One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Slut shaming
  • Homomisia & homomisia slurs
  • Coming out themes
  • Dubious consent scenario*
  • Nonconsensual voyeurism mentioned
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Cheating, recounted & discussed
  • Alcoholism mentioned
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption & abuse
  • Recreational drug use
  • Death from anaphylaxis
  • Cancer mentioned
  • Heart attack
  • Hospital
  • Death of a classmate, on-page
  • Death of an uncle
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • School shooting & gun violence discussed
  • Strangulation
  • Physical assault
  • Car accident recounted
  • Blackmail
  • Bullying

* Note : Characters under the influence of alcohol recount having sex, and a protagonist recounts coerced ‘consent’ to sex with her boyfriend.

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The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang

The Poppy War R. F. Kuang

When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising.

But surprises aren’t always good.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Colourism
  • Racism
  • Mass rape
  • Gang rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Forced marriage
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Sterilization
  • Medical experimentation
  • Scars
  • Dead bodies
  • Death of a classmate or colleague
  • Decapitation and dismemberment
  • Knife violence
  • Graphic mass murder
  • Graphic murder
  • Physical assault
  • Torture
  • Trauma
  • Captivity and confinement
  • Military violence
  • War themes
  • Explosions
  • Fire and arson
  • Flooding
  • Bullying and hazing
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Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Hailsham seems like a pleasant English boarding school, far from the influences of the city. Its students are well tended and supported, trained in art and literature, and become just the sort of people the world wants them to be. But, curiously, they are taught nothing of the outside world and are allowed little contact with it.

Within the grounds of Hailsham, Kathy grows from schoolgirl to young woman, but it’s only when she and her friends Ruth and Tommy leave the safe grounds of the school (as they always knew they would) that they realize the full truth of what Hailsham is.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Medical experimentation
  • Bullying
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One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie

One Last Chance by Therese Beharrie

Six years ago, Zoey Roux secretly married her best friend Sawyer. But all that did was destroy the best relationship she’s ever had. They went their separate ways, but Zoey never could go through with a divorce. Seeing him again at her sister’s charity event is a shock, but also enlightening: no matter how much she still loves him, it’s time to let him go.

Zoey was Sawyer Wilson’s first love. She broke his heart, but his feelings never died. Love was never their issue—only timing. Seeing her again is a shock: in a perfect world, she would run back into his arms. Instead, she’s asking for a divorce. But a lot can happen in twenty-four hours and a second chance might just lead to happily ever after.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attack
  • Parent with dementia mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Death of a grandparent
  • Death of a father from a brain tumour recounted
  • Bullying recounted
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What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Child abuse mentioned
  • Sleep disorders
  • Graphic self harm
  • Graphic blood test
  • Burns
  • Nonconsensual medical treatment
  • Needles
  • Physical assault
  • Hanging mentioned
  • Captivity mentioned
  • Bullying recounted
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Oasis by Katya de Becerra

Oasis by Katya de Becerra

The oasis saved them. But who will save them from the oasis?

Alif had exciting summer plans: working on her father’s archaeological dig site in the desert with four close friends . . . and a very cute research assistant. Then the sandstorm hit.

With their camp wiped away, Alif and the others find themselves lost on the sands, seemingly doomed . . . until they find the oasis. It has everything they need: food, water, shade—and mysterious ruins that hide a deadly secret. As reality begins to shift around them, they question what’s real and what’s a mirage… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism mentioned
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration
  • Blood & physical injuries
  • Medical treatment & procedures
  • Seizures mentioned
  • Hospitalisation
  • Death from impalement
  • Bullying mentioned
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Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she’ll be leaving behind. There’s just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical injury (broken bone) mentioned
  • Bullying

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister

Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world—a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic violence
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a parent
  • Bullying
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Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she’s seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.

Maggie hates how Elizabeth acts so much better than everyone else. Besides, she’s always covered in dog hair. And she smells. So Maggie creates a fake profile on a popular social networking site to teach Elizabeth a lesson.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Animal abuse
  • Animal death
  • Animal injury
  • Bullying
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The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes

The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes and illustrated by DJ Kirkland

When St. Ivory Academy, a historically white wizarding school, opens its doors to its first-ever black student, everyone believes that the wizarding community is finally taking its first crucial steps toward inclusivity. Or is it? When Tom Token, the beneficiary of the school’s “Magical Minority Initiative,” begins uncovering weird clues and receiving creepy texts on his phone, he and his friend, Lindsay, stumble into a conspiracy that dates all the way back to the American Civil War, and could cost Tom his very soul.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism (theme)
  • Klu Klux Klan, on-page
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Cults
  • War themes recounted
  • Bullying
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