Patron Saints of Nothing audiobook
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Words cannot express how much Patron Saints of Nothing touched me. It opened up wounds of my Filipino American experience. The guilt the main protagonist feels for having a better life in America resonated with me; its how I felt many days of my life. The confusion on how to give back to a homeland that seems to accept and welcome foreigners more than balikbayans like me has been deflating through the years. By the end of the novel, I felt more resolved to not let my past define my future relationship with my motherland.
The emotional family moments and the characters sincere perspective brings light to a complicated Philippines drug war that I hope makes readers ask the question: what can I do?
This is why we read books. Thank you Mr. Ribay for an instant classic.
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This is a National Book Award Finalist, a powerful coming-of-age story about grief, guilt, and the risks a Filipino American teenager takes to uncover the truth about his cousins murder. Joe 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 Jon was murdered as part of President Dutertes 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 truthand the part he played in it. The favorite letter from Jun:
1 Nov 2014
Dear Kuya Jay,
Today is All Saints Day in the Philippines. Do you celebrate this day in the United States? Almost all Filipinos have this day off. Many of us go to the cemetery. We bring blankets, candles, food, drink, guitars and so on and spend the day at the tombs of our loved ones. We eat, we play music, and we talk and laugh and tell stories about the dead. I know this probably seems strange. All of the graveyards I see in American TV shows and movies are always dark and scary and empty except when there is a funeral. But here it is a celebration. A time to honor our dead and remember their lives. I think this is a healthy thing to do. The day is also meant to celebrate the saints, of course, for example, maybe you have already heard of St. Blaise, the patron saint of wild animals, veterinarians, and throat ailments. Did you know he lived in a cave with all those wild animals? I think thats really cool. Anyway, there are also many other lesser-known saints. There is a St. Apollonia, the patron saint of dentists, St. Lydwina, the patron saint of ice skaters; St Drogo, the patron saint of ugly people and another one of my favoritesSt. Clotilde, the patron saint of disappointing children. Anyway, assuming this is all real, and you were canonized someday what would you want to be able to help people with? I know it is hard to think of something for which there is not already a patron saint! Personally I would like to be St. Jun, the patron saint .of nothing. St. Nothing, I guess.
St. Nothing (I smile to myself as I put the letter away. I rest my head against the window and close my eyes. I drift off to sleep thinking of my cousin and me, of humanity and its problems, of oceans and islands. I imagine both of us, patron saints of Nothing). This is a fascinating book that is mesmerizing and thrilling and sends a wonderfully clear message to reconcile faith, family and the immigrant identity.
Audiobook Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
A beautifully written and poignant novel, Patron Saints of Nothing focuses on contemporary events that few (if any) YA novels (or any novels that I know of) addressDutertes war on drugs in the Philippines and its devastating impacts on families.
Randy Ribays protagonist, Jay Reguero, is a Filipino-American high school senior leading a typical, rather mundane adolescent life in Michigan. When he learns of his cousin Juns unexpected and suspicious death in the Philippines, however, personal regret and curiosity compel him to travel to Manila during spring break to visit his extended family and find out the truth behind Juns murder at the hands of Filipino authorities.
Soon Jays detective work leads him to a host of discoveries he never anticipated. He learns a great deal about the country of his birth, the family he hasnt seen since he was a child, and the personal consequences of national politics.
While this story features numerous elements that youd expect to find in a YA novelfriction between teens and their parents, budding romance and its inherent complications, dilemmas regarding identity and the futureRibays novel transcends the trappings of the genre and depicts compelling moments of epiphany as Jay arrives at uncomfortable but necessary truths about how well we actually know those we profess to care about, the complex motives that drive human behavior, and our ability to control our own destinies. Highly recommended.
Audio Patron Saints of Nothing narrated by Ramon de Ocampo
A simply outstanding book. The book is set in the Philippines as The War on Drugs rages. Patron Saint of Nothing provides an excellent and realistic introduction to both; however the underlying themes of belonging, loyalty, guilt, fear, and imperfection speak to everyone everywhere. Though I guess the genre is fiction for young adults, (and I wish I was still a young adult), the book was immensely satisfying to me, despite the difficult subject matter. Here are the 5 things I appreciated the most from the author: 1) From my experience as an American married to a Filipina (and hence her family), the author accurately captures true experiences of Fil-Am children, both while living in the USA and when they visit the Philippines. 2) The author accurately depicts (from my experience) characters, relationships, daily life, and events from the Philippines. 3) The author has been able to craft an engaging and suspenseful story that accurately captures The War on Drugs and makes it more real for the reader. 4) The author does not embellish or sensationalize the story of the War on Drugs. In fact, the author carefully presents, through his characters, the opposing views on the necessity or evil of such actions. 5) Finally, the author captures in this specific story that life is often messy and that there are no easy answers or perfect endings. I am grateful to the author as this book both gave me a chance to return to the Philippines, even if only in my mind, and a chance to become engrossed in a well-crafted and suspenseful story. An outstanding book.
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An excellent book exposing and detailing the dark underbelly of life in the Philippines under dictator Rodrigo Duterte. A compelling read for anyone from a later teen to an adult.
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