Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, her dearest friend in the world. There is no way to save her. But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl and when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Attempted rape (on-page, detailed)
  • Cheating recounted
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy mentioned
  • Body horror
  • Minor physical injuries (burns)
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a mother & father mentioned
  • Murder
  • Knife violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • War themes & military violence
  • Graphic animal death
  • Animal attack

*Note: The main romance is between a seventeen-year-old girl and an immortal 100-(plus)-year-old man.

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Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb

In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Misogyny
  • Adult-minor relationship discussed
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abandonment & child neglect
  • Child abuse
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Poisoning
  • Torture
  • Whipping
  • War themes
  • Graphic animal death, including multiple death of pet dogs
  • Animal cruelty & abuse
  • Hunting
  • Animal attack mentioned
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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Teen pregnancy recounted
  • Abortion recounted
  • Hospital
  • Blood depiction & physical injuries
  • Serious injury to a loved one
  • Forced hospitalisation
  • Scars
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a fiancé
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Car accident
  • Animal hunting mentioned

*Note: Adult-minor relationship & statutory rape briefly mentioned.

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Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel M. Moniz book cover

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.

A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.

Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Parental abandonment
  • Adult-minor relationship between a teacher and student
  • Paedophilia, implied
  • Parental sexual abuse, implied
  • Abortion, mentioned
  • Pregnancy
  • Terminal cancer
  • Physical assault
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Strangulation
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a father
  • Death from a fall
  • Drowning
  • Graphic near-drowning
  • Robbery
  • Cannibalism, implied
  • Hanging, mentioned
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Tarnished Crown by Erin Watt

Tarnished Crown by Erin Watt

Two years ago, one mistake cost Gideon Royal the girl of his dreams. Since then he’s become jaded and stoic, caught in a spiral that has him dealing with blackmail, heartache and loss. When he left for college, he hoped to start over. But fate has other ideas, placing Savannah Montgomery in his path again.

Savannah believes there’s no coming back from Gideon’s betrayal. He thinks she’s wrong.

Forgiveness. Hope. Redemption. Gideon has vowed to win back the only girl who owns his heart. And when a Royal makes a promise, he’ll go to the ends of the earth to keep it.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Sexual harassment
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Cheating
  • Blackmail
  • Depression

*The female protagonist was 15-years-old when she started her then 18-year-old boyfriend.

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When It’s Real by Erin Watt

When It’s Real by Erin Watt

There’s nothing ordinary about Oakley. This bad-boy pop star’s got Grammy Awards, millions of fangirls and a reputation as a restless, too-charming troublemaker. But with his home life disintegrating, his music well suddenly running dry and the tabloids having a field day over his outrageous exploits, Oakley needs to show the world he’s settling down—and who better to help him than Vaughn, a part-time waitress trying to help her family get by? The very definition of ordinary

Posing as his girlfriend, Vaughn will overhaul Oakley’s image from troublemaker to serious artist. In return for enough money to put her brothers through college, she can endure outlandish Hollywood parties and carefully orchestrated Twitter exchanges. She’ll fool the paparazzi and the groupies. She might even start fooling herself a little. 

Because when ordinary rules no longer apply, there’s no telling what your heart will do…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Death of a parent recounted

*Note: The protagonist is a 17-year-old girl and the love interest is a 20-year-old man.

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Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii

Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii

Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii book cover

“I don’t like caramel sauce. I prefer something bitter…”

Masahiro Setagawa doesn’t believe in heroes, but wishes he could- He’s found himself in a gang of small-time street bullies who use him to run errands. But when high school teacher (and scourge of the streets) Kousuke Ohshiba comes to his rescue, he finds he may need to start believing after all…and as their relationship deepens, he realizes a hero might be just what he was looking for this whole time.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Paedophilia
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
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The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas book cover

There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook.

First there was the car accident—two girls gone after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know why he did it. Monica’s sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they lost.

That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it’s not that easy. She just wants to forget. Only, Monica’s world is starting to unravel. There are the letters in her stepdad’s desk, an unearthed, years-old cell phone, a strange new friend at school. . . . Whatever happened five years ago isn’t over. Some people in town know more than they’re saying. And somehow Monica is at the center of it all.

There are no more cheerleaders in Sunnybrook, but that doesn’t mean anyone else is safe.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Victim blaming
  • Statutory rape
  • Paedophilia
  • Domestic violence
  • Adult-minor relationship/s
  • Depression
  • Suicide, mentioned
  • Abortion
  • Teenage pregnancy
  • Pregnancy from rape
  • Mild gore depiction
  • Emesis
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a sibling
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Car accident
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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler book cover

This Nebula Award-winning sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Hate crimes
  • Victim blaming
  • Misogyny, sexism and gendered slurs
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Child sexual assault and rape
  • Grooming behaviour and paedophilia
  • Rape and rape by coercion
  • Sex trafficking and sex slavery
  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment
  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Family estrangement
  • Adult-minor relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide and attempted suicide
  • Infertility themes
  • Pregnancy
  • Non-consensual pregnancy
  • Teenage and child pregnancy
  • Amnesia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries and wounds
  • Scars
  • Starvation and dehydration depiction
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent/guardians
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of a partner/spouse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Flogging and whippings
  • Gun violence
  • Hanging and lynching
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Avalanche
  • Chemical gassing and warfare
  • Cults
  • Home invasion
  • Exile
  • Indentured servitude
  • Imprisonment, incarceration and captivity
  • Kidnapping
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Religious persecution
  • Terrorism
  • War and military themes
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes

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Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Humbert Humbert – scholar, aesthete and romantic – has fallen completely and utterly in love with Lolita Haze, his landlady’s gum-snapping, silky skinned twelve-year-old daughter. Reluctantly agreeing to marry Mrs Haze just to be close to Lolita, Humbert suffers greatly in the pursuit of romance; but when Lo herself starts looking for attention elsewhere, he will carry her off on a desperate cross-country misadventure, all in the name of Love.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Paedophilia & child sexual assault
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
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