Stargazing by Jen Wang

Stargazing by Jen Wang

When Moon’s family moves in next door to Christine’s, Moon goes from unlikely friend to best friend―maybe even the perfect friend. The girls share their favorite music videos, paint their toenails when Christine’s strict parents aren’t around, and make plans to enter the school talent show together. Moon even tells Christine her deepest secret: that she sometimes has visions of celestial beings who speak to her from the stars. Who reassure her that earth isn’t where she really belongs.

But when they’re least expecting it, catastrophe strikes. After relying on Moon for everything, can Christine find it in herself to be the friend Moon needs?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Colourism
  • Sexism
  • Hallucinations & delusions
  • Hospital
  • Brain tumour
  • Surgery
  • Death of a father
  • Bullying
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor

A year ago, Sunny Nwazue, an American-born girl Nigerian girl, was inducted into the secret Leopard Society. As she began to develop her magical powers, Sunny learned that she had been chosen to lead a dangerous mission to avert an apocalypse, brought about by the terrifying masquerade, Ekwensu. Now, stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny is studying with her mentor Sugar Cream and struggling to unlock the secrets in her strange Nsibidi book.

Eventually, Sunny knows she must confront her destiny. With the support of her Leopard Society friends, Orlu, Chichi, and Sasha, and of her spirit face, Anyanwu, she will travel through worlds both visible and invisible to the mysteries town of Osisi, where she will fight a climactic battle to save humanity.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Sexism
  • Ableist language (r word)
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.

Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.

If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself – but first she has to make it there, alive. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Panic attack (on-page)
  • Nonconsensual body modifications
  • Blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Death of a friend
  • Mass murder
  • Animal death mentioned
  • War themes
  • Bullying
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

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
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg & Chancellorsville—derailing the War and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism (theme), colourism & racial slurs
  • Sexism
  • Slavery
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Sexual assault
  • Forced use of medication
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Torture
  • Gun violence
  • War themes & military violence
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural–even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites.

Ana’s ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father’s killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work–one that threatens the very balance of Ana’s world.

There is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to the conspiracy’s core: Ramson Quicktongue. Ramson is a cunning crime lord with sinister plans–though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Human trafficking and indentured servitude
  • Child emotional & physical abuse
  • Parental abandonment
  • Attempted suicide
  • Terminal illness
  • Blood depiction
  • Murder
  • Torture, including water torture
  • Whipping
  • Royal coup
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny & sex worker slurs
  • Racism, racial slurs, colourism, and segregation discussed
  • Attempted rape & sexual assault recounted (theme)
  • Nightmares & flashbacks
  • Alcohol consumption & recreational drug use
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Emesis
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Murder
  • Torture recounted
  • Gun violence
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Misogyny
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape & statutory rape recounted
  • Paedophilia & child molestation recounted
  • Forced nonconsensual marriage*
  • Exile & ex-communication
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Suicide recounted
  • Self-harm & self-inflicted injuries
  • Pregnancy & child pregnancy (secondary character)
  • Death from childbirth (two on-page scenes), and mentions of miscarriage & stillbirth
  • Graphic blood depiction & menstruation discussed
  • Plague (multiple)
  • Seizures & stroke (side character)
  • Nonconsensual branding
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a son recounted
  • Death of a best friend (on-page)
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
  • Being burned alive
  • Earthquake
  • Imprisonment & captivity
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Animal death & sacrifice

Note: This book portrays a cult which uses its beliefs to justify abuse, torture, misogyny, racism & paedophilia, including the marriage, rape (‘bedding’) & impregnation of multiple children (not graphic or on-page, but mentioned & discussed by secondary characters).

Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

Undercover Bromance

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Victim blaming
  • Sexual & workplace harassment
  • Domestic abuse & gaslighting recounted
  • Murder mentioned
  • Stalking
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com

With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antiziganism (g slur)
  • Colourism
  • Coming out themes recounted (sc)
  • Dubious consent scene discussed
  • Teen pregnancy & motherhood (theme)
  • Childbirth mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Death of a husband recounted
  • Death of a grandfather recounted
  • Hurricanes & severe storms recounted
  • Bullying recounted
Support Us at Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com