Book Review: Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
What It’s About:
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.yamilesmendez.com
What I liked:
- the realistic and relatable characters
- the portrayal of family and cultural expectation
- the theme of female empowerment
- the sweet and interesting romance
I had a great time reading this book. I’m struggling to even figure out where to begin because there were so many parts that I loved. I originally was going to rate this book at 4 stars but now I’m leaning more towards 5 stars. The first thing that I liked about this book was the fast paced plot. The book I read before this one was long and a slow burn, so this was a nice change of pace and genre. I read this during Thanksgiving break and was able to enjoy it more during my free time.
The characters and relationships are what really made this a 5 star book for me. I can honestly say that I felt a connection with almost all the characters in the story. Furia’s character was interesting to follow because she had incredible determination but also had realistic flaws. I liked seeing how Furia dealt with situations that many young adults go through. She is a talented soccer player and put an amazing amount of dedication into her future. Furia also struggled with the weight of her parents’ expectations (who also have their own baggage) and personal insecurities. The theme of friendship was great as well. Furia and her best friend Roxana have a very strong bond with it’s own ups and downs. The love story in this book was an interesting part of her journey but didn’t take center stage of the overall story. There were so many moments that I wished I had read something like this when I was a teenager.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this story is that it featured female athletes, teamwork, and competition. I actually haven’t read many YA books that involve sports, so it was refreshing. The setting was a new experience for me because I am not familiar with the Argentinian language and culture. Because there are so many different elements, this book has the potential to appeal to a wide range of readers!
P.S. I feel a little like I’m rambling in this review because I listed so many things! So sorry! I want to share what I liked but also don’t want to give away what happens in the story. 😜 My brain is also on limited capacity right now since school has started up again. As always, thanks for reading!