“But no. 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 a solid, and more a liquid taking the shape of it’s container.”
Ever spend your whole life thinking you know someone and then suddenly…you don’t? For fans of The Hate U Give, The Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay is an own voices novel. Jay Reguero is in his senior year, shocked by the tragic death of his cousin. Wanting answers, he travels to the Philippines to find out what happened, but is he prepared to find out the truth, and the part he played in it?
While this is a fictional story about Jay and his cousin Jun, it is very real for those currently living in the Philippines. The novel does an excellent job of educating the reader while also telling a riveting story surrounding the grief of a young teenager. The contrast between healthy and unhealthy ways of dealing with grief brought a depth to the novel that was unexpected. Although the novel is a bit of slow burner it does leave you wanting more at the end of each chapter. The mystery surrounding Jun’s death is intriguing and will have you coming up with many theories - you will still be surprised!
Ultimately, this is a story of belonging and I think that many people would benefit reading about Jay and watching him connect with his culture. The novel definitely changed the way I think about the world, encouraging me to strive to be more present. This is book will change you for the better and should definitely be on the top of your “To Be Read” pile!