Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Vern – seven months pregnant and desperate to escape the strict religious compound where she was raised – flees for the shelter of the woods. There, she gives birth to twins, and plans to raise them far from the influence of the outside world.

But even in the forest, Vern is a hunted woman. Forced to fight back against the community that refuses to let her go, she unleashes incredible brutality far beyond what a person should be capable of, her body wracked by inexplicable and uncanny changes. To understand her metamorphosis and to protect her small family, Vern has to face the past, and more troublingly, the future – outside the woods.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Misogyny
  • Ableism
  • Homomisia
  • Transmisia
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Forced sterilization
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Graphic childbirth
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Burns
  • Death of a child & infant
  • Torture
  • Gun violence
  • Fire
  • Drowning
  • Poisoning
  • Cult
  • Graphic animal death
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Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart

Ava Lee has lost everything there is to lose: Her parents. Her best friend. Her home. Even her face. She doesn’t need a mirror to know what she looks like–she can see her reflection in the eyes of everyone around her.

A year after the fire that destroyed her world, her aunt and uncle have decided she should go back to high school. Be “normal” again. Whatever that is. Ava knows better. There is no normal for someone like her. And forget making friends–no one wants to be seen with the Burned Girl, now or ever… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted suicide
  • Burns
  • Medical procedures
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Car accident mentioned
  • Fire
  • Bullying
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The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover book cover

As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Colourism
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Infertility themes
  • Miscarriage, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Scars
  • Physical injury, including burns
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a son
  • Disappearance of a sister
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Incarceration, mentioned
  • Slavery
  • Captivity
  • Human trafficking
  • Hanging/lynching, implied
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Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Also known as Being Toffee.

One is trying to forget. The other is trying to remember.

After running away from an abusive home, Allison finds herself taking shelter in a shed behind an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty after all; an elderly woman named Marla, who suffers from dementia, lives there. And rather than turn her away, Marla welcomes her – she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past named Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be, so she decides to play along. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real companion, Allison begins to waver. They both deserve a home, a safe place, and a family – but at what cost?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Slut shaming
  • Sexual harassment
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse (theme)
  • Domestic violence and physical & emotional abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Depersonalisation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Death from childbirth & traumatic childbirth mentioned
  • Dementia (theme)
  • Minor blood depiction & physical injuries, including burns
  • Emesis
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & wife recounted
  • Homelessness
  • Animal death
  • Death of a pet dog mentioned
  • Animal attack mentioned
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The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan

The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan book cover

They have always scared him in the past — the Rangers, with their dark cloaks and shadowy ways. The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes them invisible to ordinary people. And now 15-year-old Will, always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s apprentice. What he doesn’t yet realize is that the Rangers are the protectors of the kingdom. Highly trained in the skills of battle and surveillance, they fight the battles before the battles reach the people. And as Will is about to learn, there is a large battle brewing. The exiled Morgarath, Lord of the Mountains of Rain and Night, is gathering his forces for an attack on the kingdom. This time, he will not be denied….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Burns, whipping and physical injuries
  • Death of a parent
  • Conscription
  • Knife violence, murder and attempted murder
  • Fire
  • Hunting
  • Bullying
  • War and military themes
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Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh book cover

Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Classism
  • Attempted kiss without consent
  • Substance addiction
  • Hallucinations and delusions
  • Self-harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pill addiction, drug abuse, and nonconsensual detox
  • Graphic blood and gore, and dead bodies
  • Physical injuries and burns
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a boyfriend (on-page)
  • Death of a mentor,
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a girlfriend
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Strangulation & hanging (mentioned)
  • Fire
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The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

The Secret Sky by Atia Abawi

The Seret Sky by Atia Abawi book cover

Fatima is a Hazara girl. She was raised to be obedient, to be dutiful, and to honour the traditions of her family, her village, and her religion. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy. He was raised to be a landowner, to increase his family’s power, and to defend the traditions of his tribe, his village, and his religion.

They were not meant to fall in love.

But they do.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, slut-shaming and terrorism
  • Forced and arranged marriages
  • Child abuse and physical abuse
  • Physical injuries and graphic burns
  • Murder
  • Poverty themes
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Love, Hate and Other Filters

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

American-born seventeen-year-old Maya Aziz is torn between worlds. There’s the proper one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter: attending a college close to their suburban Chicago home, and being paired off with an older Muslim boy her mom deems “suitable.” And then there is the world of her dreams: going to film school and living in New York City—and maybe (just maybe) pursuing a boy she’s known from afar since grade school, a boy who’s finally falling into her orbit at school.

There’s also the real world, beyond Maya’s control. In the aftermath of a horrific crime perpetrated hundreds of miles away, her life is turned upside down. The community she’s known since birth becomes unrecognizable; neighbors and classmates alike are consumed with fear, bigotry, and hatred. Ultimately, Maya must find the strength within to determine where she truly belongs.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Islamophobia & hate crimes
  • Disownment
  • Suicide bombing & self-immolation mentioned
  • Blood depiction
  • Hospitalisation for physical injuries due to physical assault
  • Bullying
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A General Theory of Oblivion

A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa

On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment’s walls.

Almost as if we’re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window. As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Agoraphobia
  • Burns
  • Murder & mass murder
  • Rape & pregnancy from rape
  • Slavery
  • Torture mentioned
  • War themes
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