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The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna…

The Possibilities of Sainthood

by Donna Freitas

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Positively delightful. ( )
  leftik | Apr 3, 2013 |
This book followed the quest of a teenage Italian-American girl for her first kiss. Antonia Lucia Labella goes to a Catholic school, lives in Providence, RI and is trying to become the first living saint. The book showed the importance of saints and the Catholic church in Italian culture really well, as well as defining Italian Americans in a funny but loving way. I recognized many of the "quirks" described in the book in my own family. Antonia had a great "voice" and I instantly felt a connection to her. ( )
  mdtwilighter | Feb 27, 2011 |
Antonia Lucia LaBella is a student at a Catholic High School, works at her family's Italian grocery store, and has aspirations of becoming the first living saint in history. To that end, she petitions the Vatican on a monthly basis with a new proposal for saint specialization. She is also obsessed with meeting the right boy for her first kiss. A mix of lots of saint lore and a girly quest for romance, the book was light and entertaining. At times it got a bit tiresome as an audio book with all the letters to the pope and prayers, but I did like Antonia when she wasn't whining at her mom and enjoyed the development of her relationship with Michael. ( )
  ewyatt | Feb 23, 2010 |
Donna has created a great tale with lots of Italian flavor in its pages. Her characters are believable and easy to relate too. I enjoyed the cover, it is a picture perfect of its content. The story, its characters, and the many saints that Antonia prays to are very real in the protagonist’s life.
Antonia, the main character, is a fifteen-year-old catholic schoolgirl living in the world of today. Like many other girls her age, she spends hours trying to figure out a way that her knee high uniform looks cool, beneath her mother’s strict scrutiny. However, unlike many girls her age, she knows and keeps a diary of a zillion saints and knows who to ask for all the favors she might need, every moment of the day.
She has a crush on a young man from the men’s Catholic school, yet her friend Michael spends a lot of time chasing her. Michael is the flirty type and calls every girl love, which Antonia disapproves of. Nonetheless, the boy she likes doesn’t pay any attention to her, but this is not going to discouraged her.
She is more than sure that every girl in the school has been kissed but her and she is dying to have that experience for herself. Yet, she isn’t going to let it happened with just anyone, specially not with Michael.
Antonia had devotedly written letters to the Vatican suggesting herself as a living Saint, every month for nine years. Each month is for a very important reason. Perhaps it has to do with her father dying in an accident, the month before she started her quest to sainthood. Her widow mother—the best Italian pasta maker in Rhode Island— is in charge of the family business, where Antonia, her mother, and grandmother live. Her mother is taken right out of an Italian Family, with mode-isms and a fiery vocabulary to match her Italian blood. It makes for many entertaining moments.
Her teenage life becomes very exciting when her mother hires the love of her life to work in the family store, and when she goes to a forbidden dance and gets busted. I recommend this book to anyone older than twelve years. Girls will identify with the protagonist and find it fascinatingly fun. ( )
  AnnadelC. | Jan 26, 2010 |
Antonia Lucia Labella only wants one thing in this world: to be the first living Patron Saint. Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly the ONLY thing she wants. She would also be pretty happy to get her first kiss, preferably from smolderingly handsome Andy Rotellini. And she’d like it if her mother would get off her back about her clothes, and maybe let her go out on a date once in a while. And… ok, so there are a lot of things that Antonia wants. But being a saint is first among the many.While the YA heroine with a quirky obsession is an enormously overused trope in YA literature, Antonia felt very real. I think this is partly because her infatuation with sainthood is woven into all facets of her life. You can see the roots of her interest in the saints in her interactions with her mother and grandmother, in her stories about her father, and in her own strong faith.Catholicism is so central to her life that it is not surprising that she would look for ways to make it a more active force in her life. She does this through her regular petitions to the saints for intercession in her day-to-day life, but also through her letters to the Vatican in hopes of becoming a living saint. Through her petitions for sainthood, Antonia tries to make herself an active participant in her religion. Antonia’s letters to the Vatican are very funny and very heartfelt: I am writing to inform you of a grave oversight in the area of patron saint specialization, to replace my earlier letter this month about a Patron Saint of People Who Make Pasta… But there are even more pressing matters at hand than pasta. dire even! Like the fact that, as yet, there is no Patron Saint of the Kiss, and, to be more specific, the First Kiss! I ask you: How is this possible? Young Catholic girls and boys everywhere are in DANGER, not only because of the Vatican’s general need of a reality check in all matters teen-related (I mean, can you be more out of touch about us? Please!), but specifically with regard to your total lack of foresight in the area of kissing. Let me tell you what happens when there is no Patron Saint of Kissing, especially for us kissing virgins. I mean, not that I am one or anything - I’ve kissed plenty of boys in my day. Though, not to say that I overdo it either - I don’t want you to think I’m unchaste or something - but anyway. As a result of this deficiency, teenagers, who shall remain nameless to protect their identity, might possibly be praying to saints whose specialization is not kissing, and sources tell me that when this happens, it’s like intercessions gone haywire! (pages 175-176)Her letters are completely charming, and they make me hope that there’s someone opening letters at the Vatican who really appreciates them.I loved that the book, like Antonia, was genuinely open to the possibility that miracles happen in life. Antonia’s petitions to the saints are regularly granted - although not always in the way that she would like. And there is a very small subplot that leads the reader to believe that Antonia herself is capable of miracles - could she really be on her way to sainthood?For Antonia, the Saints are “a virtual Rolodex of thousands of men and women to call upon for help in very specific situations, and not just Jesus, who I see as an abyss of possibilities. With Jesus, you never know what you are going to get, if he was busy or just not interested in your little dilemma and ignoring you. But with the Saints! At least with them you have everything narrowed down. Like, if I thought I might be coming down with strep, a little word to St. Ethelrelda, , Patron Saint Against Throat Diseases, and I’d be good to go” (pg. 36). In case any of you are in need of intercession, I thought I would share a few potentially useful Saints.Saint Jerome, Patron Saint of libraries and librariansSaint John of God, Patron Saint of book sellers and publishersSaint Aloysius Gonzaga, Patron Saint of teenagersI highly suggest taking a peek through this massive directory of Patron Saint Specializations - and if you don’t find the Saint you need, maybe you should recommend Antonia for the job.On my blog ( )
  twonickels | Jan 25, 2010 |
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In memory of three special made-up saints in my life who've gone on to that great palace in the sky:

my academic mentor, Monsignor Stephen Happel, the Patron Saint of High Places

my grandmother, Amalia Goglia, the Patron Saint of Artichokes and People Who Say Yes When Mom and Dad Say No

and most especially my mother, Concetta Lucia Freitas, the Real Patron Saint of People Who Make Pasta
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I gazed up at the familiar boy. A golden aura surrounds his beautiful, muscular body, arrows poking into him from every direction.
To Whom It May Concern (ideally the Pope if he's available)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0374360871, Hardcover)

Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen, she’s still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. Seem strange? Well, to Antonia, saints are royalty, and she wants her chance at being a princess. All her life she’s kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Unfortunately, the two events Antonia’s prayed for seem equally unlikely to happen. It’s not for lack of trying. For how long has she been hoping to gain the attention of the love of her life – the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention. And every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. So what if she’s not dead?

But as Antonia learns, in matters of the heart and sainthood, things are about as straightforward as wound-up linguini, and sometimes you need to recognize the signs.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

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While regularly petitioning the Vatican to make her the first living saint, fifteen-year-old Antonia Labella prays to assorted patron saints for everything from help with preparing the family's fig trees for a Rhode Island winter to getting her first kiss from the right boy.… (more)

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