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The Lost Souls of Benzaiten Summary and Reviews

The Lost Souls of Benzaiten

by Kelly Murashige

The Lost Souls of Benzaiten by Kelly Murashige X
The Lost Souls of Benzaiten by Kelly Murashige
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Book Summary

This heartfelt and quirky young adult fantasy debut follows a young outcast on a journey of transformation ... into a robot vacuum cleaner. A fresh twist on Japanese mythology that doubles as a deep, honest dive into mental health.

"I wish to become one of those round vacuum cleaner robots." That's what Machi prays for at the altar of Japanese goddess Benzaiten. Ever since her two best friends decided they want nothing to do with her, Machi hasn't been able to speak. After months of online school and a carousel of therapists, she can no longer see the point of being human. She doesn't expect Benzaiten to hear her prayer, much less offer a different prayer on Machi's behalf—that Machi discover the beauty of humanity, ultimately restoring her to her previous self.

Benzaiten is enamored with the human world and, as she's the goddess of love, humanity is enamored right back. Being second-best once again isn't helping Machi move past her trauma, and with each adventure they share, Machi is reminded of everything she's lost. It isn't until Machi starts interacting with the souls of the dead—which tends to happen around Benzaiten—that she starts to rediscover her place among the living.

From an author to watch, The Lost Souls of Benzaiten is a highly original debut about the nature of happiness and the potential for healing.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Written with tenderness and vivid emotion ... The story takes a compassionate and introspective approach to emotional trauma in the wake of a codependent friendship. As a narrator, Machi is appealingly wry, expressive, and self-aware." —Kirkus Reviews

"Heartfelt and original ... Murashige's fresh blend of Japanese mythology and frank depictions of mental health challenges rendered via simple prose allow readers to relate to Machi's emotions and struggles and gain new perspective into the complexity of human nature." —Publishers Weekly

"[A] novel about trauma, mental health, and understanding how many ways a person who doesn't speak can still communicate ... While the story frequently feels so grounded in reality, and in the struggles of coping—and of wanting to cope—that come with losing friends and loved ones, that makes the divine elements feel even more whimsical and dazzling." —Paste Magazine

"Tenderly told and vividly imagined, The Lost Souls of Benzaiten shines with originality and empathy. A stunning debut." —Sarah Suk, author of The Space between Here & Now and Made in Korea

"A shimmering story for anyone who's ever been hurt enough to want to be somewhere—or even something—else, Kelly Murashige's vulnerable, magical tale chronicles the sweetness that can draw us back into the world and toward each other, even after our hearts are broken." —Jodi Lynn Anderson, New York Times bestselling author

"A poignant, powerful character study. Murashige has crafted a novel that, for all its metaphysical questions, finds its answers in examining the little moments in life: the thousand tiny things that shatter and shape the human spirit." —Zack Smedley, award-winning author of Deposing Nathan

This information about The Lost Souls of Benzaiten was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Kelly Murashige

Kelly Murashige is a writer, reader, and dreamer who was born and raised in Hawaii. She primarily writes contemporary fiction with fantastical twists rooted in Japanese mythology and culture. Though she is a total introvert, she hopes to connect with readers around the world. You can visit her online at www.kellymurashige.com.

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