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Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez

“Fútbol fans will love Furia.  An inspiration in determination and the courage to fight for your dreams, Furia will have readers rooting for Camila Hassan until the very end.”

Cecelia Beckman, Sheaf & Ink

The Story

Camila Hassan has a secret.

One she’s been unable to tell anyone, except her older brother.  Camila is a fútbol player.  A talented one who has a future as a professional player.

When an opportunity of a lifetime arises, her team qualifying in a nationally ranked playoff, Camila has a real chance at becoming a professional player. Her only problem is how to tell her parents and the boy she loves what she wants for her future.

My Review

Furia is an #ownvoice story that resonates.  It gives a loudening voice for girls who are pushed to the sidelines. Who are told countless times they will never amount to their male counterparts.  That they have no talent and should only strive to be a “good girl.”

Méndez’s novel pushes those barriers to its snapping point.  Showcasing a young woman whose talent and perseverance as an athlete is in a word: inspirational.  For any young athlete putting in the time and effort to become a professional in their sport Furia is a story that will keep that flame burning.  This book gives hope and a message for the next generation of girls: that they are equal to boys in their love and abilities on the field.

My Thoughts

Further, what drives this story is equal parts magic and a touch of lore.  Méndez pulls from folk-religion mentioning La Difunta Correa, the patron saint of impossible things.  I was pulled in by this thread of Méndez’s story.  As a reader who thoroughly enjoys folk-lore this aspect of the novel was intriguing (as it draws from Argentinian history). 

My only concern is that this small part of the story is set aside when Camila’s love interest is front stage. La Difunta Correa is shoved into a night stand, never brought up again. 

I understand that Camila is not religious, but it felt as though this part of the narrative was forgotten or perhaps no longer needed.

Just A Few More Thoughts

Now, the romance is one that is simply irresistible.  Your heart aches for Camila as she naviagters her feeling for Diego.  You feel acutely the sharp pain at the choices she makes for her own happiness.  Even though Méndez brilliantly tells Camila’s love story, it felt at times that the fútbol portion of the story and the budding relationship between Camila and Diego was not weaved tightly together. 

And as the final one hundred pages quickly approached I felt the fútbol games in the end felt rushed.  I wanted more of the adrenaline thrill I felt in the beginning.  The brilliance of when Camila becomes la Furia on the field, showing how talented and gifted she is as a fútbol player.  Towards the end it seemed to short.  I wanted to nestle in that grueling task towards achieving Camila’s goals for a few more chapters.

From the Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Last Thought

But that does not take away from the story and when you get to the Epilogue!!!

I can’t wait for you to read it!

It’s seriously one of my favorite parts of the novel. It perfectly ties Camila’s story into a beautiful perfect bow. After reading the last line, I couldn’t stop smiling.

You will be engrossed from the opening words and experience the rich vibrant details of Argentina and feel the electric energy that is infectious.

Happy Reading  ̴ Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

From the Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Author: Yamile Said Mendez

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Publication Date: September, 2020

Pages: 368

ISBN-10: 1616209917

ISBN-13: 978-1616209919

Audience: 14 and up

Jacket Design: Laura Williams

Jacket Art: Rachelle Baker

You can find Furia at Workman Publishing

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