Happy Friday and welcome to my stop on the FURIA blog tour! I’m so excited because today I am reviewing this AMAZING book! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it and Yamile Saied Méndez!
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 15, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary
An #ownvoices contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.
In Rosario, Argentina, Camila Hassan lives a double life.
At home, she is a careful daughter, living within her mother’s narrow expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow, and under the abusive rule of her short-tempered father.
On the field, she is La Furia, a powerhouse of skill and talent. When her team qualifies for the South American tournament, Camila gets the chance to see just how far those talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university.
But the path ahead isn’t easy. Her parents don’t know about her passion. They wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. And the boy she once loved is back in town. Since he left, Diego has become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Camila doesn’t have time to be distracted by her feelings for him. Things aren’t the same as when he left: she has her own passions and ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, Camila is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and ambition of a girl like her.
AMAZING story, well developed (likeable and unlikeable!) characters, people who enjoy sports should add this to their favorites immediately!
Everyone ready for my favorite sentence? Okay, here goes: contemporaries are VERY hit or miss for me. And Furia was…
A HIT! yay!!!
WHY DID I READ IT?
I was asked to be a part of the Algonquin Blog Tour (thanks Algonquin!) and the summary sounded really interesting! I used to play soccer when I was little, so I figured if there was ever a sports book for me to read, this would be it!
WHAT I LOVED (TOLD IN Ao3 TAGS)
- Childhood friends to lovers
- What to do when your childhood friend becomes famous
- Local girl too ambitious for neighborhood
Camila! Although I also loved Roxana, so maybe it should be a tie…
WILL I RE-READ IT?
Maybe? I really enjoyed it, so I don’t want to say no…
THREE WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE BOOK
fútbol (soccer for us Americans), expectations, ambition
ON RELATING TO CHARACTERS…
When I started reading this, I was having trouble connecting with Camila. Her life is very, very different from mine and I kept thinking, “Why is she doing that? That’s not what I would do.” And then I remembered something my history professor said one day, and I’m paraphrasing here, but it was something like don’t think about what you would do as yourself, think about what you would do if you were in this time and place and surrounded by all the influences that they were. And remembering that made it easier to connect with Camila, because then I was able to say, “okay, maybe this is how I would respond if I were in that situation, and had grown up here.” Anyway, this is just me rambling about how sometimes you can connect to characters who aren’t like you and don’t do the things you think you would in a situation and end up loving them and their stories anyway.
Good things first- it’s AWESOME to see a girl with dark skin featured prominently on a book cover! Also, I love the blue in Camila’s hair. And now for the not so great… this cover is not super appealing to me? There’s nothing on the cover to tell you that it’s a sports book. And yes, a girl’s face on the cover means it’s probably a contemporary, but it could just as easily be historical fiction, or dystopian, or any number of other genres, and I don’t like when you can’t tell what genre and age group a book is aimed it by looking at the cover.
Overall, this cover gets 4 stars.
- Fútbol (soccer for us Americans)
- Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
- Running with Lions by Julian Winters
- Books that take place outside the US (and Canada/UK/Australia)
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.
How do I pronounce my name? Click on this clip from Teaching Books
What are some books that you love that don’t take place in the US/Canada/UK/Australia? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!