The following is an honest review of Patron Saint of Nothing by Randy Ribay and my suggested age rating.
Synopsis of Patron Saint of Nothing
Patron Saint of Nothing is told from the perspective of its main character Jay. Jay was born in the Philippines but his family moved to America when he was very young. Although he visited his family in the Philippines some, he never really embraced his Filipino heritage. He lives a pretty average, American life focusing on completing high school to go to college. One day his parents inform him that his cousin Jun has passed away. Although Jay hasn’t seen or heard from him in years, they were once very close and spent a period of time writing letters back and forth. Jay wants to know what happened to Jun, but his parents won’t tell him anything.
Determined to get to the bottom of Jun’s death, Jay tells his parents he wants to go to the Philippines for Spring Break to spend time with family and learn about the culture. Deep down, Jay’s reason for going is to learn why everyone is hiding Jun’s death. As he begins to explore Jun’s death he learns it is a lot more complicated than he imagined. It involves politics, drugs, secrets, and dysfunctional family dynamics. This book is in many ways a self discovery and coming of age journey for Jay.
Review of Patron Saint of Nothing
I have never read anything written by Randy Ribay before but this book has been on my radar for a while. Recently at Barnes and Noble I picked it up and read the synopsis again. I realized that it was not what I thought it was about and it intrigued me even more. This book is pretty different from anything I have read before. It is told from Jay’s perspective. I realize most of what I read is told from the perspective of characters who are girls/woman. Although this book is fictional, in many ways it seemed real. Although reading about Jay’s family and their dynamics was hard at times it was in many ways very relatable. I enjoyed seeing how Jay went from a teenage boy who didn’t care that much about his heritage to a man determined to defend his cousin’s honor. There is a lot of personal/character growth in the characters of this book and it was very moving to read. I also enjoyed learning about Jay’s culture and the traditions of his family.
I gave this book 4/5 stars on Goodreads. Randy Ribay’s writing style was very appealing to me and I will be checking out more of his books!
Age Rating for Patron Saint of Nothing
This book mentions drugs, prostitution, violence, suicide, and has some mild language. There are things in this book that may be triggering for some who have experienced verbal/emotional abuse, especially from family. Overall, I would give this book an age rating of 14+.
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