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The Griefkeeper

Cover illustration for the book The Griefkeeper by Alexandra Villasante (Penguin Randomhouse US)

Introdcution of the book:

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 life like Aimee and Amber’s, the title characters of her favorite American TV show. She never pictured stealing across the US border from El Salvador as “an illegal”, fleeing for her life, but after her brother is murdered and her younger sister, Gabi’s, life is placed in equal jeopardy, she has no choice, especially because she knows everything is her fault.

With truly no options remaining, Marisol jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She’s asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It’s a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love, a love that may even be powerful enough to finally help her face her own crushing grief.

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Paulina & Fran

Cover illustration for the book Paulina & Fran by Rachel B. Glaser (HarperCollins)

Introduction of the book:

A story of friendship, art, sex, and curly hair: an audaciously witty debut tracing the pas de deux of lust and love between two young, uncertain, conflicted art students.

At their New England art school, Paulina and Fran both stand apart from the crowd. Paulina is striking and sexually adventurous—a self-proclaimed queen bee with a devastating mean-girl streak. With her gorgeous untamed head of curly hair, Fran is quirky, sweet, and sexually innocent. An aspiring painter whose potential outstrips her confidence, she floats dreamily through criticisms and dance floors alike. On a school trip to Norway, the girls are drawn together, each disarmed by the other’s charisma.

Though their bond is instant and powerful, it’s also wracked by complications. When Fran winds up dating one of Paulina’s ex-boyfriends, an incensed Paulina becomes determined to destroy the couple, creating a rift that will shape their lives well past the halcyon days of art school.

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Garden

Illustration for the short story Garden by Marguerite Bennett for the Book Becoming Dangerous

Excerpt:

‘Blood and bone meal and shit and decay - the gardener must clear out the dead, the dying, the withered, to make room for new life, cutting and cleaning and slicing, all sap and saplings and seeds, digging a graveyard steaming with rot and heat to feed the roots of something stronger. She nurtures what she pleases. She cuts down what does not earn her favour. She controls sun and shade, wind and water. Poisons and potions, elements and herbs - her hands are the scales of life and death.'