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Patron Saints of Nothing

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  4,727 ratings  ·  1,138 reviews
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
Hardcover, 323 pages
Published June 18th 2019 by Kokila
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Average rating 4.36  · 
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 ·  4,727 ratings  ·  1,138 reviews

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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
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
Cristina Monica
This felt like a familiar tale in the beginning. Someone close to the main character dies and the main character is angry and seeks justice. Except in this case the tragedy happens in the Philippines, far away from the protagonist, and Jay is reluctant to accept the events that lead to the death of his cousin so he travels to the Philippines in order to find out the truth his family is potentially hiding from him.

It’s a real page-turner. If you enjoy reading stories about change, journeys, famil
Laurie Anderson
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-the-best, ya
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.
Nenia ⚔️ Queen of Villainy ⚔️ Campbell

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I 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 comparison
Sep 19, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey, here's another one I wrote!
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: y-a
This is a YA novel with a powerful message spanning across several thematic thresholds. What is the truth worth? Who is accountable for the lives of the lost? Can we hold ourselves responsible for acts of inhumanity if we are not actively speaking up? If we don’t, then who will?

"If we are to be more than what we have been, there's so much more that we need to say."

"I am not truly Filipino, so I don't understand the Philippines. But isn't this deeper than that, doesn't this transcend natio
Olivia-Savannah  Roach
Jun 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book swept me in and took me away. I didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book, but I came out of it emotional, informed and deeply moved. I’m going to tell you why in this review!

I like to consider myself a pretty well-informed person when it comes to news and such. But this book reminded me that it is impossible to know everything and that there is always more to learn. This was the first book I read set in the Philippines, and the first I was hearing of President Duter
CC the Great is Not Okay
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who liked The Astonishing Color of After or Darius the Great is Not Okay
TOTAL READING TIME: 4 hours, 33 minutes.

As I said in my original review, this isn't the first YA book published by a major company I've read that was written by a Filipino author with Filipino lead(s). This is actually the third book--the first one being Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz, and the second one being The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (both of which I recommend).

But this is the first book I've read written by a Filipino author with Filipino leads that is largely set in th
☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Death, youth, life itself and its conundrums mixed together.
Some politics, Duterte-bashing.
Lots of preaching.

We can only handle so much truth at any given moment... (c)
Nothing like wisdom from on high. (c)
Doesn’t the truth itself matter? (c)
It’s a sad thing when you map the borders of a friendship and find it’s a narrower country than expected. (c)
All the stories follow a similar pattern: Someone is accused without evidence, they are killed without mercy, then the police cover it up w
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
if you ever wanted to know what a gut punch looks like in book format just have a look at this cover

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 Copy

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
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I won it in a Bookriot giveaway!!!

I thought this book would be sadder. I mean it was sad but I thought going in that it would be ruin my day sad. But it wasn't.

Patron Saints of Nothing is about Jay Reguero whose family moved to America from the Philippines when he was a year old. Jay hasn't spent much time in the Philippines and he doesn't really think much about the Philippines either. That is until he hears about the murder of his cousin in Philippines. Jay decides to travel to the Philippine
I don't know what to say about this book, it left me speechless. Please, please take the time to read it. It's one of those books I expected to be good, but that still blew me away with how engaging and impactful it was.
temi ★
Mar 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
characters: 4/5
pacing: 4/4
actual substance of the story: 5/5
romance and/or significant friendships: 3.5/5
the writing: 4/4
creatvity: 2/2

22.5/25 | 4.5 STARS

This 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
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Jay is a Filipino-american youth with one semester left of high school when he finds out his cousin in the Philippines has been killed. He convinces his parents to send him back to his aunts and uncles so he can try to figure out what happened.

Before you think this is a white savior narrative (it really isn't), I must say I was impressed by how the author used this story of a somewhat uninformed teenager to tell this story. Like many immigrant narratives, Jay doesn't feel he belongs in America,
Katie B
4.5 stars

I never imagined when I first started reading this book how much I would fall in love with the story. I underestimated and thought it would be a typical story about a teenager coming to terms with his cousin's death. And while that was certainly an aspect that was well-done, the author also did a fantastic job in incorporating Filipino culture and some history into the story. It always feels like an added bonus when you are able to learn something while reading a fiction book.

Jay Reguer
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I don’t have the words to describe how impactful it was. It talked about grief without making me depressed or feel like I want to kill myself, but at the same time, I teared up. It reminded me a lot of how people aren’t just one thing — not just good or bad or mean or nice. We are a bunch of things.

I’m not Filipino, but I definitely related to Jay when it came to going back to visiting family and not speaking language and sticking out like a sore thumb.

Also: “It strikes me that I cannot claim
✨Brithanie Faith✨
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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
Gemma ♕
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
JM Cabral
Apr 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
“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. Patron Saints if Nothing was one of my most anticipated rel
✦ Maica ✦
“..., 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 t
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Patron Saints of Nothing is a powerful, all-consuming coming-of-age tale and packs an almighty punch! It has so many layers and is a deeply interesting exploration of some thought-provoking topical issues. With a compulsive fact-meets-fiction narrative Randy Ribay writes with courage, brevity and conviction about a topic, culture and country close to his heart. It explores the heart-rending situation in the Philippines where President Rodrigo Duterte has taken an unusually harsh approach to thos ...more
Jessica Jeffers
This book deserves way more attention. In many ways, it checks all the usual boxes for a young adult book about important social issues, but it's impressively well-written and so engaging I read it in one day.
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
I can see why everyone is raving about this book - it is amazeballs. I know that's not a very professional term so let me try this:

Hauntingly beautiful story about one boy's quest to find out what happened to his cousin and best friend. What he discovers along the way will shake him to his core and help me realize who he wants to become... or maybe who he was meant to become. This is the type of story that will stay with me for a long, long time.
Neil (or bleed)
Jun 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Patron Saints of Nothing is one of my most-anticipated books this year. And I'm happy that it didn't disappoint. Randy Ribay is brave to use Duterte's drug war in the Philippines as a backdrop on this coming-of-age novel.

He did sort of exposed the ugliness of this war that took a lot of poor Filipinos' lives. It struck me as preachy, the way Ribay's characters comments on this inhumane and anti-poor drug war. Maybe I felt it like that, because what I was reading is the truth. And it hurts me th
This is educational and messagey in a way I dislike. May be more appealing to those who want to learn about Duterte's regime, but within the safety of familiar YA tropes and conventional and bland writing style.
Apr 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
*4.25 stars

y'all ever finish a book and feel like you're a different person than you were when u started it? maybe it's because we witness our main character, jay, change himself. he's said and thought ignorant and stupid things that i wanted to slap him for, but he was always, always called out on his bullshit and he actually learned from his mistakes again and again and you could actually feel him growing and maturing throughout the story.
another thing i appreciated is the way this book talked
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
This book was an emotional rollercoaster and it has definitely left its mark on me.

The basis of this book is very real, this is emphasised throughout. You could feel the family’s pain in This book and it made me tear up a few times.

The writing was quite simplistic in nature but it is young adult and it did allow the facts and emotions really smack you in the face.

I flew through this when I had the time, this story is portrayed in such a brilliant way to convey the right message across.
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Randy Ribay is the author of the contemporary YA novels PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING (Kokila/Penguin 2019), AFTER THE SHOT DROPS (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) and AN INFINITE NUMBER OF PARALLEL UNIVERSES (Merit Press/Simon & Schuster, 2015). He's also a high school English teacher, reader, gamer, watcher of great TV, husband, and father of two dog-children. He can probably be found somewhere makin ...more

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