PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING centers around Jay Reguero, a Filipino-born boy that grew up in America. One day he finds out that his Filipino cousin Jun was murdered but he doesn't have a proper funeral nor his family wants to talk about it. Then Jay travels to Philippine in order to search for the truth behind it.
This book is beyond a young-adult story: Ribay covers vividly important themes of guilt, politic, grief, privilege, family and culture. I was profoundly invested in the story as I reflected on the limited vision that we used to have, often concerned about futile problems when there are major issues to resolve. The existential problems that Jun approaches are thought-provoking. I personally loved Jun - he was a character with insightful mind yet flawed. Also, Jay's development was substantial and gradual.
I learned about the family judgement and pressure in Filipino's culture. My jaw dropped a bit about the harsh/rude behavior inside a traditional family.
The main focus on the drug war was absolutely relevant and needed. The story was evolved realistically although I wanted to know more about the middle-process of Jun's story. Despite the romance was a bit rushed, I overall liked it.
I highly recommend PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING for readers who want to know Filipino's culture and politic as well as relevant modern themes.