The Grief Keeper – Alexandra Villasante

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Penguin Random House Canada
Published: June 11th, 2019
Publisher: Putnam
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, LGBTQIA+, Sisterhood, Immigration, Romance, Slow Burn, Psychology


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 words. Besides, this sounds like something scientists would work to develop. Anything to rid people of their bad feelings. But some feelings must be felt and dealt with in order to understand ourselves and our needs better…

I also enjoyed Marisol and Gabi’s interactions. I am all for sisterly dynamics and even bickering, especially now that my brother has moved out and I have no sibling left to annoy and be annoyed by. It’s nostalgic for me. You know what else is beautiful, though? The way the LGBTQIA+ theme is developed and the relationship between Marisol and her ‘‘donor.’’ It’s a slow-burn romance that is worth waiting for and easy to believe in.

This book should be getting much more attention. I would be outraged at its under-the-radar status but I also love discovering hidden gems so you can see my dilemma. Regardless, please read it. You will not regret it.


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2 thoughts on “The Grief Keeper – Alexandra Villasante

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