The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Cultural appropriation, specifically Native American culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, verbal & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Rape, statutory rape & rape of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Pregnancy, result of rape & incest
  • Forced estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating (bingeing)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Female genital mutilation mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Lynching recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of an infant

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Fame, Fate, & the First Kiss by Kasie West

Lacey Barnes has dreamed of being an actress for as long as she can remember. So when she gets the opportunity to star in a movie alongside one of Hollywood’s hottest actors, she doesn’t hesitate to accept the part.

But Lacey quickly learns that life in the spotlight isn’t as picture perfect as she imagined. She’s having trouble bonding with her costars, her father has hired the definition of a choir boy, Donavan Lake, to tutor her, and somewhere along the way she’s lost her acting mojo. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get any worse, it looks like someone on set is deliberately trying to sabotage her.

As Lacey’s world spins out of control, it feels like the only person she can count on—whether it’s helping her try to unravel the mystery of who is out to get her or snap her out of her acting funk—is Donavan. But what she doesn’t count on is this straight-laced boy becoming another distraction. With her entire future riding on this movie, Lacey knows she can’t afford to get sidetracked by a crush. But for the first time in her life Lacey wonders if it’s true that the best stories really do happen when you go off script.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Mentions of dieting & disordered food thoughts
  • Bullying & online harassment mentioned
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Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Pretties by Scott Westerfeld

Tally’s Pretty. And everything’s changed. The new, Pretty Tally is totally happy right where she is. She doesn’t think she needs any kind of cure at all. When someone from her Ugly life shows up with a message, Tally has a hard time listening. Did she really promise to give all this up? Is she bound by a promise she made when she was a different person? If there is anything left of the old Tally, how will she fight her way out to keep her word and help her friends?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist slurs (r slur)
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating
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The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding schools. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes. Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Disordered eating
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm
  • Emesis
  • War themes

Content warnings available on Laura E. Weymouth’s website.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers book cover

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Child sexual abuse and rape, central theme but no explicit details given
  • Paedophilia
  • Child pornography
  • Sex work
  • Child neglect
  • Parental abandonment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Disordered eating, mentioned
  • Suicide attempt
  • Unintentional self-harm
  • Substance addiction and abuse
  • Alcoholism and alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Graphic blood depiction
  • Hospitalisation
  • Serious physical illness
  • Physical injury
  • Emesis
  • Terminal cancer, mentioned
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Death of a husband, mentioned
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Economic depression
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Hostage situation
  • Stalking
  • Car accident
  • Bullying, recounted
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes
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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True DIary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie book cover

Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation, is determined to take his future into his own hands. He leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racist language and racial slurs
  • Homomisic slurs and ableist slurs
  • Alcoholism
  • Disordered eating
  • Death of a family member
  • Bullying
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Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert

Arctic Sun by Annabeth Albert book cover

Ex-military mountain man Griffin Barrett likes his solitude. It keeps him from falling back into old habits. Bad habits. He’s fought too hard for his sobriety to lose control now. However, his gig as a wildlife guide presents a new kind of temptation in superhot supermodel River Vale. Nothing the Alaskan wilderness has to offer has ever called to Griffin so badly. And that can only lead to trouble…

River has his own methods for coping. Chasing adventure means always moving forward. Nobody’s ever made him want to stand still—until Griffin. The rugged bush pilot is the very best kind of distraction, but the emotions he stirs up in River feel anything but casual, and he’s in no position to stay put.

With temptation lurking in close quarters, keeping even a shred of distance is a challenge neither’s willing to meet. And the closer Griffin gets to River, the easier it is to ignore every last reason he should run.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and homomisia
  • Coerced sexual assault
  • Eating disorder recovery, disordered eating, intrusive thoughts and alcoholism recovery
  • Substance addiction recovery
  • Grief depiction and death of mother (recounted)
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