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A REESE WITHERSPOON x HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK CLUB YA PICK
Recipient of the 2021 Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Medal
One of BuzzFeed's Must-Read YA Books of 2020
A Best Book of the Year: Cosmopolitan * Kirkus Reviews * SheReads * New York Public Library
“An engrossing #OwnVoices novel.”
“This book will set your dreams on fire . . . It’s fabulous.”
— Reese Witherspoon
A powerful 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.
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 a graduate of Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and the MFA program in Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts. Méndez is also part of Las Musas, the first collective of women and nonbinary Latinx middle-grade and young adult authors. Furia is her first novel for young adult readers.
One of BuzzFeed's Must-Read YA Books of 2020
"An engrossing #OwnVoices novel."
"In this stirring novel by Argentine American author Méndez, passion for sports and personal growth intersect in Camila’s powerful, feminist first-person narrative about her experiences as an ambitious athlete, a teenager deeply in love, the daughter of an abusive father at the point of taking charge of her own life, and a young woman finding her voice in a deeply sexist, patriarchal society . . . A riveting coming-of-age story.”
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Weaving rich cultural specifics and electric energy into her prose, Méndez crafts a dynamic, feminist narrative that commands attention from the very first line. At its core, this novel is a full-hearted love letter to Argentina and “incorrigible girls” everywhere, emboldening readers to stand up for themselves and chase the dreams they hold dear."
—Publishers Weekly, starred review
"[A] high-energy #OwnVoices novel . . . Written in a relatable first-person perspective."
"With a mix of Spanish words, vivid dialogue, and rich description, Mendez paints a realistic image of a young woman battling to become herself against the odds . . . A powerful and realistic novel.”
—School Library Journal
“In Furia, Saied Méndez captures both the breathless beauty of fútbol and the depth of its political power. Sports intersect with gender, class, race, and identities around the world, and there’s still so much ground to be covered in telling the stories that live at these intersections. This novel is a thoughtful, vibrant addition. Camila shows readers that they can have it all, even if it’s not exactly as they planned it. She insists girls have every right to dream, to want, to live, and it is a pleasure to watch this character do all three things with love and fury in equal measure.”
—Chicago Review of Books
“A feminist story of pursuing your dreams . . . An engrossing story about using your talent and pursuing your goals with messages about gender equality and the complexities of love. Highly recommend for people who enjoy powerful #ownvoices stories.”
—YA Books Central