A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALISTBrilliant, honest, and equal parts heartbreaking and soul-healing. --Laurie Halse Anderson, author of SHOUT A singular voice in the world of literature. --Jason Reynolds, author of Long Way Down A powerful 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. As gripping as it is lyrical, Patron Saints of Nothing is a page-turning portrayal of the struggle to reconcile faith, family, and immigrant identity.
- ISBN-13: 9780525554912
- ISBN-10: 0525554912
- Publisher: Kokila
- Publish Date: June 2019
- Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Page Count: 352
- Reading Level: Ages 14-17
Patron Saints of Nothing
All Jay Reguero wanted to do was play some video games, not talk to his family and finish out his senior year of high school. He didn’t want attention, and he didn’t want to make waves. The death of his cousin Jun changed all of that. In Filipino-American author Randy Ribay’s third novel, Patron Saints of Nothing, Jay knows that the only way to find out happened to his cousin is to travel back to the Philippines, where his father emigrated from 17 years before.
The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, has a shockingly brutal plan to eliminate crime in the country: arrest all of the drug users and sellers, and if they resist, kill them. Before leaving, Jay learns that Jun was killed as part of Duterte’s initiative. Jay cannot reconcile this with the Jun who had sent him so many letters for years, and he knows there must be more to the story. As Jay spends time with his extended family in the Philippines, he learns that knowing the whole truth doesn’t make understanding it any easier.
While Jay and Jun’s story is fictional, the mass assassination of Filipinos is not. Jay is confronted with stark class divisions, extreme systemic poverty, fervent national pride and a growing understanding that not everything has a simple, linear answer. Patron Saints of Nothing combines personal letters and lyrical prose to create a story that causes Jay and the reader to wrestle with who they truly are and what they really believe.