For my stop on this lovely tour I decided to make a mood board. This is my first time doing one for a book and I had so much fun creating it. I added things and places that I read about in Furia plus some special touches.
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.
Where can you find this book!?
Furia is set in Rosario, Argentina. In a world that is slowly shifting. A world where women are exhausted of being mistreated. This is set in current and modern times.One of the things that I enjoyed about this book was that you really got a sense of what it is like to live in Rosario. Mendez made you feel like you where walking through the streets of Rosario, playing at a field in Parque Yrigoyen, dancing in Parque España. One of my favorite things about how she writes Rosario, Argentina is that she makes sure that the reader knows that this place is multicultural, people from all over the world have migrated to Argentina and made it their home. I haven’t read many Ya Contemporary books that truly depict diversity at this magnitude. It excites me that this book is out in the world for young people to read and to learn that places like Rosario, Argentina exist.
Protagonist: Camila Hassan
What I would have given to have a character like Camila Hassan when I was in middle school. If I would have had known Camila as young soccer player I feel like I would have pursued it for longer (lol). Camila knows what she wants and she is not letting anything get in the way of that. Futbol is her bread and butter. Her dream is to play for a professional team in the United States. Everything that she has done has served to get her there. She will not let the machismo in her world stop her from accomplishing those dreams. She is aware of the world that she was born into. We learn about the awful things that are happening to women in her country. Young women are being abused and murdered. Violence against women is at an all time high. We learn that women are tired and exhausted of this so they are protesting and taking to the streets. We see the stigma that these women carry. The internalized misogyny that her mother carries when she and other women interact with the Marea Verde. Camila witnesses all of these injustices and refuses to watch as they happen. She is the kind of feminist character that young people should be reading about. I think that is important mention that she wasn’t this perfect character but she was wholly herself eve when she had to lie about where she was and what she was doing. Seeing Camila grow and embrace herself as the Furia and accomplish what she set out to do left me with such warmth.
Every time I read a little more about Diego my heart fluttered. I truly believe there is no other like the Titan. He was a soft king, proud of his roots, kindhearted, and nearly perfect. There was a moment that disillusioned me but he needed to be brought down to earth. I think he’s an example of how some men can miss the big picture; they might think they aren’t violent or harmful towards women but their ignorance can be violent in its own way. That being said some of my favorite moments in the book where when Camila had flash backs to her interactions with a young Diego.
“Yes.” Somehow I was holding his hand again.
I saws my reflection in his honey-brown eyes.
“Remember I said Abuelo would do anything for you?” Diego asked, propping himself on his elbow.
“So would I. I’d do anything for you,” Diego said, and kissed me on the cheek.
Coach Alicia is the head coach of the Eva Maria soccer team. She is some one that Camila admires. She has helped Camila and the girls reach new heights as soccer players.
Roxanne is Camila’s best friend. She was personally one of my least favorite characters besides her father and mother. I think that she was a little too judgmental for my liking.
Pablo, the older brother, the star, the one who has had everything placed on his shoulders. I honestly don’t really know how to feel about him. He was kind of mean when he was present. He cares for his little sister but I think he doesn’t take her seriously enough. In comparison to his father he is isn’t awful but you can see the similarities. He is another form of the sexism that is prevalent in society. He is the man that is too afraid to say anything against the abuse because he doesn’t want it targeted at him.
Isabel, Camila’s mother probably had the best character development. We learn why she is so harsh with Camila. Her own dreams had been crushed when she was young. She was a product of her generation, of a male dominated world it was hard for her to see beyond that. We see her blossom and flourish when taken out from under her husbands thumb.
Andres, Camila’s Father is not necessarily a supporting character but is used to demonstrate the severity of el machismo, how abusive, and harmful it is. He is the living representation of what is happening in the world around her. I despised him from the jump. He was terrible to Isabel and believed that because he was a man he is allowed to say and do what he pleases.
My Favorite Side Characters:
Karen is a young girl that Camila met while working for Instituto Del Buen Pastor. She is eager to learn and despite her speech impediment, having to take care of her siblings, she works hard to learn English. She was so sweet and hard working. I adored their interactions.
Miriam, was not a character that I was expecting to pop up. The fact that there is a curandera sweetens the deal for me. It appears that there is some history between her and Isabel. I liked this little surprise very much.
Furia left me wanting more yet it was so beautifully wrapped up at the end that I am not mad that there isn’t more. I had so much fun getting to know Camila. I learned so much about Argentina. Furia is the first book I read where is is set in Argentina. I learned about folklore, history, and so much more. The fact that I didn’t get not one but at least three to four different languages in this book is phenomenal.
As a Latina, I felt seen in Camila. I related to her on so many levels. It made me emotional knowing that we shared some of the same experiences. I feel like this is one of the first YA books that I have read where feminism is written in this way. I am in awe at how Mendez was able to intricately write about heavy topics like and still write such a hopeful book. I didn’t know what to expect when I read that it was considered a Feminist coming of age story but I can truly see why they would dub it so. Camila rising above the odds and accomplishing her dreams despite the many sacrifices that she had to make is an accurate depiction of what it means to be woman. I loved that it is shown that you don’t always have to sacrifice everything that sometimes you can have it all.
There are so many lessons to be learned from this book. Lessons on family values, self-worth, feminism, identity, and sacrifice. If I was a high school teacher I would make this a required reading in a heart beat. I know I will be thinking about the Furia for days to come.
A quick thanks to Colored Pages Book tour, Algonquin Young Readers, and Yamile Saied Mendez for this wonderful opportunity.
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.