The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp

The Lesser Blessed by Richard Van Camp book cover

Larry is a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. His tongue, his hallucinations and his fantasies are hotter than the sun. At sixteen, he loves Iron Maiden, the North and Juliet Hope, the high school “tramp.” When Johnny Beck, a Metis from Hay River, moves to town, Larry is ready for almost anything.

In this powerful and often very funny first novel, Richard Van Camp gives us one of the most original teenage characters in fiction. Skinny as spaghetti, nervy and self-deprecating, Larry is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His past holds many terrors: an abusive father, blackouts from sniffing gasoline, an accident that killed several of his cousins. But through his friendship with Johnny, he’s ready now to face his memories—and his future.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny and sexism
  • Paedophilia
  • Child sexual assault
  • Abusive relationships
  • Domestic violence
  • Incest
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Depersonalization
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Child pregnancy
  • Fire
  • Animal death
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Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

On her very first morning on Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can’t stand him. She really can’t stand it when he kisses her and they are caught by her disapproving cousin, Charlotte.

Daughter of an American-born-Chinese mother and New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucy is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment, and ultimately herself.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Anxiety
  • Panic & anxiety attacks
  • Dissociation & derealization
  • Self harm
  • Death of a parent
  • Car accident
  • Disappearance of a parent
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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

On a day that started like any other…

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Dissociation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Hospital (setting)
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Car accident
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The Witch King by HE Edgmon

The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever. But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia
  • Deadnaming & misgendering
  • Verbal & physical parental abuse
  • PTSD
  • Panic attack
  • Dissociation
  • Drug use
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Emesis
  • Explosion
  • Immolation
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The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones

The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya Sones

Luke has been away for two endless years, but he’s finally returning today. Lily was only twelve when he left. But now, at fourteen, she feels transformed. She can’t wait to see how Luke will react when he sees the new her. And when her mother tells her that Luke will be staying with them for a while, in the bedroom right next to hers, her heart nearly stops.

Having Luke back is better than Lily could have ever dreamed. His lingering looks set Lily on fire. Is she just imagining them? But then, when they’re alone, he kisses her. Then he kisses her again. Lily’s friends think anyone his age who wants to be with a fourteen-year-old must be really messed up. Maybe even dangerous. But Luke would never do anything to hurt her…would he?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Victim blaming
  • Paedophilia, grooming & child sexual abuse
  • Graphic rape by coercion (on-page)
  • Child abuse
  • Abusive relationship
  • Dissociation
  • Alcohol consumption, including forced alcohol consumption
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a brother recounted
  • Stalking
  • Car accident recounted
  • Animal attack & death mentioned
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A Curse of Ash and Embers by Jo Spurrier

A Curse of Ash & Embers by Jo Spurrier

Some people knit socks by the fire at night. Gyssha Blackbone made monsters. But the old witch is dead now, and somehow it’s Elodie’s job to clean up the mess. When she was hired at Black Oak Cottage, Elodie had no idea she’d find herself working for a witch; and her acid-tongued new mistress, Aleida, was not expecting a housemaid to turn up on her doorstep.

Gyssha’s final curse left Aleida practically dead on her feet, and now, with huge monsters roaming the woods, a demonic tree lurking in the orchard and an angry warlock demanding repayment of a debt, Aleida needs Elodie’s help, whether she likes it or not. And no matter what the old witch throws at her, to Elodie it’s still better than going back home.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Graphic verbal & emotional child abuse
  • Physical child abuse mentioned
  • Domestic violence mentioned
  • Misogyny
  • Dissociation
  • Suicide
  • Blood depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Death of a friend recounted
  • Murder mentioned
  • Kidnapping mentioned
  • Strangulation
  • Poisoning
  • Loss of autonomy (possession)
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The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud

The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud

Five months later, we join Lockwood, Lucy, George, Holly, and their associate Quill Kipps on a perilous night mission: they have broken into the booby-trapped Fittes Mausoleum, where the body of the legendary psychic heroine Marissa Fittes lies. Or does it? Will Lockwood ever reveal more about his family’s past to Lucy? Will their trip to the Other Side leave Lucy and Lockwood forever changed? Will Penelope Fittes succeed in shutting down their agency forever?

The young agents must survive attacks from foes both spectral and human before they can take on their greatest enemy in a climactic and chaotic battle. And to prevail they will have to rely on help from some surprising–and shadowy–allies.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Dissociative episode (on-page)
  • Suicidal ideation discussed
  • Blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother, father & sister recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Explosions
  • Home invasion
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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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Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

Four Weeks, Five People by Jennifer Yu

Obsessive-compulsive teen Clarissa wants to get better, if only so her mother will stop asking her if she’s okay. Andrew wants to overcome his eating disorder so he can get back to his band and their dreams of becoming famous. Film aficionado Ben would rather live in the movies than in reality. Gorgeous and overly confident Mason thinks everyone is an idiot. And Stella just doesn’t want to be back for her second summer of wilderness therapy.

As the five teens get to know one another and work to overcome the various disorders that have affected their lives, they find themselves forming bonds they never thought they would, discovering new truths about themselves and actually looking forward to the future.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide
  • Depersonalisation Disorder & dissociative episodes
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Narcissistic Personality Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Alcohol consumption
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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A Brown

A Song of Wraiths & Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • Colonialism themes
  • Refugee experiences
  • Riots and stampede
  • Police brutality
  • Emotional & physical child abuse
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attack, described in detail on-page
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalisation & derealization
  • Self-harm & self-harm ideation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Emesis
  • Blood depiction
  • Grief & loss depiction (theme)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother, on-page
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death in a fire recounted
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping & attempted kidnapping
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Regicide
  • Whipping of feet mentioned
  • Animal cruelty
  • Animal death, including animal sacrifice
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