You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Liz Lighty has always believed she’s too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it’s okay — Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz’s plans come crashing down . . . until she’s reminded of her school’s scholarship for prom king and queen. There’s nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She’s smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Racism
  • Queermisia, specifically lesbomisia & transmisia
  • Public outing
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • Emesis
  • Hospital visits due to medical emergency
  • Chronic illness (sickle cell anemia)
  • Death of a mother recounted

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The Inheritance Games

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

A Cinderella story with deadly stakes and thrilling twists, perfect for fans of One of Us is Lying and Knives Out.

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why–or even who Tobias Hawthorne is. To receive her inheritance, Avery must move into sprawling, secret passage-filled Hawthorne House, where every room bears the old man’s touch–and his love of puzzles, riddles, and codes.

Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also occupied by the family that Tobias Hawthorne just dispossessed. This includes the four Hawthorne grandsons: dangerous, magnetic, brilliant boys who grew up with every expectation that one day, they would inherit billions. Heir apparent Grayson Hawthorne is convinced that Avery must be a con-woman, and he’s determined to take her down. His brother, Jameson, views her as their grandfather’s last hurrah: a twisted riddle, a puzzle to be solved. Caught in a world of wealth and privilege, with danger around every turn, Avery will have to play the game herself just to survive. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abandonment
  • Physical child abuse recounted
  • Abusive relationship, and emotional & physical intimate partner violence (off-page)
  • Cheating mentioned (chp 55)
  • Revenge pornography involving a minor mentioned (chp 59)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Minor blood depiction & physical injury (chp 52-54)
  • Minor grief & loss depiction
  • Death due to heart attack mentioned (chp 55 & 78)
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death of a girlfriend recounted
  • Death of a grandfather (off-page, central theme)
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Attempted murder (on-page in chp 52 & 68)
  • Gun violence (on-page in chp 52)
  • Car accident (chp 68)
  • Homelessness mentioned

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Love Language

Love Language by Reese Morrison

Marco and Greg would both rather be anywhere than a kink club on Valentine’s Day. Marco doesn’t have the patience to speech-read in a hearing crowd. And Greg is still mourning his Sir who passed away three years ago.

But when Greg steps in to explain something in ASL, Marco can’t stop thinking about the light he sees in those sad eyes. Strong, older, fluent in sign language, and sweetly submissive, Greg is exactly Marco’s type. Even if Greg isn’t ready for another relationship yet, Marco isn’t ready to let him go.

Greg thought that he would never want to date someone again. But as painful as it is to admit, he’s starting to feel like it might be time. Marco is like no one he’s never met. Small, twink-ish, over a decade younger, and a Daddy, he isn’t at all what Greg imagined in a Dom. Yet he’s undeniably attracted to his care and control, even after Marco reveals that he’s transgender. Slipping into ASL, the language of his childhood, Greg wonders if he might have a second chance at love.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Transmisia
  • Consensual non-consensual kink & on-page sex scenes, including incest play
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a partner recounted

Note: Love Language is a BDSM erotica that includes sex scenes of pain play, degradation (including verbal abuse), and public humiliation.

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Alex + Ada

Alex + Ada, Vols. 1-3 by Jonathan Luna & Sarah Vaughn

From JONATHAN LUNA (GIRLS, THE SWORD, ULTRA, Spider-Woman: Origin) and SARAH VAUGHN (Sparkshooter) comes ALEX + ADA, a sci-fi drama set in the near future. The last thing in the world Alex wanted was an X5, the latest in realistic androids. But after Ada is dropped into his life, he discovers she is more than just a robot.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

Volume #1

  • Sexual harassment
  • Scalpels & needles
  • Death of a friend mentioned
  • Mass murder mentioned

Volume #2

  • Discrimination
  • Amputation & prosthetic limbs discussed
  • Mass murder mentioned
  • Ex-soldier secondary character

Volume #3

  • Discrimination & hate crimes
  • Dysphoria discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood depiction & minor physical injuries
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Murder
  • Mass murder mentioned
  • Physical assault
  • Hanging
  • Explosion
  • Gun violence
  • Imprisonment

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Empress of a Thousand Skies

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • Internment camps mentioned
  • Strangulation (chp 1)
  • Blood depiction (chp 3)
  • Unethical human medical experimentation (chp 16)
  • Needles (chp 6 & 8)
  • Consensual and non-consensual drugging (chp 6, 7 & 22)
  • Death of mother, father & sister recounted
  • Death of a mother (on-page, chp 25)
  • Death of a friend (chp 14)
  • Explosions recounted & on-page (chp 1 & 15)
  • Murder and attempted murder (chp 1, 3)
  • Knife violence (chp 3)
  • Police brutality & violence (chp 15)
  • Torture (chap 7)
  • Mind control discussed
  • Imprisonment (chp 17)
  • Poisoning (chp 25)

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

In a sprawling mansion filled with peculiar treasures, January Scaller is a curiosity herself. As the ward of the wealthy Mr. Locke, she feels little different from the artifacts that decorate the halls: carefully maintained, largely ignored, and utterly out of place.

Then she finds a strange book. A book that carries the scent of other worlds, and tells a tale of secret doors, of love, adventure and danger. Each page turn reveals impossible truths about the world and January discovers a story increasingly entwined with her own.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Misogyny
  • Child abuse
  • Parental abandonment
  • Self-injury
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Torture
  • Forced institutionalization and abuse by medical professionals
  • Animal cruelty & abuse (off-page)

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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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Cemetery Boys

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him.

When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie up some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia, deadnaming & misgendering
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Coming out themes
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Disownment and child homelessness (side characters)
  • Blood depiction & use of blood for magic and in rituals
  • Dead bodies
  • Serious injury of a loved one
  • Hospital (brief scene)
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Gun violence recounted
  • Police racial discrimination mentioned
  • Car accident mentioned
  • Smoking & alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Animal blood used for magic and in rituals

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All the Ways Home

All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman

Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it.

After losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano–now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family–developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out.

Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he’s on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there’s a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he’s willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone–including himself.

This is a book about what home means to us—and that there are many different correct answers.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Car accident recounted

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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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