readers would no doubt have lots to look forward to in Randy Ribay's Patron Saints of Nothing. It features a diverse story about losing the ones you love, grieving over such a loss, and how to move on and get past all that, all while trying to educate it's readers as to how it really is to be a Filipino today. I might not be able to comment on how accurate this book's rep is in terms of biracial stories, but I hope you'll believe me when I tell you that this book certainly packs one great punch. It certainly wrecked me, and if given the chance to do it all over again, I definitely would, gladly, in a heartbeat."Huge thanks to my friends from Penguin Random House International for entrusting me and Bookworms Unite PH to host a local blog tour for this title and for sending review copies for me and other Filipino book bloggers in exchange for honest reviews. This did not, in any way, affect my overall opinion of the book and/or the story.
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  • Gemma ♕ Books_McCoy
    January 1, 1970
    ***ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***First of all, this book first hit my radar because Randy Ribay did my favourite cover reveal of all time! If you can find it on his Twitter, watch it. Amazing. I then read the synopsis and knew I needed this story in my life! I was so psyched to be approved for an ARC and I devoured this. What a powerful, moving, important story. A wonderful look at grief and identity. There were so many amazing quotes and passag ***ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. ***First of all, this book first hit my radar because Randy Ribay did my favourite cover reveal of all time! If you can find it on his Twitter, watch it. Amazing. I then read the synopsis and knew I needed this story in my life! I was so psyched to be approved for an ARC and I devoured this. What a powerful, moving, important story. A wonderful look at grief and identity. There were so many amazing quotes and passages I highlighted about judgement of someone's identity, toxic masculinity, personal growth and seeing the good in everyone. I didn't know anything about the Drug War or Duterte but found myself looking up articles about the slums, the deaths, the drug problem...all mid-read, which is very unusual for me! The description of the country and the culture was so rich in this book it made me want to learn more. On the whole, I thought the writing was fantastic and I will definitely be looking up more of Ribay's work! My absolute favourite thing about this was Jay's journey. Following him on the ups and downs of not just his journey for the truth, but also his search for his own identity, was very intimate and I felt connected to him constantly. Watching him grow from a boy into a man was wonderful. I thoroughly enjoy this and highly recommend it!
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  • ✦ Maica ✦
    January 1, 1970
    “..., his death tallied as an improvement to society.” This was a last minute buddy read with Divine. We honestly said fuck you to War Storm and abandoned that book for this one hahahahah ------------------------------------------------------ Jason has lived his life relatively in bliss. Living the upper middle class life, he never has to think about the serious issues in life. But when he gets wind of his cousin's passing because of Duterte's bloody drug war, his life is turned upside dow “..., his death tallied as an improvement to society.” This was a last minute buddy read with Divine. We honestly said fuck you to War Storm and abandoned that book for this one hahahahah ------------------------------------------------------ Jason has lived his life relatively in bliss. Living the upper middle class life, he never has to think about the serious issues in life. But when he gets wind of his cousin's passing because of Duterte's bloody drug war, his life is turned upside down. And he wants to learn the truth.Unfortunately, I did not love this as much as I would have liked. I felt that the characters could have been better fleshed out. Outside of the circumstances brought to them by Jun's passing, I could not tell who they were. Also, the war on drugs is such a complex subject to discuss. And I understand why it's hard to put into words but I wished we could have gone deeper. Because regarding the war on drugs, we only scratched the surface.But with that said, I praise the author for having the guts to write this story. As a Filipino, I could imagine how hard it was to write this. The current administration censors critics of Duterte's reign. It takes someone with a passion and love for the country to write this. I think this book will be an eye opener for those clueless with what's happening in the Philippines. I highly encourage everyone to give this book a try. These are the type of stories needed to be told.Blog Review: Click Here!
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  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    I was so excited to read a book with Filipino representation! It feels like I'm always on the hunt for books from marginalized voices and Filipino was one I haven't heard in a while (or at all). And for the first book with Filipino rep, it definitely delivers a fantastic story that's unafraid to be real and reveals some truths about what's happening in The Philippines.The story starts off with Jay. He's your average American teenager living in the Midwest, playing video games with his buddies on I was so excited to read a book with Filipino representation! It feels like I'm always on the hunt for books from marginalized voices and Filipino was one I haven't heard in a while (or at all). And for the first book with Filipino rep, it definitely delivers a fantastic story that's unafraid to be real and reveals some truths about what's happening in The Philippines.The story starts off with Jay. He's your average American teenager living in the Midwest, playing video games with his buddies online, and having no clue what he wants to do with his future. When his parents tell him his cousin, Jun, in The Philippines died, Jay wants to find out more. Being pen pals and friends from when Jay visited The Philippines as a kid, he was saddened by the news and determined to find out what happened. But his father isn't the kind of person who likes to talk and doesn't want to go over the details of how his cousin died. In fact, no one in his family was willing to talk about what happened.With the strength of his love for his cousin and his curiosity to how this could happen to someone at such a young age, Jay convinces his parents to send him to The Philippines on spring break. They agree and he goes off to spend a week with his family there and learning about what happened to Jun.As Jay slowly learns the truth about Jun through pieces of info he gathers with the help of a friend he makes, he also learns he doesn't know much about The Philippines and what's going on there. It's not until he's really in the thick of his search that he sees that President Duterte's policies on drugs are targeting addicts and sellers without trial or a chance. It's a multi-themed story that will make you google everything and make you reconsider the "truths" you're told as a kid.I'm going to be real with you, I cried. It was one specific moment right at the end when I did but if a book brings me to tears, then it's a good book. I don't cry often. I was most definitely pearl-clutching for sure and having my heart break over and over again.For the most part, this book reads like a mystery or a thriller without the suspenseful parts. There's no creepy murderer. The story is very much steeped in real life and the horrors of reality. There's only the suspense of finding out the truth in a place that wants to forget just as quickly.Randy Ribay doesn't pussy foot around the reality. He doesn't dumb it down with magical realism or make you go on this journey his cousin left behind for him. He literally walks into the slums of The Philippines where homes are made of corrugated cardboard, pallets, and metal sheeting. He hears about women being raped just because they walked down the street and a president who hides behind his belief he's saving his country. This is not the beautiful tourist photos people see. This is the reality of a place that I believed to be a beautiful country and a place many of my IRL friends are from.Themes are all over this book, so I decided to break them down and what I felt about them.Being American and Being FilipinoI think this is something a lot of us Asian Americans feel. We're American because we immigrated here when we were super young or we were born here, but we also are Asian. It's tough when you're not accepted in certain areas and then you go to the country everyone tells you to go back to and you don't fit in there either. The displacement is real for any kid who's grown up with immigrant parents and I love that we read this book from Jay's point of view and see what it's like from that particular lens. The insecurities of not keeping up with your culture, knowing what's going on in the news, and not even being able to speak the language is a feeling I know much too well. Nicely done.Coming to terms with the fact that adults aren't always rightI thought this was a little more subtle, but there's some subtext around growing your own opinion and beliefs that aren't quite the same as your family's. I really liked the juxtaposition of Jay against his Tito Maning. Tito Maning plays as the voice of many Filipino people who voted Duterte into office. He believes that despite the number of losses his drug policies have caused, Duterte's done "good" for the community and country at large. Randy Ribay brings up often how many people are complacent with the losses because a few dead drug addicts means safer streets. It's a really good topic to bring up and I loved that Randy Ribay wasn't afraid to share this point of view as well.Tito Maning is legit everyone in my family that's told me I needed to be a doctor, married with two babies all by the time I was 30. These are the people who made it difficult for me to be myself because I had to follow these ridiculous rules of behavior. I understand respecting your elders and all that, but come on. Something's gotta give sometimes.But I think this is a valuable lesson for folks who are just getting to the adult ages. Please keep in mind that your parents don't know everything and that adults can be wrong too. You don't have to be disrespectful about it, but understanding their view and then comparing it to your own allows you to see the full breadth of opinions and make a much better opinion on your own.The War on Drugs in The Philippines is very realIf you're going to read this book, I strongly STRONGLY advise you to google "Rodrigo Duterte" and what's happening in the Philippines right now. While the story Randy Ribay wrote here is fictional, the events taking place are real. I can't do the topic justice and I strongly urge you to read his Wikipedia article at least to know what he's doing. Basically, what's written in the book is true. Duterte's has encouraged police and vigilante groups to kill any drug dealers and drug addicts they see. This is in an effort to "clean up" the streets of The Philippines and make it safer.However, we have to keep in mind the fact that not every drug addict is a criminal. Everyone has their story and reasons for getting to the place they are. I highly doubt they're all doing illegal things and while I don't condone drug use, I also don't believe someone should be judged based just on the fact that they use drugs. Where's the human aspect to this? It's nowhere because the death tolls are in the thousands and they can't even pin down an accurate number.The fact that Randy Ribay incorporated this into his story is legit what makes this book one of my favorites. He's unapologetic and he does a good job sharing both sides of this massive debate, so it's not just one sided. The theme carries throughout the novel and really you can't finish this novel without googling the events that take place. It may make people a little uncomfortable, but that's what makes this book special. You have to give it credit for that. You can go on about how he didn't dive into more, but also keep in mind the fact this is a fictional story and not the oral history of The Philippines. It encourages you to research and google and I strongly advise you do.The final thing I want to mention, which is touched lightly but made a huge impact while I was reading is the number of rapes happening there. There was one scene in the book (and this doesn't spoil the overall story) where a woman wasn't okay with having a male adult in her home because she doesn't know his intentions and worried he'll rape her. I tried to do some research on this and found this article where the same President Duterte speaks about the rape cases. He says "as long as there are beautiful women, there will be rape cases." Jesus, take the wheel.All of these themes take place while Jay continues to be a teenager who likes girls and just wants to play video games with his bros. Randy Ribay is such a prolific and efficient writer that it really boggled my mind how he fit so much into about 300 pages.I will say the only thing I had issues with is the believability of Jay's story. For all intents and purposes, the events taking place in the story lead Jay closer and closer to the truth, but at some points it felt too easy. Information too conveniently falls into Jay's lap. While I don't know how hard or easy it is to find someone who runs away from home, I felt like Jay didn't come across enough road blocks. It doesn't take away from the book at all because the themes in the story carry you throughout and honestly, this didn't bother me and doesn't take away from my 5-star review. I just wanted to bring it up.Ok, I'm done reviewing and ranting. This book was amazing and doesn't read like your typical YA novel. Even though there was the average "oh I'm just a teenager who doesn't know what I want from life," it opens your eyes. I received a copy of this book from Penguin Teen for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.
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  • Hazel (Stay Bookish)
    January 1, 1970
    Ribay delivers more than just an important, eye-opening novel, he also conveys beautiful, moving words and brings thoughtful, unforgettable Filipino characters onto every page.
  • Adiba Jaigirdar
    January 1, 1970
    This was such a fantastic read, and a good way to start off my March!I was a little hesitant going into this because it follows the story of someone a Fil-Am teen, living in America, travelling to the Philippines to find out the truth about his cousin's death. Stories about people, even those from the diaspora, dealing with politics of a country in the East doesn't always fare well. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how well all of that was handled by Ribay. It's like he knew every single tro This was such a fantastic read, and a good way to start off my March!I was a little hesitant going into this because it follows the story of someone a Fil-Am teen, living in America, travelling to the Philippines to find out the truth about his cousin's death. Stories about people, even those from the diaspora, dealing with politics of a country in the East doesn't always fare well. But I was so pleasantly surprised by how well all of that was handled by Ribay. It's like he knew every single trope and stereotype that show up in these situations, and he totally dealt with them head on! As a diaspora kid, I could really relate to Jay: being Filipino but also American. Having to deal with not knowing the language, culture, history. The way his dad felt guilty about leaving, the way his relatives in the Philippines felt guilty about his family leaving. It was all dealt with very honestly. I also learnt a lot about the politics of the Philippines and Duterte's drug on wars. Something I didn't know much about. And even though Ribay's characters obviously take a certain stance on Duterte, he also seems keenly aware of how people in the Philippines feel about him, both those who support him and those who don't. Lastly, the book doesn't paint things in black and white. It's very honest about many things and tackles everything head-on. (view spoiler)[ I loved that, even though Jay is our protagonist, he is told very bluntly that he is not their saviour. That he can't be a Western who just found out about the situation who swoops in and saves them. That the people doing the grunt-work are going to be the Filipinos who live there, who understand the situation better than any Westerner can. (hide spoiler)]The only bit of criticism I have is that, even though the writing was really strong, sometimes it felt a little...pointless? There were a lot of times where it seemed like we were getting paragraphs upon paragraphs of really menial things, and I think they could have been skipped over very easily. I found myself getting a bit frustrated at that. I also feel like...maybe the US book cover doesn't quite do the book justice. I mean, don't get me wrong. I adore the cover. It's probably one of the things that drew me to this book but...it makes it seem like Patron Saints of Nothing is a high-stakes action-packed novel when, in reality, it's a slow unravelling of the truth. And it's beautiful and incredibly powerful and packs a punch in the way it handles this unravelling of the truth. That being said, this is probably one of the best books I've read so far this year! I think, and hope, that Filipino and Fil-Am readers, in particular, will find in Jay, and the whole novel, something they can resonate with. I highly recommend reading this!
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  • Divine Anas
    January 1, 1970
    "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. I SAW THIS ON BOOK TWITTER AND GAHD AM I STOKED FOR THIS TO COME OUT. THIS IS A NEED THAT I HAFTO SATISFY. SUCH A TIMELY AND "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. I SAW THIS ON BOOK TWITTER AND GAHD AM I STOKED FOR THIS TO COME OUT. THIS IS A NEED THAT I HAFTO SATISFY. SUCH A TIMELY AND RELEVANT BOOK FOR US FILIPINOS. AAAAHHHHHH
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  • Lance
    January 1, 1970
    “It strikes me that I cannot claim this country’s serene coves and sun-soaked beaches without also claiming its poverty, its problems, its history. To say that any aspect of it is part of me is to say that all of it is part of me.” “That's not how stories work, is it? They are shifting things that re-form with each new telling, transform with each new teller. Less solid, and more liquid taking the shape of its container.” 3.5 Stars rounded up. Patron Saints if Nothing was one of my most antici “It strikes me that I cannot claim this country’s serene coves and sun-soaked beaches without also claiming its poverty, its problems, its history. To say that any aspect of it is part of me is to say that all of it is part of me.” “That's not how stories work, is it? They are shifting things that re-form with each new telling, transform with each new teller. Less solid, and more liquid taking the shape of its container.” 3.5 Stars rounded up. Patron Saints if Nothing was one of my most anticipated releases of this year. As a Fil-Am teen, I have never seen myself represented in mainstream YA fiction and as such, this book was like a gift landing in my lap. While I can definitely say this book was good, I can't quite say that (at least for me) this book was life-changing. I did like this book, as it had several good aspects including the prose, the educational quality this book has, and the representation of Filipino culture as well as some of the intricacies of being Fil-Am but it also had some glaring flaws such as the completely unnecessary romance. Randy Ribay's prose, especially as a debut novel, is one of the best parts of this book. Looking back on some of the quotes from the book, I can say with some surprise that seeing as this book is written from the first-person perspective, Ribay's writing was natural enough that I felt like that quotes like the above felt extremely genuine coming from our main protagonist, Jay Reguero. There's so many thoughts and passages that are so beautiful, almost akin to The Astonishing Color of After in terms of prose. It isn't quite as flowery, but I think that the simple, clean yet poetic way that Ribay's prose expresses Jay's thoughts is honestly the backbone of this novel.I also really appreciated how educational this book is, because similar to Jay, I too am a Fil-Am who is woefully uneducated about Duterte's policies and the war on drugs and all of its complexities. The way Ribay takes the time to examine the way Jay's position as a Fil-Am and the way it colors his perspective in terms of the war on drugs in the Philippines. This book also takes the time to note that Jay, as an American, is not the most important perspective in terms of the political landscape of Philippines and also that he will not be the one to "solve" these problems. I'd also like to note at this point in the review that I wholly acknowledge that my perspective as a Fil-Am, while valued, isn't quite as important as those who live in the PH and deal with the ways policies impact their everyday lives. I'd encourage anyone reading this review to check out reviews written by Filipino reviewers who live in the Philippines as their perspective and voice is undoubtedly going to be more important to amplify than mine. Moving on, in terms of the Filipino rep, I found that the way Filipino culture was depicted in this book was spot on, which is no surprise considering Randy Ribay is a Filipino author. Everything from the extended family of titos and titas to dishes like sisig and sinigang to cultural things like taking off your shoes and wearing slippers in house as well as the mano po were spot on. As Jason is Fil-Am, the discussion of his diaspora was well-done but partly the reason why I took off 1.5 stars. There were a definitely things i related to like not speaking much Tagalog, and feeling this sense of other as a Filipino-American (always hyphenated, never one or the other). Now for my gripes. In terms of personal ones, I just think that the discussion of Fil-Am diaspora could have been delved into more? Maybe its because personally, my experiences are unlike Jay's in a few aspects, but I just found that the book was a 75-25 split between Jay learning more about Duterte's policies/the main plot of discovering why and how his cousin Jun was murdered and his own diaspora when I expected a 50-50 split. This really isn't a critique, as its a personal preference thing but I wanted to relate more to Jay's thoughts on disapora... and I just didn't completely. This of course makes complete sense as Filipinos and Filipino-Americans are not a monolith and all have unique experiences, thus this really is a "it's me, not you" thing. However, there is one big reason I doc'd a star from this book's rating and that is the completely unnecessary romance. A lot of this is spoilery but I'll just summarize in a sentence: there is definitely cheating involved in the romance between Jay and a female character that he meets in the PH when there was absolutely, no need for a romance with cheating to develop in the first place. Spoilery Thoughts: (view spoiler)[ Okay so Mia's a journalist helping Jay? Why do they need to flirt, especially when Mia has a BOYFRIEND. And since Jay lives overseas, there IS NO LOGISTIC REASON FOR ANY FLIRTING. THEY EVEN ACKNOWLEDGE THIS AND I ADJHAJDHASDJASHDJASHD. Point is, there is absolutely no reason for this farce of a romance to be in this book. (hide spoiler)] The romance contributed absolutely nothing to the plot, and thus didn't need to be there. Conclusively. I would recommend this, although I personally do not think this should be upheld as the gold standard for Filipino YA.
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  • Rain
    January 1, 1970
    This is the book I've been waiting for my whole life. Had some issues with the romance subplot (if you can call it that) but overall, this is a powerful book every Filipino deserves to read. FULL REVIEW TO COME.
  • Mitali
    January 1, 1970
    In this poignant and gripping novel, Jay, a hyphenated American teen, returns "home" to uncover truth and fight for justice. I was deeply moved by how the story becomes a journey of peacemaking, both in the Philippines and here.
  • Kaitlyn
    January 1, 1970
    holy shit
  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    *screams in Filipino* oh look i'm doing that thing again where i get outrageously excited for an upcoming release and set myself up for inevitable disappointment when the book doesn't live up to my astronomical expectationsseriously though i'm so excited for this book it's UNREAL. half-filipino protag? condemnation of duterte? exploration of faith? YES PLEASE(also people are saying this is a graphic novel but also talking about paragraphs and prose so i am confusion)
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  • Kate
    January 1, 1970
    I CANNOT YELL ENOUGH ABOUT HOW EXCELLENT THIS BOOK WAS AND HOW BADLY Y'ALL NEED TO READ IT.Review to come!
  • Bang Bang Books
    January 1, 1970
    4.5Pretty good story; characters were good; lots of strong themes; nothing too tropey, but not quite critical enough for me to give it five stars.Issue #1-Suspended reality: My only issue was that it was difficult for me to believe that parents would send their 17 year old son to a country that was accused of murdering his cousin. He's clearly upset about it and they believe him when he said he wasn't going to get involved-Yeah right! My cow-worker said Asians send their teens to the motherland 4.5Pretty good story; characters were good; lots of strong themes; nothing too tropey, but not quite critical enough for me to give it five stars.Issue #1-Suspended reality: My only issue was that it was difficult for me to believe that parents would send their 17 year old son to a country that was accused of murdering his cousin. He's clearly upset about it and they believe him when he said he wasn't going to get involved-Yeah right! My cow-worker said Asians send their teens to the motherland by themselves so that part was okay but his cousin was supposedly killed by Duerte's government; I would be concerned and go with him.Other than that; I really liked this book.Very Approachable. If you are a teen librarian or a school librarian, this is a good book that incorporates current events into a story that teens will find interesting and relatable. This novel never felt preachy or heavy handed or felt like a history book. Characters. I have read several books where a main character has died but as the reader I don't feel connected because we didn't get to know the character. I hate this because it's the whole point of the book-how am I supposed to grieve a character that I don't know? Jun dies immediately but we get to know him through letters, Jay's memories and family memories and I grieved his death and by grieving I mean sobbing through the entire ending. Jun's father was a great villain. Sometimes authors do a horrible job of writing good villains but Ribay wrote a judgmental man who was terrifying. Jay was really insecure because he didn't know the language or the history of the Philippines and his uncle did a great job of making him feel even worse about himself and that was one of the things that made him a good villain. The uncle was also a sympathetic villain which makes him human and not a cartoon.Jay had a good voice. I wouldn't say he had a particularly new voice but he represented the inner monologue of a lot of us and not just teens. As he gets to know Jun again, he sees a boy that's his age who had convictions and insight. Jay on the other hand plas video games all day and he felt like he was doing nothing with his life. I think a lot of us, including teens, feel like we are wasting our time and Jay represents that so I think teens will see themselves in him. Jay also had some identity issues because he was bi-racial and didn't quite feel connected to his Filipino side. This was written quite well and never didactic.Themes. There was some really good themes including identity and parental relationships. The themes were easy to pick out and were relatable for ALL ages not just teens. The ultimate theme appears at the end of the book which I will not say because you will have to see for yourself. Ribay trusts the reader to figure it out through out the book which I appreciate; I hate it when authors bash readers over the head with their themes because they don't think we are smart enough to figure out.The writing was a little too matter of fact and that's why I don't think it was critical enough for a perfect five. Jun's voice was profound and he had a lot to say about his life and life in general and I think if the entire novel was written like his letters, it would have been a more critical read. I do think this will get a NBA nomination and a Printz honor.
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  • zaheerah
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a physical copy via the publisher in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*I’m not sure where to start because there’s so much to this story. After discovering his cousin, Jun was murdered and fuelled by a mysterious Instagram message, Jay Reguero heads to the Philippines to find out the real story. There, Jay must reconnect with a life he barely remembers and family who refuse to acknowledge what has happened. Told through a mix of narrations, *I received a physical copy via the publisher in return for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book.*I’m not sure where to start because there’s so much to this story. After discovering his cousin, Jun was murdered and fuelled by a mysterious Instagram message, Jay Reguero heads to the Philippines to find out the real story. There, Jay must reconnect with a life he barely remembers and family who refuse to acknowledge what has happened. Told through a mix of narrations, switching between Jay and the letters addressed to him, Patron Saints was deeply emotional. It’s a coming of age story that really tugs at your heartstring. If you don’t know much about Duterte’s war on crime, this book really sets the scene really well. It’s not going to hold your hand and tell you the violent history of Philippine’s current president, but it really highlights and summarises the political background Jay is set in really well. We get an understanding of the situation from different characters. And I thought it was discussed really well and didn’t shy away from controversies and really emphasises how the context impacts Jay and his search for the truth. The story follows Jay as he’s moving from different family households in his visit to the Philippines. His extended family play a huge part in this story as we’re introduced to an army of aunties, uncles and cousins. I loved how it showcased how diverse family can be. Each house brought something new and helped Jay in his search. His uncle is a police officer who Jay suspects of being complicit in his son’s death. His rigid way of raising his children has his cousins opening up to him. He then moves in with his aunts, a lesbian couple, who are more caring toward Jay. Then he eventually comes to his grandparent’s house where everything that the story accumulated finally comes free. Patron Saints tackles a lot of heavy subjects. It discusses colourism, the impact of American Imperialism, ethnocentrism and privilege. And that isn’t even all of it. The second Jay comes to the Philippines, he’s very much confronted with his more privileged way of living. He quickly realises how easier it is for him, a light-skinned man, to navigate the space he’s in. He even finds himself speaking overturn but is quick to learn and acknowledge the privilege he has. The one thing that follows Jay in the Philippines is how much of an outsider he feels. A child of mixed heritage (White and Filipino), Jay is seen as very much whitewashed in the eyes of his family. After being away for much of his life, his family don’t see him as Filipino. I could really relate to Jay: having not knowing your country’s language, history or culture and feeling like an outsider at any given moment. I really think Ribay showcased the diaspora struggle and was dealt with spot on. His internal conflict was realistic and deeply emotional. The only criticisms I could have are how Jun was treated and the character of Mia. The mistreatment of Jun, especially with his ending.Overall, it was an illuminating and compelling story that delved deep into justice and grief and identity. It’s a coming of age novel that was character driven and offered an emotional and powerful punch. Rarely do YA novels tackle global issues that are often buried under Western domestic problems, and I found it an excellent read.
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  • Justine (Milkz)
    January 1, 1970
    Whaaaaa?? I NEED!
  • Ami Pendley
    January 1, 1970
    This #ownvoices book is extraordinary. The writing is gorgeous and poetic. It tackles the human rights abuses of the Duterte regime while also telling a story about compassion, grief, regret, and finding out who you really are. And it’s just so beautifully written. My ARC has more dogeared pages than not. I love how each chapter ends with its beginning. “It’s a sad thing when you map the borders of a friendship and find it’s a narrower country than expected.”“I imagine souls trapped overhead, bo This #ownvoices book is extraordinary. The writing is gorgeous and poetic. It tackles the human rights abuses of the Duterte regime while also telling a story about compassion, grief, regret, and finding out who you really are. And it’s just so beautifully written. My ARC has more dogeared pages than not. I love how each chapter ends with its beginning. “It’s a sad thing when you map the borders of a friendship and find it’s a narrower country than expected.”“I imagine souls trapped overhead, bouncing against the steepled ceiling like invisible balloons whose strings have slipped from careless hands.”And after the MC reads Audrey Lorde’s “A Litany for Survival” the chapter ends where it began, “This poem is a typhoon.”This book is a typhoon. A must read.*All quotes from an uncorrected proof.
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  • Eunice Moral
    January 1, 1970
    A very timely and relevant book. It enscapsulated what Filipinos go through. A perfect book to showcase to the world what has been going on in our society – and a brave book at that. First off would like to thank JM from BookFreakRevelations Book Worms Unite PH and Penguin Random House for making me a part of the Patron Saints PH Tour! It is an honor to be a part of this!Upon reading the blurb of this book for the first time, I knew then I had to read it. It is very brave for the author to come A very timely and relevant book. It enscapsulated what Filipinos go through. A perfect book to showcase to the world what has been going on in our society – and a brave book at that. First off would like to thank JM from BookFreakRevelations Book Worms Unite PH and Penguin Random House for making me a part of the Patron Saints PH Tour! It is an honor to be a part of this!Upon reading the blurb of this book for the first time, I knew then I had to read it. It is very brave for the author to come up with such a controversial book and I wanted to be a part of it by reading and reviewing it. Patron Saints of Nothing is not your typical feel good YA book, it is not your average dose of self-discovery and coming of age, this book is monumental. This book is the perfect depiction of the lives of the Filipinos from outside looking in. It was honest and gritty, it was relevant and timely. It was everything a good book and then some.Relevant and very timely. Patron Saints of Nothing will take us to the nitty gritty details of Duterte’s war on drugs and how it was depicted in the media and what really lies beyond it. We are taken into Jay’s journey on finding out what happened to his cousin, Jun who was a victim of Duterte’s war on drugs and everything that happened in between it all. An own voices book that would transcend from pages to reality. It is with much joy to see it hit the international bookshelves and be read by many not only by Filipinos, in that alone I am beaming with pride.Good sense of awakening whilst highlighting Filipino cultures taking the good ones with the bad.Reading this book can be likened to watching a good Filipino Indie film, you get that sense of awakening that only good films/books can ever give. To my fellow Filipinos, think of On The Job and Buy Bust not as violent or as intense as those two films, but an ultimately softer and subtler version of it. I commend how this book presented the predicament and the status of the Philippine nation, that although we are known to be one of the happiest people we too have monsters we carry day in and day out. I love how things weren’t sugar-coated, how it was presented in both the good light and the bad one. How every country has its own flaws to deal with, how it isn’t perfect but ultimately human, vulnerable, fragile but resilient. This book also highlighted the stark contrast of how privileged Americans are as opposed to Filipinos or other race for that matter. It gave us a taste of what it is for Jay Reguero a Filipino-American to get to know his roots and be able to relate to it. I love how Jay’s character was equal parts curious and determined. His character for me wasn’t the most likable, honestly Jay frustrates me sometimes, but this was what made his character realistic. The book’s ability to give distinct characters was amazing in itself. We have Tito Maning, Jay’s father, Grace, Angel, Tita Ines, Tita Chato and Jun amongst all the others, characters that gave color on what it is like to be Filipinos. A true depiction, taken with everything else, the good and the bad.Few inaccuracies and inconsistencies. There were few inaccuracies but maybe it is just me being critical since this is a book about my country and about my culture. All these didn’t affect the story, it was just something one can easily shrug off. But nearing towards the end, I just had a few issues with it. I don’t want to spoil the book, but let me give you a bit of a hint. I just didn’t like how the truth was presented to Jay. I am pretty sure that’s not how it works in Catholic teachings. I am not Catholic myself but I went to a Catholic school in high school and in college, thus I am very exposed to their teachings and ways. This specific instance how the truth was revealed to Jay didn’t sit well with me. I was a bit disappointed how it was played out. This was only the major issue I had, thus refraining me from giving it full five stars.The message the book is trying to convey.Patron Saints of Nothing gave us that sense of removing one’s self from the situation and see it in a bigger perspective or in another light. It made us ponder on the frailty of humans and how this doesn’t define what their fates should be or it shouldn’t define whether they are worthy or not. At the end of the day we always seek and believe in humanity and cry foul whenever this thin line had been crossed, and that’s what this book was trying to make us see, to see past the people’s moments of weakness and indecisions and rather value them much like everyone else. Goes without saying, I recommend this one.
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  • Zoë ☆
    January 1, 1970
    *4.5 stars.Patron Saints of Nothing is an incredible story to read, I don't know how else to call it. It was about grief and family, but it all took place in the Philippines, where a devastating drug war is happening. This made the story even more emotional and very eye-opening to read. I almost read everything in one go, I just had to keep reading and see what actually happened. It was beautifully written and I was on the verge of tears so many times at the last part of the book. I highly recom *4.5 stars.Patron Saints of Nothing is an incredible story to read, I don't know how else to call it. It was about grief and family, but it all took place in the Philippines, where a devastating drug war is happening. This made the story even more emotional and very eye-opening to read. I almost read everything in one go, I just had to keep reading and see what actually happened. It was beautifully written and I was on the verge of tears so many times at the last part of the book. I highly recommend this to anyone!! Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with an e-Arc!
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  • Shealea
    January 1, 1970
    This book means the world to me. I wish I could give it all the stars in the world, but I can’t. For personal reasons, I am going to dock off a half star. Oof.Review to follow.4.5 stars
  • Rita Shaffer
    January 1, 1970
    This is an important story about family and the characters in this book are wonderful! And I learned a lot about the Philippines.
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