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The Dust of 100 Dogs

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King

King’s debut novel follows Saffron Adams, a teen girl with all of the memories from her past lives intact. Those past lives consist of Emer Morissey, a vengeful pirate, and the 100 dogs Emer’s soul was cursed to live as before finally returning to a human body. As we watch Saffron navigate the perils of adolescence, we also see Emer face one tragedy after another, interspersed with short glimpses of the lives of those 100 dogs. With all the spiteful courage of a teen girl who’s been wronged her whole life (or lives), Saffron sets her sights on Jamaica. There, she hopes to find the treasure she buried with the hands of another teen girl, who, after a lifetime of strife, believed that it was finally her turn to be happy. The Dust of 100 Dogs is viscerally upsetting, but deeply moving, infused with the trauma of growing up poor, growing up fighting, and growing up as a girl. As a former teen girl myself, this story was like justice for the younger me who felt like everyone was against her. As a current girl in her twenties, I ached to see the perpetual sorrows of young women play out not just in one life, but two. Not for the faint of heart (or stomach), but a rewarding read nonetheless.

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