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The Grief Keeper

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

This speculative young adult novel uses elements of science fiction to interrogate what the U.S. demands of its most vulnerable populations in order to earn their dignity and freedom. Seventeen-year-old Marisol and her younger sister Gabi are seeking asylum in the U.S. because their very lives have been threatened back in El Salvador. Learning their asylum request will be denied while in a detention center in Pennsylvania, Marisol turns desperate and flees with her sister, only to be picked up on the side of the road by a woman who makes her an offer she can’t refuse: if Marisol becomes a guinea pig in an experimental cure for PTSD, literally taking the grief from another girl her age and living with it herself, she and her sister will be given asylum. With no other option in sight that would guarantee her sister’s safety, Marisol begins the grueling medical trial that threatens to destroy her at the same time that she falls for the girl whose grief she now carries as her own. Perfect for fans of Adam Silvera’s YA science fiction novels.

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