The Lost Souls of Benzaiten (Hardcover)

The Lost Souls of Benzaiten By Kelly Murashige Cover Image
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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, Machi 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—possibly too enamored—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.

About the Author

Born and raised in Hawaiʻi, Kelly Murashige is a writer, reader, and dreamer. 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.

Praise For…

Praise for The Lost Souls of Benzaiten

“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

“Kelly Murashige's beautiful first novel glows with raw emotion. Her nuanced portrayal of Machi, a girl who no longer speaks after a heart-wrenching friendship trauma, is expertly illuminated with a dreamy touch of magic. The Lost Souls of Benzaiten is a stunning and poignant debut.”
—Brianna Bourne, Carnegie-nominated author of The Half-Life of Love

“Murashige brilliantly captures the specific sense of anguish that stems from the first time a friend breaks your heart. A new take on contemporary fantasy that will leave you glancing down at your well-vacuumed floor and wondering: Is my Roomba lonely?
—Jeff Bishop, author of A Heavy Dose of Allison Tandy

“A thought-provoking deep dive into self-awareness and the power of human connection. For anyone who has lost their way, The Lost Souls of Benzaiten offers a beacon of light and hope in the darkness.”
—Robin Reul, author of Where the Road Leads Us and My Kind of Crazy

“A breathtaking journey from sorrow to solace through worlds both magical and mortal, this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. A powerful, uplifting antidote for anyone who has ever experienced feelings of depression or despair.”
—Susan Azim Boyer, author of The Search For Us and Jasmine Zumideh Needs a Win

“A totally original tale about the friendships that make and break us.”
—Lisabeth Posthuma, author of Baby & Solo

Product Details
ISBN: 9781641295741
ISBN-10: 1641295740
Publisher: Soho Teen
Publication Date: July 23rd, 2024
Pages: 304
Language: English