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Patron Saints of Nothing

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  8,847 ratings  ·  1,952 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 4.33  · 
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 ·  8,847 ratings  ·  1,952 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
Sep 19, 2018 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Hey, here's another one I wrote! ...more
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 ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

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
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
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really liked this young adult novel about grief, growing up, and going to explore your cultural roots. In Patron Saints of Nothing, we follow Jay Reguero, a college senior who feels ready to coast for the rest of his spring semester before heading to University of Michigan in the fall. Jay gets shaken up though when he learns that his cousin Jun, who he was close to but had fallen out of touch with, was murdered as part of President Duterte’s war on drugs. Instead of spending his spring break ...more
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
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
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

☘Misericordia☘ ⚡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
Inah (Fueled By Chapters)
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
Althea | themoonwholistens ☾
Everything was just way too realistic for me and way too close to home so <3 When I say that I related to this book on a whole other level, you better take my word for it as someone who has lived in the Philippines my whole life but has also seen more of the world than most other citizens.

This quote hit me a little harder knowing that people are dying for doing what is right on the same land that I am on.

"A universe where people do not die for doing what is right."

— overall thoughts: 4.50 —

Jan 06, 2021 rated it really liked it
A compelling read that is equally informative and heartbreakingly tragic.

It was very interesting to explore the Philippines through the perspective of a half-Filipino, to view its rich culture and history in a light of newness and of distant familiarity. But what intrigued me most is to see how the corruption, the poverty and the social injustices prevalent in the country are perceived in this book and to follow the course of the characters' moral and political views as they learn more about Du
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. ...more
Beatrice Masaluñga
4.5 / 5 🌟

Patron Saints of Nothing is an eye-opening book about the current situation in the Philippines. There's a lot to talk about regarding President Duterte's administration on its rampant drug campaign. It's chaotic and believe it or not, some are just pawns. Can you imagine children become victims? It's heartbreaking and there are Filipinos support this.

Jay Reguero, a Filipino-American teenager, receives a tragic news that his cousin, Jun, passed away. His untimely death is a mystery and
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
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
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
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
Sep 11, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

This book opens with ten year old Jay trying to make sense of loss and grief after taking on the responsibility to care for a puppy whose mother refused to tend to him. It is the perfect introduction to Jay’s inner character. This opening is brief and we are quickly reintroduced to Jay as a senior in high school. Upon learning of his cousin’s horrific death, Jay is filled with emotions that parallel the opening well, shouldering a responsibility that should never have been his to deal w
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
✨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 ♕ Bookish Gems
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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. ...more
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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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