Monday, May 3, 2021

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez


It's always a little stressful picking up a book that all of your friends have loved because it's never fun being the first person to hate on it, but luckily I didn't have to worry about that with FURIA, because I loved every moment of it. I don't even like sports, so the fact that a book about soccer kept me engrossed from start to finish is really testament to the author's abilities to tell a moving story.

Camila is a Palestinian-Argentinian girl living in Argentina. She comes from a family of soccer players and she plays soccer too, but she does it in secret knowing her family might not approve. Her life gets even more complicated when her childhood crush comes back to visit his hometown, only now he's a famous soccer player in his own right, and Camila feels a sense of inadequacy when he's around, struggling to reconcile his newfound fame with the boy she remembers.

This is the type of YA I love. It's a book that tackles tough subjects without sounding like it has an agenda or coming across as heavy-handed. And wow, there is a veritable LAKE of tough subjects in here: abusive parents, managing to parental expectations, feminism, women's rights, setting limits and expectations in relationships, and standing up for your dreams. Also, romance.

Let's talk about the romance, too, actually. I normally hate YA romance because it comes across as too forced (done for the clicks). This is the perfect example of a relationship that zaps you with its perfect chemistry while also portraying consent, realistic goals, and the idea of setting boundaries. As frustrating as it is to have such a prolonged will they/won't they, I felt like all of Camila's concerns were 100% valid and I loved that she wasn't willing to shelve her dreams to become what society expected of her. Diego was a doll, though. One of the best YA love interests ever. I swoon.

Definitely read this if you love YA with strong female protagonists!

4 to 4.5 out of 5 stars

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