There There by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy Orange 

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American–grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Alcoholism
  • Substance addiction
  • Gun violence & mass shooting
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Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul—the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the avant-garde of the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to actually do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter’s dreams. Together with Walter—environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man—she was doing her small part to build a better world.

But now, in the new millennium, the Berglunds have become a mystery. Why has their teenage son moved in with the aggressively Republican family next door? Why has Walter taken a job working with Big Coal? What exactly is Richard Katz—outré rocker and Walter’s college best friend and rival—still doing in the picture? Most of all, what has happened to Patty?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Cheating
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug use & abuse
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Release by Patrick Ness

Release by Patrick Ness

It’s Saturday, it’s summer and, although he doesn’t know it yet, everything in Adam Thorn’s life is going to fall apart. Relationships will change, he’ll change, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll find freedom in the release.

Time is running out though, because way across town a ghost as risen from the lake. Searching, yearning, she leaves a trail of destruction in her wake…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Victim blaming
  • Sexual assault
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug use & abuse
  • Graphic dismemberment
  • Murder
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
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Run by Kody Keplinger

Run by Kody Keplinger

Bo Dickinson is a girl with a wild reputation, a deadbeat dad, and an alcoholic mom. Everyone in town knows the Dickinsons are a bad lot, but Bo doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

Agnes Atwood has never stayed out past ten p.m., never gone on a date and never broken any of her parents’ overbearing rules. Rules that are meant to protect their legally-blind daughter, but Agnes isn’t quite sure what they are protecting her from.

Despite everything, Bo and Agnes become best friends. But when Bo shows up in the middle of the night, police sirens wailing in the distance, Agnes is faced with the biggest choice she’s ever had to make. Run, or stay?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut shaming
  • Toxic friendships
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug use & abuse
  • Alcohol consumption
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The Risk by Elle Kennedy

The Risk by Elle Kennedy

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend. For every fake date, he wants a real one… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Misogyny
  • Substance addiction
  • Panic attack
  • Drug abuse
  • Teen pregnancy recounted
  • Miscarriage recounted
  • Abortion mentioned
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The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray

It has been a year of change since Gemma Doyle arrived at the foreboding Spence Academy. Her mother murdered, her father a laudanum addict, Gemma has relied on an unsuspected strength and has discovered an ability to travel to an enchanted world called the realms, where dark magic runs wild. Despite certain peril, Gemma has bound the magic to herself and forged unlikely new alliances.

Now, as Gemma approaches her London debut, the time has come to test these bonds. The Order – the mysterious group her mother was once part of – is grappling for control of the realms, as is the Rakshana. Spence’s burned East Wing is being rebuilt, but why now? Gemma and her friends see Pippa, but she is not the same. And their friendship faces its gravest trial as Gemma must decide once and for all what role she is meant for.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Queermisia
  • Paedophilia recounted
  • Incest
  • Parent with substance addiction
  • Self harm
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Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain…

The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Incest
  • Attempted rape
  • Child abuse
  • Parent with substance addiction
  • Self harm mentioned
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A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Antiziganism
  • Parent with substance addiction
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Dead body
  • Death of a mother from suicide by knife violence
  • Death of a child by suffocation
  • Murder
  • Fire
  • Animal death & cruelty
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On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Homomisia, including internalised homomisia & homomisic slurs
  • Rape recounted
  • Parental abuse
  • Domestic abuse mentioned
  • Substance addiction
  • Recreational drug use & abuse
  • Cancer
  • Death of a grandparent
  • Vietnam War discussed
  • Animal abuse
  • Bullying
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Misery by Stephen King

Misery by Stephen King

Paul Sheldon is a bestselling novelist who has finally met his number one fan. Her name is Annie Wilkes, and she is more than a rabid reader—she is Paul’s nurse, tending his shattered body after an automobile accident. But she is also furious that the author has killed off her favorite character in his latest book. Annie becomes his captor, keeping him prisoner in her isolated house.

Annie wants Paul to write a book that brings Misery back to life—just for her. She has a lot of ways to spur him on. One is a needle. Another is an axe. And if they don’t work, she can get really nasty.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Nightmares
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Alcoholism & substance addiction
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Physical injuries, including broken bones
  • Amputation (nonconsensual)
  • Needles
  • Murder & infanticide mentioned
  • Knife & axe violence
  • Torture, including deprivation of food, water & medication
  • Kidnapping
  • Car accident
  • Animal death (rat)
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