The Grief Keeper
This stunning YA debut is a timely and heartfelt speculative narrative about healing, faith, and freedom.
Seventeen-year-old Marisol has always dreamed of being American, learning what Americans and the US are like from television and Mrs. Rosen, an elderly expat who had employed Marisol's mother as a maid. When she pictured an American life for herself, she dreamed of a
There is a hint of sexual abuse/trafficking in Gabi's history but nothing graphic.
Everyone's interpretation of a "happy ending" is different, but I would say it's definitely a hopeful one. The majority of the book's second half is about "healing," in a sense.(less) (hide spoiler)]
It's a really complicated narrative about how immigrants are devalue ...more
I feel weird about calling this a sci-fi book. It is one, because it features technology that doesn't exist in our reality, and it's not like sci- ...more
The novel opens with seventeen-year ol ...more
Marisol and her younger sister Gabby are asylum seekers from El Salvador, staying in a detention centre in the US. Marisol feels very protective of her much more lighthearted sister, and is carrying plenty of grief and worry about their current situation, as well as the situation they're running from. Seizing ...more
the grief keeper shows the crude reality of being an immigrant, of how hard it is to leave the country you grew up in because you were in danger there. it shows the difficulty of thinking in both english and spanish (it was really amazing to see all those spanish words in an english book) and it deals with grief, depression, ptsd and homophobia. it was hard for me to read but totally worth it.
the overall plot was very ori ...more
1. Angry. Would the US subject immigrants seeking asylum to experimental tests that could harm and re-traumatize them? Yes, this could be a thing.
2. Relieved. So happy Marisol found Rey.
3. Angry. Angry that we live in a world where this is so close to reality. We can’t let the concentration camps continue.
|| Immigration criticism
|| PTSD experiment
LIST & POSTS I'VE MENTIONED THIS BOOK IN:...more
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El mundo se abre, and you can see everything you’ve ever wanted—so near at hand, you can almost touch it. The wheel spins, or the cards turn over, and then every possibility you imagine transforms, like magic, into one reality.
At the heart of this story, is the relationship between the protagonist 17 year old Marisol and her younger sister Gabi as they risk it all and flee from the violence in El Salvador. I loved how Villasante explored the thought processes of an immigrant suffering from ...more
Y'all are SLEEPING on this book! The Grief Keeper deserves all the hype in the world, and I don't understand how it doesn't have it. (I mean, just look at that cover!) I hope my review can convince you to read this book, but if we're being honest, it's just a mess of flailing right now.
The overarching beauty of this book is that it explores themes I've never exactly seen in a novel before. Namely, (somewhat of a spoiler but it's good to know) the unique struggles of LGBT+ undocumented im ...more
I liked the different sibling rela ...more
Heads up for heavy content: discussion of xenophobia and racism, called out ableism, lesbophobia/homophobia, homophobic slurs (both in English and Spanish), suicidal ideation, recollection of trauma, death of a brother/closed relative, discussions of ...more
Content warning for suicidal ideation and attempt, violence including murder, attempted sexual assault, PTSD, depression, and homophobia.
This was the group book for Latinxathon and LatinxLitTakeover and they chose well!
- Don't tell me all writing in YA sucks. There are some great lines here, great characterization, little moments that sing.
- No italics for Spanish, huzzah! And the code switching is so real. I connected with it as a person living in my second language - reverti ...more
Escaping gang violence in their home country, El Salvador, Marisol and her little sister ,Gabi, got caught crossing the U.S. border. After learning that the woman who was going to take them in has died, and that they are going to be sent back, Marisol makes plans to flee.
The sisters hitchhike with an unassuming woman who turns out to be a government agent. She offers Marisol a deal of becoming a Griefkeeper (someone who takes another person's grief ...more
It reminded me of one of my all-time favorites (Never Let Me Go) in the brilliant way Villasante married a thought-provoking speculative premise to character-driven literary realism. The meshing of Marisol and Rey’s grief—over the loss ...more
- tw: sexual assault, suicidal ideas, bombing event, survivor’s guilt, PTSD, homophobia, dyke slur
- wow this book .. she’s a big of a sleeper in terms of impact for me personally
- we follow marisol as she seeks asylum for her and her sister; she takes on a new technological experiment to take and experience the grief of others; all while grieving her brother’s death and associated traumas
- there’s so many layers of themes explored from: immigration, sexual identity and homophobia, grief ...more
When she’s not writing, painting or chasing chickens around the yard, Alex plans conferences and fun ...more