Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

Diary of a Haunting by M. Verano

When Paige moves from LA to Idaho with her mom and little brother after her parents’ high-profile divorce, she expects to completely hate her new life, and the small town doesn’t disappoint. Worse yet, the drafty old mansion they’ve rented is infested with flies, spiders, and other pests Paige doesn’t want to think about.

She chalks it up to her rural surroundings, but it’s harder to ignore the strange things happening around the house, from one can of ravioli becoming a dozen, to unreadable words appearing in the walls. Soon Paige’s little brother begins roaming the house at all hours of the night, and there’s something not right about the downstairs neighbor, who knows a lot more than he’s letting on.

Things only get creepier when she learns about the sinister cult that conducted experimental rituals in the house almost a hundred years earlier. The more Paige investigates, and the deeper she digs, the clearer it all becomes: whatever is in the house, whatever is causing all the strange occurrences, has no intention of backing down without a fight.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating recounted
  • Blood depiction
  • Murder
  • Fire
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Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Agnieszka loves her valley home, her quiet village, the forests and the bright shining river. But the corrupted wood stands on the border, full of malevolent power, and its shadow lies over her life.

Her people rely on the cold, ambitious wizard, known only as the Dragon, to keep the wood’s powers at bay. But he demands a terrible price for his help: one young woman must be handed over to serve him for ten years, a fate almost as terrible as being lost to the wood.

The next choosing is fast approaching, and Agnieszka is afraid. She knows – everyone knows – that the Dragon will take beautiful, graceful, brave Kasia, her dearest friend in the world. There is no way to save her. But no one can predict how or why the Dragon chooses a girl and when he comes, it is not Kasia he will take with him…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Attempted rape (on-page, detailed)
  • Cheating recounted
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy mentioned
  • Body horror
  • Minor physical injuries (burns)
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a mother & father mentioned
  • Murder
  • Knife violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
  • War themes & military violence
  • Graphic animal death
  • Animal attack

*Note: The main romance is between a seventeen-year-old girl and an immortal 100-(plus)-year-old man.

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Tilly and the Map of Stories by Anna James

Tilly & the Map of Stories by Anna James

Strange things are happening. A man comes into Pages Co looking for a book… then suddenly can’t remember it. Tilly and her family feel like the world is changing – but can’t quite put their finger on why.

Meanwhile, the Underwoods are expanding their control over bookwandering – and they still have their sights set on Tilly. Leaving the safety of the bookshop, Tilly heads to America to find the legendary Archivists and save bookwandering…

… or at least, that’s the plan. Wandering in layers of story, Tilly and her friend Oskar come up against dangers they could never have expected, team up with an unexpectedly familiar face, and ultimately find themselves taking on the biggest threat to stories there has ever been – with only their courage and ingenuity to help them. As well as some of their dearest fictional friends…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Kidnapping
  • Fire
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The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste

He’ll slice your flesh. Your bones he’ll keep. What if the figure that haunted your childhood nightmares was real?

Twenty years ago, four teenagers entered the woods, hoping to find to the supposed home of the Bone Keeper. Only three returned. Now, a woman is found wandering the streets, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper. Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince skeptical colleagues that this evil urban myth might be flesh and blood. But when a body is unearthed, the case takes on a much darker tone…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a family member
  • Murder
  • Home invasion
  • Fire
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Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis book cover

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn’t leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Rape, implied and recounted
  • Attempted rape
  • Forced sex work, off-page
  • Child abuse
  • Toxic relationship
  • Intimate partner violence, implied and recounted
  • Suicide, on-page
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Medicinal drug use
  • Pregnancy
  • Childbirth complications, on-page
  • Stillbirth, on-page
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Physical illness, specifically cholera, seizures and fever
  • Field surgery
  • Serious illness of a loved one
  • Syringes and needles
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a father
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Gun and knife violence
  • Torture
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping
  • Blackmail
  • Fire
  • Drought
  • Death from stavation
  • Death from dehydration
  • Death from exposure
  • Mild war themes
  • Ex-soldier, side-character
  • Animal death, on-page
  • Death of a pet
  • Animal cruelty
  • Hunting
  • Animal dead bodies
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Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels

Bad Call by Stephen Wallenfels

During a late-night poker game, tennis teammates Colin, Ceo, Grahame, and Rhody make a pact to go on a camping trip in Yosemite National Park. And poker vows can’t be broken.

So the first sign that they should ditch the plan is when Rhody backs out and replaces him with a girl Grahame and Colin have never even heard of. Instead of bailing, they decide to take the treacherous Snow Creek Falls Trail to the top of Yosemite Valley. From there, the bad decisions really pile up.

And then one of them doesn’t make it back to the tent. Desperate to survive while piecing together what happened, the remaining hikers must decide who to trust.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fire
  • Blizzard
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The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw book cover

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Slut-shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Sexual assault, specifically non-consensual kiss
  • Rape by coercion*
  • Unspecified mental health/illness
  • Suicide discussed and on-page
  • Self-sacrifice
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Physical injuries mentioned
  • Dead bodies
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a fiance
  • Death of a son
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning, central theme, multiple on-page occurrences and recounted scenes
  • Fire

*Main character lies to her love interest about her identity, leading them to have sex (on-page)

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The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor

Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse.

Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her.

Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene–though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives–and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attacks
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of parents
  • Fire mentioned
  • War themes
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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas; the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Parental abandonment
  • Cheating
  • Alcoholism & recreational drug use
  • Dieting
  • Abortion & miscarriage
  • Death of a parent
  • Stroke
  • Drowning
  • Fire
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The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

The Conductors by Nicole Glover book cover

As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Hetty Rhodes helped usher dozens of people north with her wits and magic. Now that the Civil War is over, Hetty and her husband Benjy have settled in Philadelphia, solving murders and mysteries that the white authorities won’t touch. When they find one of their friends slain in an alley, Hetty and Benjy bury the body and set off to find answers. But the secrets and intricate lies of the elites of Black Philadelphia only serve to dredge up more questions. To solve this mystery, they will have to face ugly truths all around them, including the ones about each other.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Colourism
  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Infertility themes
  • Miscarriage, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Scars
  • Physical injury, including burns
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a son
  • Disappearance of a sister
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Incarceration, mentioned
  • Slavery
  • Captivity
  • Human trafficking
  • Hanging/lynching, implied
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