Book: Patina (2017)
Author: Jason Reynolds
Genre: MG, Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars
Basic Plot: Patty hates losing a race. Or even coming in second. She also has a to-do list longer than your arm. She’s starting to find it hard to juggle her sister, her mom, her mother/aunt, school, and, of course, track. When Coach puts her on the relay team, she comes nose-to-nose with some unhappy teammates. Couple that with a group project where Patty is doing all the work while her partners take it easy. And then comes a family emergency that Patty never even anticipated. Something that might just threaten to keep her off the track for awhile.
1) This is a continuation of the series with Ghost. In this book, Ghost is only a minor character. The MC is his newbie teammate: Patty (Patina). (And yes, we do find out in this one what happened in the race at the end of the first book!)
2) I was nervous about reading this book. Partly because Patty had the potential to be a Mary-Sue character. In the previous book, she doesn’t seem to have any flaws. But that worry melted away immediately. Maybe she was perfect in Ghost’s eyes, but once Patty starts telling her story, we get to see her faults… just enough to make her a human being we can relate to.
3) I loved the relationship between Patty and her little sister, Maddie. Actually, I love her whole family. Her ma, who no longer has her legs due to diabetes. And her uncle and aunt (Momly) who have legal custody of her. I enjoyed getting to know them.
4) The Coach was awesome yet again. He’s not in the book as much as he was in the last. But he has some great moments. I love the part where Coach Whit is teaching the girls to dance and Ghost and Lu? are laughing at them… along with Coach. Then, what Coach does next is priceless.
5) Jason Reynolds has talent for capturing voice. Patty’s voice in this book is unique to Patty, just as Ghost’s voice is unique to Ghost. (And I’ve already started reading the next book: Sunny. Ditto.)
6) The story of the dad is good. I like the cupcakes. And I like the scene near the end with the uncle and the cupcakes.
7) Another race at the end, but Reynolds does things a little differently this time. But I won’t spoil it.
8) Whoever does those book covers… I’m liking them. I like how each one is geared to each character. (Although, Patty really should have a baton in her hand.)
9) Finally, I like that you don’t technically have to read Ghost to enjoy this book. It really is Patty’s story and a stand-alone.
WHAT’S NOT COOL…
1) I don’t get why Momly thinks it’s okay to serve turkey wings every night for supper. Don’t they get sick of them?
2) The Momly-janitor story was a little odd. Not sure exactly if this backstory was needed.
My rating is 4 Stars (out of 5) – I liked this book better than Ghost and I’m trying to figure out why. Premise-wise, I think Ghost is a stronger story, but the pacing was off. (Ghost could have been a 5-star book, which is saying something.) Patina’s story is good, and the pacing and emotional beats are right on. I’m glad I gave it a chance!
Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!