The Reading Room- Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez

Posted September 13, 2020 by stuckint in Blog Tours, Features, The Reading Room / 0 Comments

We are excited to welcome everyone back to The Reading Room for our review stop on the blog tour for Furia by Yamile Saied Mendez hosted through Algonquin Books for Young Readers. The full tour schedule can be found here and check out our full, spoiler free review can be read below.

About the Book

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Published by Algonquin Young Readers on September 15, 2020
Pages: 368

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.

About the Author

Yamile 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 a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Méndez is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle grade and young adult authors.  Furia is her first novel for young adult readers.

Our Thoughts

Furia is a contemporary debut set on modern day Argentina and asks important questions identity, family, and radical self acceptance.

Our main character Camilla, spends a good portion of the novel trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs. It’s a common theme in many YA novels Camilla’s struggle is handled beautiful on Mendez’s authorial hands. Camilla, while still trying to figure things out, is tenacious and her personality burns with a ferocity befitting the book’s titular namesake.

While there is a love interest in this book is it is not the novel’s driving force and I really appreciated that in a YA contemporary. With that said, the love story is sweet and real and I absolutely ADORED it.

The pacing was fine, in fact my only real complaint is that some scenes could have been fleshed out a little more, adding only a few pages here and there to the overall length.

For those who loves sports there is plenty of that as well with some solid, intense athletic focused scenes sprinkled throughout this short novel.

Honestly, I gave this fantasy book 4.5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who loves ownvoices contemporaries authors like Angie Thomas and Elizabeth Acevedo

What About You

Have you read Furia yet? What did you think? If you haven’t done so yet, do you have plans to read it? Let is know in the comments!

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