While in an autograph line at NEIBA last weekend, I met Donna Freitas, author of the young adult novel The Possibilities of Sainthood. After we’d gotten our books signed, she sent me off to her publisher’s table to pick up a copy of her book, which I gladly did. It ended up with the honor of being the first book I read from my stack of many. I liked it quite a lot.
Antonia Lucia Labella is fifteen and Italian Catholic. Her two goals in life are to get herself kissed for the first time and to be named the first living saint in Catholic history. The story features a colorful but loving Italian family, a devoted best friend, a heartthrob or two, and, of course, plenty of saints.
One of the things I liked, however, is what the story didn’t feature. No dragons, wizards, fantastic voyages, vampires, hardcore drugs, graphic sex…in short, it is a novel about a relatively ordinary girl in the everyday world most girls that age would probably (hopefully) know. In a YA literary world that is increasingly populated by non-human creatures and governed by magic, The Possibilities of Sainthood was rather refreshingly real.
I’ll admit it. I stayed up late to finish it!