Word Count: 68,000
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
System(s) of Oppression: Racism/Classism
Author's Identity: African American/Middle Class
Two girls. Two stories. One deadly connection.
Sixteen-year-old Soledad de la Cruz didn’t kill Carina Reyes. But no one believes her story—drugged and chased in the woods during the hazing initiation that led to Carina’s death. Especially because Carina is the one who’s dead and she’s the one locked up in a psych ward. Involuntarily.
Soledad is finally cleared and released, just to swap one institution for another—St. Francis private school. Only this time she’s back to being an outsider: on a scholarship, dumped by her boyfriend, and “unfriended” by all her besties. Then when Soledad makes a connection with another outcast, dangerous accidents continue to occur—all pointing to Soledad as the troubled perpetrator.
Back at the institution, long-term ward, Kay Foster who’s been living there since a traumatic childhood accident, slowly unravels. After recognizing Soledad during her short stay at the ward, she is sure of one thing: Marisol, the girl she was accused of killing, is still alive--and she's really Soledad.
The web linking Soledad and Kay’s stories reveals shocking truths that shattered both of their pasts. They’ll need to trust each other in order to unlock their memories, or both girls will be locked up for life.
MARISOL is a 68,000 YA psychological thriller told in dual point of view.
Fluorescent lights hum and buzz to unpatterned rhythms against the cold AC pumping out of air ducts. My legs are popsicles while I wait in the closed off hospital transition room, smack dab in the middle of two perpendicular hallways. From here I see the foot traffic toward the right wing (for the sick) and visitors escorted through large double doors toward the left wing (for the insane).
I look down at my fingernails gnawed down, sensitive to the touch, healing from the blood that trickled when I bit too far. Rub hands through my greasy hair, watching my parents argue on the other side of the door. Like I can’t see them. Like I’m still in a daze two weeks after being checked in.
Okay dragged, drugged, and duped into this place that feeds off making you crazy.
Crazier. Craziest. I release a laugh at the thought of having a competition of making someone crazy to the nth degree—reality television at its finest. The big prize: a white-walled room and another journal article for the head psychologist. Fancy marketing pamphlets on the table. Oh, we’ve got crazy. We can handle your crazy.
I move my mouth around and say it faster, crazycrazycrazycrazycrazy. A word I’ve used in conversation so recklessly is now shackled to me.
Something I’ll have to understand will never fully go away, but that I’m still me.
I pucker my lips, and suck them in, picturing grandpa salivating over the smell of Vaca Frita and
fried plantains yelling at us, Puedo masticar sin la dentadura.