Furia – Sunday Funday Review

Synopsis – Goodreads

An #ownvoices contemporary YA set in Argentina, about a rising soccer star who must put everything on the line—even her blooming love story—to follow her dreams.

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.

The Great: The characters! Specifically the main characters Camila and Diego. Camila is the main reason I love this book so much. She’s resilient, ambitious, self-aware and goes after what she wants and what she knows she deserves. She puts her best foot forward in absolutely everything that she does. But what I loved most about her was her fierce loyalty and love for her mama Isabel, brother Pablo, best friend Roxana her team and coach Alicia, as well for her first love Diego. Though that love doesn’t deter her from her dreams of becoming a successful fútbolera. She is La Furia through and through.

Speaking of Diego, I am so happy the second shoe did not drop for him. You know when the love interest is smooth, charming and handsome, there’s usually some darkness floating around him. And although side characters hinted to its possibility, it thankfully, was not fully there. He was a great love interest and his success story is wonderfully written. However, his adoration and love for Rosario (el barrio) and Camila is what completely drew me into him.

Next, simply put, plot. It is well flushed out , planned out and executed. For the first time in a while, I couldn’t find any real plot holes. And the story kept me engaged, gave me just enough sense of foreshadowing with some foreboding scenes, that kept me on my toes.

Finally we have themes. From the first pages, diversity in culture, language and tradition are key elements to the story’s progression. I literally tried to create a family tree in my notes to keep up with all of what made Camila, so special. Another major theme woven throughout the story is social justice and the fight against all injustice. Whether it is based on racism, colorism, sexism etc. the fight against all injustice still wages on. Furia discusses the negative impacts of misogyny and patriarchal society, domestic abuse (mental, emotional and physical), as well as homicide and missing young women and girls.

“Queremos justicia!”  “Vivas nos queremos!” 

Yamile Saied Méndez, Furia

The Good: I absolutely enjoyed the romance. As I briefly mentioned above, I was absolutely in love with Camila and Diego’s love story. It was the perfect blend of friends-to-lovers with just a sprinkle of insta-love. And let me tell you this romance doesn’t come easy. Its the kind of romance that has short bursts with all the tension and confessions that makes you feel young again. When love feels forbidden and stifled yet passionate and wistful. Diego and Camila’s romance was a rollercoaster ride that I constantly looked forward to.

The not-so-good: Now you know I’m a stickler for pace. And for the most part, I felt it was well done. However, within the last 50 pages, the story and ending felt rushed. It felt like I was running through several emotional hoops that I didn’t get a chance to catch my breath. And for a book like this, even when you’re expecting it to be fast paced, I would’ve enjoyed sitting with certain scenes just a bit more.

Overall, I highly recommend this book! This is definitely on my list of MUST-READS and I promise you won’t regret picking it up.

TW: Misogyny, Emotional, Mental and Physical Abuse, Homicide 

Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers and Yamile Saied Méndez for sending an Advanced Reader’s Copy my way. Receiving this ARC did not affect my rating or review.

Publication Date: September 15, 2020

Author: Yamile Saied Méndez

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary