The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

The Empress of Salt & Fortune by Nghi Vo

A young royal from the far north is sent south for a political marriage. Alone and sometimes reviled, she has only her servants on her side. This evocative debut chronicles her rise to power through the eyes of her handmaiden, at once feminist high fantasy and a thrilling indictment of monarchy.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Body shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Parental abandonment
  • Arranged marriage
  • Suicide discussed
  • Pregnancy & childbirth mentioned
  • Nonconsensual & consensual adoption
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a partner & wife mentioned
  • Murder
  • Exile
  • War themes, including rebellion & a political coup

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

Wild Women & the Blues by Denny S. Bryce

Wild Women & the Blues by Denny S. Bryce

1925: Chicago is the jazz capital of the world, and the Dreamland Café is the ritziest black-and-tan club in town. Honoree Dalcour is a sharecropper’s daughter, willing to work hard and dance every night on her way to the top. Dreamland offers a path to the good life, socializing with celebrities like Louis Armstrong and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux. But Chicago is also awash in bootleg whiskey, gambling, and gangsters. And a young woman driven by ambition might risk more than she can stand to lose.

2015: Film student Sawyer Hayes arrives at the bedside of 110-year-old Honoree Dalcour, still reeling from a devastating loss that has taken him right to the brink. Sawyer has rested all his hope on this frail but formidable woman, the only living link to the legendary Oscar Micheaux. If he’s right–if she can fill in the blanks in his research, perhaps he can complete his thesis and begin a new chapter in his life. But the links Honoree makes are not ones he’s expecting . . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape (ch 43)
  • Attempted suicide mentioned (chp 15)
  • Cancer mentioned (briefly in chp 15)
  • Emesis (chp 13)
  • Death of a parent & sibling
  • Car accident
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The Unbroken by CL Clark

The Unbroken by C.L. Clark

Touraine is a soldier. Stolen as a child and raised to kill and die for the empire, her only loyalty is to her fellow conscripts. But now, her company has been sent back to her homeland to stop a rebellion, and the ties of blood may be stronger than she thought.

Luca needs a turncoat. Someone desperate enough to tiptoe the bayonet’s edge between treason and orders. Someone who can sway the rebels toward peace, while Luca focuses on what really matters: getting her uncle off her throne.

Through assassinations and massacres, in bedrooms and war rooms, Touraine and Luca will haggle over the price of a nation. But some things aren’t for sale.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Attempted rape recounted & threats of rape
  • Anxiety attack
  • Blood depiction & physical injury
  • Amputation & loss of limb
  • Cannibalism
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Execution by hanging
  • Rebellion, colonialism & war themes
  • Animal death
  • Animal attack
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One by One by Ruth Ware

One by One by Ruth Ware

Getting snowed in at a beautiful, rustic mountain chalet doesn’t sound like the worst problem in the world, especially when there’s a breathtaking vista, a cozy fire, and company to keep you warm. But what happens when that company is eight of your coworkers…and you can’t trust any of them?

When an off-site company retreat meant to promote mindfulness and collaboration goes utterly wrong when an avalanche hits, the corporate food chain becomes irrelevant and survival trumps togetherness. Come Monday morning, how many members short will the team be?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attack & flashback
  • Sexual assault recounted (described)
  • Suicide by overdose discussed
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Minor blood & gore depiction, including dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis mentioned
  • Death of a brother recounted
  • Death of a friend & colleague (multiple, on-page)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Asphyxia (suffocation)
  • Poisoning
  • Death from a fall (off-page)
  • Disappearance of a friend & colleague
  • Avalanche (on-page & recounted, theme)
  • Bullying recounted
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The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

The Death of Mrs Westaway by Ruth Ware

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.

Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Sex work discussed
  • Child abuse recounted
  • Disownment & familial estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol abuse recounted
  • Dubious consent to medication
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Miscarriage & abortion mentioned
  • Infertility mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Hospital
  • Minor blood & gore depiction and physical injuries
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Death of a sister
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Strangulation
  • Car accident
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Blackmail
  • Captivity recounted
  • Poverty themes & eviction
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The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. The sky is clear, the waters calm, and the veneered, select guests jovial as the exclusive cruise ship, the Aurora, begins her voyage in the picturesque North Sea.

At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant: the cabins are plush, the dinner parties are sparkling, and the guests are elegant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for and so, the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Ableism
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Emesis
  • Cancer
  • Murder
  • Drowning
  • Home invasion
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & captivity
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The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis

The Initial Insult by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Tress Montor knows that her family used to mean something—until she didn’t have a family anymore. When her parents disappeared seven years ago while driving her best friend home, Tress lost everything. She might still be a Montor, but the entire town shuns her now that she lives with her drunken, one-eyed grandfather at what locals refer to as the “White Trash Zoo,” – a wild animal attraction featuring a zebra, a chimpanzee, and a panther, among other things.

Felicity Turnado has it all – looks, money, and a secret that she’s kept hidden. She knows that one misstep could send her tumbling from the top of the social ladder, and she’s worked hard to make everyone forget that she was with the Montors the night they disappeared. Felicity has buried what she knows so deeply that she can’t even remember what it is… only that she can’t look at Tress without having a panic attack.

But she’ll have to.

Tress has a plan. A Halloween costume party at an abandoned house provides the ideal situation for Tress to pry the truth from Felicity – brick by brick – as she slowly seals her former best friend into a coal chute. With a drunken party above them, and a loose panther on the prowl, Tress will have her answers – or settle for revenge.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Seizures
  • Dubious consent, implied
  • Drug dealing
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Graphic illness, specifically flu breakout
  • Graphic emesis
  • Graphic physical injury
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of parents
  • Grief depiction
  • Kidnapping
  • Captivity
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal attack
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Between by Jessica Warman

Between by Jessica Warman

Elizabeth Valchar-pretty, popular, and perfect-wakes up the morning after her eighteenth birthday party on her family’s yacht, where she’d been celebrating with her six closest friends. A persistent thumping noise has roused her. When she goes to investigate, what she finds will change everything she thought she knew about her life, her friends, and everything in between.

As Liz begins to unravel the circumstances surrounding her birthday night, she will find that no one around her, least of all Liz herself, was perfect-or innocent.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Eating disorder (anorexia)
  • Drug use
  • Murder
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother recounted
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Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Shatter the Sky by Rebecca Kim Wells

Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.

If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…

With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries
  • Murder
  • Knife violence
  • Torture
  • Poisoning
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • Colonialism themes
  • Animal cruelty & torture
  • Animal fighting
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