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 her talents can take her. In her wildest dreams, she’d get an athletic scholarship to a North American university, but the path ahead won’t be easy. Her parents, who don’t know about her passion, wouldn’t allow a girl to play fútbol—and she needs their permission to go any farther. Meanwhile, the boy she once loved, Diego, is not only back in town, but has also become an international star, playing in Italy for the renowned team Juventus. Things aren’t the same as when he left: Camila has her own fútbol ambitions now, and La Furia cannot be denied. As her life becomes more complicated, she is forced to face her secrets and make her way in a world with no place for the dreams and passion of a girl like her.
This is an excellent read! The setting comes to life on the page—even for someone who’s never seen an Argentina barrio—and the picture of life there is hard and dark, but with glimmers of light in unexpected places.
Camila is tough as nails, and she keeps her soft spots hidden from everyone: her parents, her friends, even Diego. I loved reading about her determination to succeed, no matter what obstacles stand in her way.
Yamile Saied Méndez is from Argentina but now lives in Utah. Furia is her newest novel.
(Galley courtesy of Algonquin Young Readers in exchange for an honest review.)