*Thank you Algonquin Young Readers and Colored Pages Bookish Tours for this amazing opportunity!*
It is release day for Furia and I want to celebrate how awesome of a read this story is!!!
A powerful, #ownvoices contemporary YA for fans of The Poet X and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter 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.
Filled with authentic details and the textures of day-to-day life in Argentina, heart-soaring romance, and breathless action on the pitch, Furia is the story of a girl’s journey to make her life her own.
Furia is the feminist Latinx story you want more of. Camila, the protagonist is such a loveable character. I really enjoyed seeing her fierce determination to dismantle the misogynistic views the people of her country has. She was not here to give up being a futbol star. I was rooting for her the entire way. Camila is a character that is strong willed, real and so easy to root for. I appreciated her tenacity while she faced some harsh words and ideologies, especially those coming from her father. Speaking of her father, boy was he cruel, misogynistic and just so negative all the time. I truly enjoyed the moments Camila defied her father and really stood her ground. As a Latina growing up, I knew many male relatives [not my dad] who also had such views and saw most Latinx women as housewives. Seeing Camila be the opposite of this just brought such joy in my heart.
Throughout this story, there were other strong women who were shown as not perfect. I enjoy this part because it showed their flaws and how through Camila’s continued fight for her goals, we were able to see a woman like her mother finally understand Camila and see her as a worthy person of the ambitions she was chasing. If that isn’t good character growth, I don’t know what is. Along with Camila, we met Diego; futbol star and the alleged love interest of Camila. Although the story did not focus on their romance, it was refreshing to see an independent woman also get the eye of the guy she wants while putting him in his place when she needed to. I mean if she can go for being a famous futbol star, she can also fall for a guy too.
Overall, Furia is a smooth pacing, page turning story full of empowering moments. You root on Camila, you want to dismantle the patriarchy and enjoy a really good game of futbol all at once. If you are into sports and love a resilient and powerful protagonist, then this is the book for you.
About the Author
Yamile (sha-MEE-lay) Saied Méndez is a fútbol-obsessed Argentine-American who loves meteor showers, summer, astrology, and pizza. She lives in Utah with her Puerto Rican husband and their five kids, two adorable dogs, and one majestic cat. An inaugural Walter Dean Myers Grant recipient, she’s also a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA Writing for Children’s and Young Adult program. She’s a PB, MG, and YA author. Yamile is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx MG and YA authors. She’s represented by Linda Camacho at Gallt & Zacker Literary.