Thank you so much to Algonquin Books for Young Readers for sending me a review copy of this book!
Editor: Yamile Saied Mendez
Publisher: Algonquin Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA Coming of Age
I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Every aspect of this fierce, full-of-heart, feminist coming-of-age story is incredible. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this book since I finished it. From the characters, the tension and stakes, the themes… I was sucked in from page one.
First off, please go read some own voices book reviews for this book! Furia is about an Argentine young woman written by an own voices author, so I can’t give any insight into the representation like I know other reviewers can.
I’ve never read a book set in Argentina, and I loved learning more about this country and the city of Rosario. Camila has lived in Rosario her whole life, so she has a deep understanding of the joys and sorrows and dangers in the place she lives in. I loved how the story never stopped to explain certain pieces of history or nuances or politics here and there, instead letting the reader do their own research into these things if desired.
Camila is such a strong and nuanced character. She wants to play futbol, and she’s so good at—she knows that if nothing stood in her way, she could be amazing. And yet, there are so many things in her way. She struggles to balance practice, school, and work. She struggles against her parents expectations, and the lies she’s told them so she could play. She struggles to shine on her own beneath her futbol-star brother’s shadow. Camila deals with a lot of sexism from the men and women in her life, including from people who claim they know what’s best for her. It’s heartbreaking to watch her have to go through these things, but it’s also so empowering when she does break through the things holding her back. I was absolutely cheering for her the whole way, and when I got to the end, I was so thrilled and happy with the conclusion.
- I never knew what would come next in this book. It’s quick-paced with high personal stakes that kept me flipping quickly through the book.
- I loved the female friendships portrayed through the book—so beautiful and heartwarming.
I have so many feelings about this book. It’s so incredible, and I know that my review doesn’t do it justice. I loved every second.