Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Reviewed by Ginny
Linz also did an own voices review of this a while back you should check out.
What I drank: white claw. I finished a quiz I was nervous about. Cracked a white claw. Played some video games, cracked another white claw… and here I am.
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.
Drunk Overview: Jay goes to the Phillipines after he’s heard the news his cousin died, with the aim to investigate.
Drunk Thoughts: first things first. This book is beautiful! Ive been leaning towards escapist fiction and Ill be honest this book originally wasnt my first choice but Im so glad I read it.
- I can only describe the character and descriptions as lush
- Ive never been to the Phillipines so this was all new to me (not too far off from Jayson who had visited years before).
- This book did a great job of showing the Phillipines from multiple angles, especially where the cirrent drug policy (letting citizens mirder drug users) is concerned.
- It shouldnt have surprised me at how much of this book reminds me of American politics at the moment.
- But it was a stark reminder that even bleak policies will be supported by some people.
- The cousin, Jun, seems like one of those preturnaturally enlightened people. The books he read, the letters he wrote, and the ideas he had were beautiful and heartbreaking considering you learn at the beginning of the book that he’s dead.
- The rest of the characters resonate too, a whole cast of parents and siblings and cousins and aunts and uncles. It does a great job of putting you into the culture and the culyure shock that Jay must have been feeling.
- So a hit about the setting: this book goes all pver the Phillipines; the slums, the rich neighborhoods, fancy parks, small towns in the middle of nowhere, and everywhete felt appropriately lived in.
- The way Jay encounters all of these places really hit me, because even though his father is Filipino, hes lived in the US his whole life. So much of his exploration of the culture was targeted directly to people like me.
- Im gonna staright up admit there were portions imof this book that made me cry.
- This book has made me think more than pretty much anything Ive read in a long time. Both the cross-cultural connections, thinking about how it feels when things are missing in your life, family, and how to actually influence in a positive way what ks happening in the world.
- I was so invested in tge mystery of unravelling what happened. When the book ended I felt like there was a hole inside of me. Jason has so many more stories he can tell and I wanted to burrow myself further in his life.
Drink Pairing: fruit forward IPA. Something that has a bitter taste that is overhwhelmed by a hopeful fruity flavor.