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.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

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

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 Distance Between Us by Kasie West

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West

Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Teen pregnancy recounted
  • Disownment
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Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler

Parable of the Talents by Octavia E. Butler book cover

This Nebula Award-winning sequel to Parable of the Sower continues the story of Lauren Olamina in socially and economically depressed California in the 2030s. Convinced that her community should colonize the stars, Lauren and her followers make preparations. But the collapse of society and rise of fanatics result in Lauren’s followers being enslaved, and her daughter stolen from her. Now, Lauren must fight back to save the new world order.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Hate crimes
  • Victim blaming
  • Misogyny, sexism and gendered slurs
  • Racism and racial slurs
  • White supremacy and the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
  • Child sexual assault and rape
  • Grooming behaviour and paedophilia
  • Rape and rape by coercion
  • Sex trafficking and sex slavery
  • Abuse, neglect and abandonment
  • Child abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Family estrangement
  • Adult-minor relationships
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide and attempted suicide
  • Infertility themes
  • Pregnancy
  • Non-consensual pregnancy
  • Teenage and child pregnancy
  • Amnesia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Body horror
  • Emesis
  • Physical injuries and wounds
  • Scars
  • Starvation and dehydration depiction
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent/guardians
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of a partner/spouse
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Grief and loss depiction
  • Flogging and whippings
  • Gun violence
  • Hanging and lynching
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Avalanche
  • Chemical gassing and warfare
  • Cults
  • Home invasion
  • Exile
  • Indentured servitude
  • Imprisonment, incarceration and captivity
  • Kidnapping
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Religious persecution
  • Terrorism
  • War and military themes
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes

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A Dark & Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

A Dark & Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth

Choose your player: the “ironborn” half-fae outcast of her royal fae family; a tempestuous Fury, exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm hellbent on revenge; a dutiful fae prince, determined to earn his place on the throne; or the prince’s brooding guardian, burdened with a terrible secret.

For centuries, the Eight Courts of Folk have lived among us, concealed by magic and bound by law to do no harm to humans. This arrangement has long kept peace in the Courts—until a series of gruesome and ritualistic murders rocks the city of Toronto and threatens to expose faeries to the human world.

Four queer teens, each who hold a key piece of the truth behind these murders, must form a tenuous alliance in their effort to track down the mysterious killer behind these crimes. If they fail, they risk the destruction of the faerie and human worlds alike. If that’s not bad enough, there’s a war brewing between the Mortal and Immortal Realms, and one of these teens is destined to tip the scales. The only question is: which way?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Toxic relationship
  • Disownment
  • Addiction & drug use
  • Depression & PTSD
  • Suicide recounted (off-page) & suicidal ideation
  • Blood & gore depiction and minor body horror
  • Death of a child
  • Gun violence
  • Fire (arson)
  • Human trafficking
  • Stalking
  • Poverty themes

See the author’s note on the trigger and content warnings here.

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Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs, specially anti-Asian & anti-Black
  • Cheating
  • Familial estrangement
  • Parent with terminal cancer
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a parent
  • Gun violence
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The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan

The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan

The Kings of Clonmel by John Flanagan book cover

Mankind puts its faith in many things–gods, kings, money–anything for protection from the world’s many dangers. When a cult springs up in neighboring Clonmel, promising to quell the recent attacks by lawless marauders, people flock from all over to offer gold in exchange for protection. But this particular group, with which Halt is all too familiar, has a less than charitable agenda. Secrets will be unveiled and battles fought to the death as Will and Horace help Halt in ridding the land of a dangerous enemy.The worldwide phenomenon is back with a gripping new adventure. Yet for these Rangers, the peril is only beginning. . .

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Alcohol consumption and non-consensual drugging
  • Estrangement
  • Animal death and hunting
  • Building collapse and fire
  • Cults
  • Dead bodies and body parts
  • Death of a sibling
  • Knife violence, regicide, murder and attempted murder
  • Physical injuries
  • Poverty themes
  • War and military themes
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Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler book cover

In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future.

Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others.

When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child sexual assault, sexual abuse and rape, including statutory rape
  • Abusive relationships, adult-minor relationships, arranged/forced/coerced marriage, domestic abuse, dubious consent, estrangement, parental abuse and neglect, physical abuse
  • Addiction, drug abuse
  • Blood and gore depiction, cannibalism, dead bodies and body parts, physical injuries
  • Death of a child, friend, parent/guardian and sibling, disappearance of a loved one, grief and loss depiction
  • Gun violence, knife violence, murder, police brutality
  • Bushfire, earthquake, home invasion, homelessness, sex-trafficking, child-trafficking and human-trafficking, slavery and indentured servitude
  • Poverty themes
  • Hunting

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo book cover

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language, persecution for witchcraft (central theme), indentured servitude and slavery
  • Forced underaged sex work recounted
  • Child abuse recounted, abandonment and disownment
  • Substance and gambling addiction, panic attack (implied) and nightmares
  • Coerced suicide (implied)
  • Alcohol consumption, recreational drug use, drugging without consent, forced and coerced drug dependency
  • Blood and gore depiction, graphic physical injuries, eyeball trauma, emesis, medical experimentation, dead bodies, plague, body modifications (with consent)
  • Grief depiction and death of a father, brother, family and friend
  • Murder, attempted murder, physical assault, knife and gun violence, torture, strangulation, explosions
  • Kidnapping, captivity, incarceration, loss of autonomy, drowning
  • Animal death, animal attack, death by an animal attack and animal fighting rings
  • Bullying

*Appropriation of religious and cultural clothing discussed

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