FIVE MIDNIGHTS by Ann Dávila Cardinal | On-sale 6/4/2019
Lupe Dávila arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico to spend the summer with her cop uncle, and immediately gets sucked into doing her own investigating on one of his cases—a string of murders happening under mysterious, possibly supernatural circumstances. (Two words: EL CUCO.) This novel is fun, lightly spooky, and full of San Juan atmosphere—a great summer read!
THE GRIEF KEEPER by Alexandra Villasante | On-sale 6/11/2019
Marisol, a Salvadoran asylum seeker, is offered a deal: She can stay in the U.S., along with her sister, Gabi, if she agrees to be a test subject in a trial for a device that transfers debilitating emotions, like intense grief, from one person to another. She accepts because she’ll be killed if she goes back to El Salvador, but she doesn’t anticipate just how hard it will be to carry another person’s grief, and how much it will force her to confront her own traumatic memories.
The premise of this novel definitely stands out: Villasante focuses on the all-too-common phenomenon of less privileged people being asked to carry more privileged people’s burdens, but with a cool sci-fi twist. Apart from that twist, Marisol’s story could easily be a true one, and THE GRIEF KEEPER sheds light on the human rights abuses and persecution that thousands of real asylum seekers and refugees have faced. And Marisol’s voice is a wonderfully graceful mix of English and Spanish that you’ll want to keep reading forever. Highly recommended.