From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L Armentrout

From Blood & Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Chosen from birth to usher in a new era, Poppy’s life has never been her own. The life of the Maiden is solitary. Never to be touched. Never to be spoken to. Waiting for the day of her Ascension, she would rather be with the guards, fighting back the evil that took her family, than preparing to be found worthy by the gods. But the choice has never been hers. The entire kingdom’s future rests on Poppy’s shoulders. And when Hawke, a golden-eyed guard honor bound to ensure her Ascension, enters her life, destiny and duty become tangled with desire and need.

Forsaken by the gods and feared by mortals, a fallen kingdom is rising once more, determined to take back what they believe is theirs through violence and vengeance. And as the shadow of those cursed draws closer, the line between what is forbidden and what is right becomes blurred. Poppy is not only on the verge of losing her heart and being found unworthy by the gods, but also her life when every blood-soaked thread that holds her world together begins to unravel.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Disfigurmisia & internalised disfigurmisia
  • Slavery
  • Sexual assault (on-page)
  • Physical, psychological & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Self-harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic descriptions of dead bodies
  • Scars
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Murder
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes
  • Animal death
  • Bullying
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Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

When Britain intercepted a French ship and its precious cargo–an unhatched dragon’s egg–Capt. Will Laurence of HMS Reliant unexpectedly became master and commander of the noble dragon he named Temeraire. As new recruits in Britain’s Aerial Corps, man and dragon soon proved their mettle in daring combat against Bonaparte’s invading forces.

Now China has discovered that its rare gift, intended for Napoleon, has fallen into British hands–and an angry Chinese delegation vows to reclaim the remarkable beast. But Laurence refuses to cooperate. Facing the gallows for his defiance, Laurence has no choice but to accompany Temeraire back to the Far East–a long voyage fraught with peril, intrigue, and the untold terrors of the deep. Yet once the pair reaches the court of the Chinese emperor, even more shocking discoveries and darker dangers await. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery & the slave trade discussed
  • Misogyny
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of a child (off-page, mentioned)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosions & bombings
  • Shipwreck
  • Military violence & naval warfare
  • Colonialism discussed
  • Animal attack
  • Animal death
  • Animal illness & injury
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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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Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Rape, implied and recounted
  • Attempted rape
  • Forced sex work, off-page
  • Child abuse
  • Toxic relationship
  • Intimate partner violence, implied and recounted
  • Suicide, on-page
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Medicinal drug use
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth complications, on-page
  • Stillbirth, on-page
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Physical illness, specifically cholera, seizures and fever
  • Field surgery
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Syringes and needles
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a father
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Gun and knife violence
  • Torture
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping
  • Blackmail
  • Fire
  • Drought
  • Death from stavation
  • Death from dehydration
  • Death from exposure
  • Mild war themes
  • Ex-soldier, side-character
  • Animal death, on-page
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal cruelty
  • Hunting
  • Animal dead bodies
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Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller – these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. Centring on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim’s odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • PTSD
  • Starvation
  • Kidnapping
  • War themes, including mentions of the Holocaust
  • Animal cruelty

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers’ bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism mentioned
  • Misgendering
  • Child abuse
  • Minor physical injuries
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Cults
  • Animal abuse
  • Homelessness

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

The Strange & Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird.

In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration.

That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Death of a queer character
  • Graphic rape
  • Emotional abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Suicide
  • Stalking
  • Animal abuse
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Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? And Other Questions About Dead Bodies by Caitlin Doughty

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? And Other Questions About Dead Bodies by Caitlin Doughty

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? And Other Questions About Dead Bodies by Caitlin Doughty book cover

Everyone has questions about death. In Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs?, best-selling author and mortician Caitlin Doughty answers the most intriguing questions she’s ever received about what happens to our bodies when we die. In a brisk, informative, and morbidly funny style, Doughty explores everything from ancient Egyptian death rituals and the science of skeletons to flesh-eating insects and the proper depth at which to bury your pet if you want Fluffy to become a mummy. Now featuring an interview with a clinical expert on discussing these issues with young people—the source of some of our most revealing questions about death—Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? confronts our common fear of dying with candid, honest, and hilarious facts about what awaits the body we leave behind.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide mentioned
  • Graphic dead bodies, central theme
  • Funeral-related preperation of bodies discussed in detail
  • Medical conditions discussed
  • Medical procedures discussed
  • Death, central theme
  • Murder mentioned
  • Torture mentioned
  • Death by drowning mentioned
  • Animal death
  • Graphic animal dead bodies
  • Death of a pet discussed
  • Animal testing and other animal cruelty mentioned
  • Grave desecration
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Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Temeraire by Naomi Novik

Also called His Majesty’s Dragon.

Captain Will Laurence has been at sea since he was just twelve years old; finding a warmer berth in Nelson’s navy than any he enjoyed as the youngest, least important son of Lord Allendale. Rising on merit to captain his own vessel, Laurence has earned himself a beautiful fiancée, society’s esteem and a golden future. But the war is not going well. It seems Britain can only wait as Napoleon plans to overrun her shores.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Minor sex work shaming & slurs
  • Suicide*
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Blood depiction
  • Death of a colleague (off-page)
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Bombings
  • War themes (Napoleonic Wars)
  • Military violence & naval warfare
  • Animal death (graphic, multiple scenes)
  • Animal cruelty & abuse
  • Animal illness & injury
  • Animal attack
  • Death of an animal companion

*Note: An enemy air force captain chooses to stay on-board his dying dragon as it falls & plummets into the ocean.

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Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save.

Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel’s framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel’s heart—motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce—pulls itself up to struggle for another day.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcoholism
  • Child sexual assault
  • Child pregnancy
  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Animal cruelty (dog fighting)
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