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The Grief Keeper

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,428 ratings  ·  316 reviews
Seventeen-year-old Marisol Morales and her little sister Gabi are detainees of the United States government. They were caught crossing the U.S. border, to escape the gang violence in their country after their brother was murdered. When Marisol learns that the old family friend who had offered them refuge in America has died and they are going to be sent home, they flee.

Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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Elle (ellexamines)
The Grief Keeper follows Marisol, an immigrant from El Salvador applying for asylum in the United States with her sister Gabby, who she's attempting to protect. When her asylum request gets turned down, she's given an opportunity to stay in the U.S.: to literally take on the grief of another girl about her age. The girl, Ray, isn't aware of what's happening; she's only aware that they're both going through a treatment together.

It's a really complicated narrative about how immigrants are devalue
Cristina Monica
This is a beautifully-written and touching story about two sisters seeking asylum in America to escape death threats. Marisol would protect her younger sister Gabi at all costs so she agrees to become part of an experiment that has as aim to relieve someone from negative feelings by donating them to a recipient (Marisol).

For a while there, I actually believed something like that might be possible. The author made everything sound so real. Her telling tugged at my heart—she really has a way with
may ➹
for once I could choose a book I actually wanted to read for school, and I didn’t hate it!!! it’s like not forcing students to read a book they don’t care about means they actually enjoy it!!!!!
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
being a crit partner has its NEED this book in your life, trust me!
The Grief Keeper is a contemporary story with sci-fi aspects following Marisol, a Salvadorian lesbian who fled her country for her life, together with her younger sister Gabi. To legally stay in the US, she is forced to take part in a program in which she'll have to bear the weight of someone else's grief, all of this while dealing with her own trauma.

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-
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katherine Moore
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I can already say that this will be on my list as one of my top and most impactful reads of the year (and it’s only May). I’ve not read too many books lately that can bring me to shed both happy and sad tears, as well as make me drop my jaw, and cause me to put the book down for moments so I could collect my thoughts. And although the title would suggest that ‘The Grief Keeper’ is filled with sadness, it also brings with it a bright message of love and hope.

The novel opens with seventeen-year ol
4.5 stars. While I thought the book's resolution was a little too positive, considering the anti-immigration sentiment that's so prevalent now, I thought so much of this book was wonderful.
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
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtq, favorites
this book really hit home, i can't even put into words how much i loved it.

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
Dec 10, 2018 marked it as definitive-tbr  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
|| F/F Romance
|| Immigration criticism
|| PTSD experiment


16 Most Anticipated LGBTQIA Novels To Be Released in 2019

Ten 2019 YA Debut Novels You Need To Add To Your TBR Right Away!

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Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Of course I didn't read the final - with a real cover, and with the fantastic new book smell, but I'm dying to! A fantastic and refreshingly new tale that needs to be told today more than ever.
Eva B.
This is such a beautiful and emotional book, and I think everyone should probably read it.
Priscilla (Bookie Charm)
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
Jul 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The number of emotions this book made me feel is off the charts.

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.
A teen girl and her younger sister are seeking asylum in the US from El Salvador, where their lives are at great risk for numerous reasons (view spoiler). When they make it across the border and are held in a detention facility, Marisol's interview goes less well than she suspects and she worries her request will be denied. She uses a break in attention by the guards to run with her sister, where she's pick ...more
holy shit, the blurb killed me already. now i'm waiting for this book to come out and do it again

a story about two sisters, the struggles of 'illegal' immigration, f/f romance, and an experimental study


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Stella ☆Paper Wings☆
Um. Wow.

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
This is gorgeous and tender and so important. What a powerful read, the journey of a gay brown inmigrant girl who will do anything to protect her sister. Marisol's inmigration experience resonated so deeply with me and I'm so thankful for this book.

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
Casey, with a book
still formulating all my thoughts but this is exactly the kind of YA i want to see in the world right now. topical, thought-provoking, written with careful attention to and clear love for language, and just overall beautifully done.
Lorraine (Reading With Lori)
You had me at Salvadorian! I’m Salvadorian and this synopsis made my jaw DROP! The cover is gorgeous and I know this book will be heartbreakingly beautiful too. YES FOR THE LATINX REP!!
Sep 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

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!

The good:

- 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
This book was very well-written, with an interesting storyline that deals with many issues: immigration law, homophobia, depression, etc. All of them were handled with care. I can't forget to mention the relationship between the two sisters: Marisol and Gaby.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lgbtqiap, 2019
Marisol and her younger sister Gabi have fled El Salvador and are seeking asylum in the US. When their request isn’t granted Marisol is offered a different way for them to stay in the country legally, become a test subject in a scientific experiment. A device has been created to help people with PTSD deal with their grief and trauma by transmitting their grief into a different person. Marisol now has to deal with taking on the grief of another young girl while also dealing with her own personal ...more
Jul 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was really, really good. It got into all the ways immigrants are discarded and treated like trash. There was also a lot about homophobia, but in a really subtle way. I usually hate reading books about depression, but I didn't have to put this one down. The descriptions were some of the most accurate I've ever seen. How you can't eat, how you basically have no will to do anything, and even the physical pain, like how you feel that you can't breathe or move.

I liked the different sibling rela
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Melanie  Brinkman
Sharing grief might just take on a new meaning.

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
frannie pan
Rating: 4.5 stars.

Review coming soooooon!
In the meantime, let me just say: NOT ENOUGH PEOPLE ARE READING THIS AND WHY, JUST WHY
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You need this book. The Grief Keeper is… a marvel. Every once in a while, I’ll read a book that I recognize as truly special almost immediately—it has that magic that pulls you in and makes you care and think, really think, from the get go—and GK is one of these.

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
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
- 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
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Alex Villasante has always loved telling stories—though not always with words. She has a BFA in Painting and an MA in Combined Media (that’s art school speak for making work out of *anything*). Born in New Jersey to immigrant parents, Alex has the privilegio of dreaming in both English and Spanish.

When she’s not writing, painting or chasing chickens around the yard, Alex plans conferences and fun

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