Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her life to caring for the Villa’s residents, and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father lets Teddy stay at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat.

But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisic comments
  • Dieting
  • Death of a loved one
  • Animal injury
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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire book cover

Twin sisters Jack and Jill were seventeen when they found their way home and were packed off to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children.

This is the story of what happened first…

Jacqueline was her mother’s perfect daughter—polite and quiet, always dressed as a princess. If her mother was sometimes a little strict, it’s because crafting the perfect daughter takes discipline.

Jillian was her father’s perfect daughter—adventurous, thrill-seeking, and a bit of a tom-boy. He really would have preferred a son, but you work with what you’ve got.

They were five when they learned that grown-ups can’t be trusted.

They were twelve when they walked down the impossible staircase and discovered that the pretense of love can never be enough to prepare you a life filled with magic in a land filled with mad scientists and death and choices.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Death of queer characters/ “bury your gays” trope
  • Forced gender roles, central theme
  • Parental neglect
  • Mysophobia
  • Pregnancy discussed
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Vampirism & blood drinking
  • Dead bodies
  • Death of a girlfriend, on-page
  • Murder
  • Lightning & storms mentioned
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Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire book cover

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire’s Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children in a standalone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the “real” world.

When Rini lands with a literal splash in the pond behind Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children, the last thing she expects to find is that her mother, Sumi, died years before Rini was even conceived. But Rini can’t let Reality get in the way of her quest – not when she has an entire world to save! (Much more common than one would suppose.) If she can’t find a way to restore her mother, Rini will have more than a world to save: she will never have been born in the first place. And in a world without magic, she doesn’t have long before Reality notices her existence and washes her away. Good thing the student body is well-acquainted with quests…

A tale of friendship, baking, and derring-do. Warning: May contain nuts.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia
  • Transmisia
  • Racism mentioned
  • Misgendering
  • Eating disorders mentioned
  • Death of a parent
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping & captivity
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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 Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor

In West Africa in 2070, after fifteen-year-old “shadow speaker” Ejii witnesses her father’s beheading, she embarks on a dangerous journey across the Sahara to find Jaa, her father’s killer, and upon finding her, she also discovers a greater purpose to her life and to the mystical powers she possesses.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Beheading
  • Death of a father
  • Murder
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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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Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson and Ellen Hagan

Watch Us Rise by Renée Watson & Ellen Hagan

Jasmine and Chelsea are sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post everything online—poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial macroaggressions she experiences—and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by online trolls. When things escalate, the principal shuts the club down. Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices—and those of other young women—to be heard.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Sexism
  • Racism, including cultural appropriation & anti-Blackness
  • Sexual harassment
  • Grey-area cheating
  • Death of a parent to cancer
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father & husband
  • Bullying
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Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Fatmisia
  • Racism
  • Sexual harassment
  • Graphic police violence
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Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Tally is about to turn sixteen, and she can’t wait. In just a few weeks she’ll have the operation that will turn her from a repellent ugly into a stunning pretty. And as a pretty, she’ll be catapulted into a high-tech paradise where her only job is to have fun.

But Tally’s new friend Shay isn’t sure she wants to become a pretty. When Shay runs away, Tally learns about a whole new side of the pretty world—and it isn’t very pretty. The authorities offer Tally a choice: find her friend and turn her in, or never turn pretty at all. Tally’s choice will change her world forever….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Self harm
  • Recreational drug use
  • Hospitalisation
  • Needles
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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat.

People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter.

But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Dieting
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