Published: June 18, 2019
“Our country’s history is full of invading foreigners who thought they knew us better than we knew ourselves.”
A 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.
Patron Saints of Nothing is one of those books that are very hard to read. It not only deals with a heavy topic, but it felt real as the topic of the story is something that is happening in my own country.
The main character is a Filipino-American. He went to the Philippines to discover the truth behind his cousin’s death. But he does not only figured out what happened, but he also found a part of himself that has been missing all those years.
What I liked the most about the story is that the author did not sugarcoat anything. It reads like a young adult, but the message of the book was for all ages. I also like how the author tells Jun’s story. He does not romanticized poverty, powerplay, and drug abuse, which is why the story felt raw and real.
In all honesty, I would have given this a 4-Moon rating instead of 4.5. But the impact of the story captures the depth of what was happening in my country. I truly respect the author for touching on a sensitive topic without glossing things over. However, I dislike some of the characters in the story. I was so immersed in reading the whole book, and I am enjoying my time doing so, but the characters would always caught me off-guard. It would take my mindset away from the story because of how unrealistic these people are. But it might be a personal preference, so I did not let that affect my rating.
Another thing that I did not like about it is the romance. It was not too overpowering, and the author did not make a big deal out of it. But I don’t like the fact that the love interest has a boyfriend. I really could not ignore that fact.
But, all in all, I think this book was pretty solid. The plot took an unexpected turn that I loved. It sealed the deal of how heartbreakingly beautiful this story is. I highly recommend this book to everyone if you have not read it yet. Just a trigger warning on drugs.
That is all for this review. Until next time!