Pubblicato in: Book preview

FURIA BY Yamile Saied Méndez ARC REVIEW

368 pages

Expected publication: September 15th 2020 by Algonquin Young Readers

I received this book from NetGalley in exchange of an honest review. Thank you, Algonquin Young Readers, for the chance to read it.

TW: domestic violence, abusive relationship and parents, murder, sexism

Camila Hassan lives in Rosario, Argentina, in the barrios and she lives a double life. At home she tries to be a perfect daughter, careful around her quick-tempered and abusive father, trying to live within her mother’s expectations, in her rising-soccer-star brother’s shadow.
But in the fields she’s La Furia, a brilliant and talented futbolera and when her team qualifies for the South American tournament she’s excited and ready to take this chance and see how far she can go. Her dream is to get a scholarship and study in a North America University. But her life is complicated by family relationships and when her childhood friend and first love, Diego, now a famous star playing for the Juventus, comes back, Camila tries not to get distracted by their feelings for each other.
Camila is then forced to face her secrets, her feelings and dreams, ready to fight to have a place in a world who doesn’t want to make place for a girl like her.

Furia is a brilliant and intense #ownvoices contemporary, a coming-of-age story, told by a stubborn and fierce character, who is fighting to live and follow her dreams in a sexist and patriarcal society. Camila is a complex and captivating character. She doesn’t want to follow her parents’ expectations, she doesn’t want to hide in her brother’s shadow anymore, to hide and fear her father, to not fight back.
She’s ambitious, smart and she won’t let anyone stop her dreams, not even herself and her feelings. Her story with Diego is sweet and cute and I loved the trope childhood friends to lovers, but their relationship is complicated by Diego’s job and home in Italy, a glamorous life that clashes with Camila’s simple one and Camila’s desires to be someone, to become a futbolera and get away from her house and life.

I really liked how Camila refuses to give up, how she keeps fighting, finding a way to play, to train, to partecipate to the tournament, not letting anything in her way, trusting herself, her passion and talent, her team.
She wants to have her own life, refusing to be shackled by other’s dreams or expectations, by her abusive father, by her submissive and abused mother. She won’t let anyone stop her and she’s really amazing and strong. Her relationship with Roxana, her best friend, is truly intense and I love how they support, help and understand one other. I loved reading how she teaches to kids from the group home to keep them off the streets, helping and supporting them and her relationship with the fierce and stubborn Karen. Women supporting women is so beautiful and empowering. I really appreciated how it was underlined the education’s importance.

The women’s condition is addressed in Furia, by hinting at the pro-choice movement, at the missing women and girls and at movement “No una menos”, above all when a girl they knew is killed. Camila lives in a deeply patriarchal and sexist society and she’s hit and hurt by this ideology both outside and inside her home.
Always being underestimated by her father, Camila is conscious of the risks of being a woman in Argentina, risks addressed when she dresses, when she’s out at night, when she’s alone, listening to her family’s worries and ideas.
The deeply patriarchal society is clear in their words, in what a “respectable” girl should do or be, in their victim-blaming:

“Kind of late for a respectable girl to be out and about, don’t you think?”

“If she hadn’t being hanging with the wrong crowd, she’d still be alive”

“When you aren’t at home, we worry you’ll be on the next poster. If you’re not careful, it’ll be your fault if you are.”

(quotes from the earc, so they may be subject to changes)

Camila’s brother Pablo, her mother, her father seemed to be surrendered to the world where they live, where girls are afraid to come home alone at night because they are scared to be attacked and killed, but Camila, her friends, they don’t want to live like that and they fight to be safe, protesting, arguing, fighting back.

Camila is trapped, almost until the end, in a cycle of violence and bitterness with her family, a cycle made of wrong choices, unwanted and unexpected pregnancies, lost opportunities, family’s expectations, betrayals, lies and cheatings.

Furia is an intense and brilliant coming-of-age story about a young woman fighting to have her own life, following her dreams and desires, a thrilling love story and set in a world where women want to be free and safe.

Autore:

What you should know about me is: I'm in love with books. I love diving in them, living my heroine's and heroes' adventure, discovering new worlds and characters. I've always loved reading and writing. The idea of creating is thrilling and scary at the same time. 'I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

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