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Patron Saints of Nothing
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Patron Saints of Nothing
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A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST"Brilliant, honest, and equal parts heartbreaking and soul-healing." —Laurie Halse Anderson, author of SHOUT "A singular voice in the world of literature."...
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST"Brilliant, honest, and equal parts heartbreaking and soul-healing." —Laurie Halse Anderson, author of SHOUT "A singular voice in the world of literature."...
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  • A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
    "Brilliant, 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.
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    UNANSWERED

    I sleep in on Saturday because I’ve got no plans beyond gaming with Seth later tonight after he finishes his shift at the sock store. So after what I’ll generously call brunch, I shuffle downstairs in my joggers and an old T-shirt, sink into the living room couch, and fire up my PS4 to make some progress in this one-player game where you battle massive robot dinosaurs in a post-apocalyptic Earth.

    I don’t know how many hours into this session I am when my dad’s suddenly standing behind me like he’s learned to apparate.

    “Jason, can you pause your game for a second?” he asks.

    “I’m almost at a checkpoint,” I say.

    “Jason . . .” he starts and then falters. He tries again. “Jason, I have something important to tell you.”

    “Hold on.” I know I’m being an ass, but I’m pretty sure this is probably going to be about college or something and I don’t really want to talk about that anymore. Plus, I’m in the zone fighting this mech-T-rex that’s already killed me, like, a million times.

    “Jay,” he says.

    I slide down a hill and draw my bow and arrow, triggering the slow-motion mode. I release two arrows in quick succession. Both hit the beast’s energy core, drawing heavy damage and narrowing its HP counter to a sliver.

    “YES!” I say.

    “Your Tito Maning called.” He pauses. “Jun is dead.”

    My fingers slow, but I keep playing. I’m not sure I heard him right. “Wait—what?”

    Dad clears his throat. “Your cousin Jun. He’s dead.”

    I freeze, gripping the controller like a ledge. I suddenly feel like I’m going to be sick. On the screen, the mechanical creature mauls my avatar. My life drains to zero. The camera pans upward, mimicking the soul’s skyward path.

    The words finally land, but they don’t feel real. I was just thinking about my cousin last night. . . .

    “That’s impossible,” I say.

    I sit up and shift so I’m facing Dad. He’s still wearing his nurse’s scrubs, and his salt-and-pepper hair is disheveled like he’s been running his fingers through it. Behind his glasses, his eyes are bloodshot. I glance at the time again. Mom’s at the hospital, and he should be, too.

    “I thought you’d want to know,” he adds.

    “When?” I ask, my chest tightening.

    “Yesterday.”

    I’m quiet for a long time. “What happened? I mean, how did he . . .”

    I can’t say the word.

    He sighs. “It doesn’t matter.”

    “What?” I ask. “Why not?”

    “He’s gone. That’s it.”

    “He was seventeen,” I say. “Seventeen-year-olds don’t randomly . . .”

    He takes off his glasses and rubs his eyes. “Sometimes they do.”

    “So it was random? Like a car accident or something?”

    Dad puts his glasses back on but avoids looking at me. He says nothing for a few beats, and then quietly, “What would it change if you knew?”

    I don’t answer because I can’t. Doesn’t the truth itself matter?

    I should be crying or throwing my controller down in anguish—but I don’t do any of this. Instead, there’s only a mild confusion, a muddy feeling of unreality that thickens when I consider the distance that had developed between Jun and...

About the Author-

  • Randy Ribay was born in the Philippines and raised in the Midwest. He is the author of After the Shot Drops and An Infinite Number of Parallel Universes. He earned his BA in English Literature from the University of Colorado at Boulder and his Master's Degree in Language and Literacy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He currently teaches English and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from April 22, 2019
    Passionately and fearlessly, Ribay (After the Shot Drops) delves into matters of justice, grief, and identity in this glimpse into the life and death of a fictional victim of President Duterte’s war on drugs in the Philippines. In Michigan, Filipino-American high school senior Jay Reguero is struggling to decide what to do with his life when the sudden death of his cousin Jun raises painful questions about the violent drug war, and an unknown Instagram user convinces Jay that his cousin was wrongly executed. Sick of his relatives’ refusal to discuss Jun’s death and guilty that he let their once-close pen pal friendship lapse, Jay convinces his parents to send him to the Philippines to reconnect with his extended family and—unbeknownst to them—look into the mystery surrounding Jun’s death. There, Jay connects with a culture he barely remembers from childhood visits and uncovers secrets that his cousin kept and his relatives are determined to forget. Ribay employs a delicate touch in portraying the tension inherent in growing up the child of two cultures, Filipino and American. Jay is a compelling character whose journey from sheltered and self-centered to mature, though clearly a work in progress, is well earned. Ages 14–up. Agent: Beth Phelan, Gallt & Zacker Literary Agency.

  • AudioFile Magazine Narrator Ram�n de Ocampo expresses the many emotional shifts of Jay Reguero. The audiobook begins with Jay's early memory of connection with his compassionate cousin, Jun, while visiting the Philippines, where he is originally from. Now 17, Jay finds himself unmotivated by college acceptance and dulled by video games. De Ocampo juxtaposes this fog with a rush of feelings when Jay learns of his cousin's murder by the Filipino police for supposed drug use. Jay's determination to discover the truth ends in a return to the Philippines and a change that affects him and his Filipino and American family members. De Ocampo enacts the gripping tension of President Duterte's power, Jun's father's support of the regime, and family schisms. S.W. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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    Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
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