The Silence of Bones

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Religious persecution & hate crimes (central theme)
  • Misogyny and gendered slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Indentured servitude*
  • Sexual assault (unwanted touching) mentioned (chp 9)
  • Suicide, attempted suicide & suicidal ideation recounted and discussed (multiple times)
  • Suicide from a fall mentioned (chp 1)
  • Suicide from hanging mentioned (chp 16)
  • Alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Pregnancy & childbirth mentioned
  • Death of a baby and infanticide recounted
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies and autopsy scene
  • Graphic physical injuries, illness & wound descriptions
  • Mutilation**
  • Needles
  • Nonconsensual branding and resulting scars recounted
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother (on-page)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death from starvation & exposure to the cold mentioned
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Regicide (off-page)
  • Torture (one on-page scene, otherwise discussed or recounted)
  • Kidnapping and hostage situation
  • Whipping mentioned (chp 3)
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Drowning mentioned and near-drowning incident
  • Animal attack (chp 2)
  • Animal injuries mentioned (chp 9)
  • Animal death, hunting, and animal butchering mentioned
  • Poverty themes

*The main character is an indentured servant to the police.

**The serial killer cuts the noses off their victims.

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All the Things We Do in the Dark

All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell

Something happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.

She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape of a child recounted (central theme)
  • PTSD & trauma
  • Victim blaming discussed
  • Minor gore depiction and dead body

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The Lost Sisters

The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

Sometimes the difference between a love story and a horror story is where the ending comes . . .

While Jude fought for power in the Court of Elfhame against the cruel Prince Cardan, her sister Taryn began to fall in love with the trickster, Locke.

Half-apology and half-explanation, it turns out that Taryn has some secrets of her own to reveal.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Coerced marriage discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Dead bodies & body parts
  • Murder discussed
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Near-drowning incident
  • Bullying

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All Systems Red

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide attempt (on-page)
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of colleagues (off page)
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • ‘Animal’ attack

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All the Stars and Teeth

All the Stars and the Teeth by Adalyn Grace

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Arranged marriage
  • Physical and emotional domestic abuse recounted (chapter 29)
  • Cheating discussed
  • Attempted sexual assault recounted (in chapter 19)
  • Forced sex work recounted
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide (on-page)
  • Self-harm and self-injury
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father (on-page)
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies & body parts
  • Graphic autopsy
  • Dismemberment and amputation
  • Graphic dental torture and general teeth-related warning
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis
  • Cannibalism
  • Murder (on-page) and attempted murder
  • Torture (on-page)
  • Poisoning
  • Imprisonment
  • Drowning
  • War & rebellion themes
  • Animal abuse/torture (brief scene in chapter 29)
  • Alcohol consumption

The author, Adalyn Grace, provided a detailed breakdown of content warnings here.

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The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

Trigger Warnings

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Animal death (graphic & repeated), hunting, and animal illness mentioned
  • Animal dead bodies and graphic description of skinning & butchering
  • Animal attack and death from animal attack (including death from a wasp attack and a graphic scene of a child being eaten alive by a wolf)
  • Attempted murder of a pet cat recounted
  • Attempted suicide and self-sacrifice ideation
  • Avalanche mentioned
  • Blood and gore depiction (graphic)
  • Cannibalism recounted & discussed
  • Classism
  • Dead bodies (graphic, multiple)
  • Death from exposure mentioned
  • Death of a child (op, multiple)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a friend (op)
  • Death of a husband recounted
  • Drugging w/o consent
  • Emesis (graphic, multiple op scenes)
  • Explosions (op & recounted)
  • Fire
  • Graphic physical injuries (including burns & loss of hearing) and illness
  • Grief depiction
  • Hallucinations
  • Hostage situation
  • Knife violence and stabbing
  • Non-consensual medical treatment and procedures (including amputation)
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Needles
  • Poisoning
  • Police brutality mentioned
  • Poverty themes
  • Rebellion themes
  • Scars discussed
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Starvation & dehydration depiction (central theme) and death from starvation & dehydration mentioned
  • Strangulation
  • Whipping mentioned

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