Indies Introduce

Young Adult

  • The Grief Keeper, Alexandra Villasante
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780525514022, June 11, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “This is exactly the kind of young adult novel I want to see in the world right now. Marisol’s journey as an LGBTQ asylum seeker in the U.S. brings light to the physical and emotional burdens we place upon migrants, while centering on sisterhood, love, and deep inner strength. This book is topical, thought-provoking, beautifully written, and absolutely essential reading.”

    -Casey Leidig, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

    “Villasante tackles immigration, identity, and loss in this gorgeous novel with a magical realism/sci-fi twist. When Marisol agrees to become a grief keeper in exchange for asylum for herself and her younger sister, Gabi, she gets more than she bargained for. Rey, her corresponding test subject, is drowning in sorrow, but as she begins to heal at Marisol’s expense, the two are drawn together in a beautiful and inextricable tangle.”

    -Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS


    “I have not stopped thinking about Marisol since I turned the last page of her story. Her strength shines through as she takes on pain for her sister amid the promise of their new life together. The reasons she has to leave El Salvador are revealed bit by bit, which adds a level of tension and intrigue. As the plot unfolds, we learn the many threats Marisol faces as an immigrant, a sister, a daughter, and a lesbian. This incredibly well-crafted book carries important messages about the complexities of love.”

    -Jen Kraar, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA


    “The Grief Keeper highlights the desperation of a young woman fleeing a death threat and seeking safety in the United States. When her options narrow to a single, risky choice, she takes it. With themes of love, friendship, and family among imminent danger, this could have been a predictable read — but it never is. I kept turning pages to see just how things would resolve, and they did, most excellently.”

    --Joan Trygg, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

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