The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child trafficking
  • Rape, implied
  • Suicide
  • Forced pregnancy
  • Genital mutilation mentioned
  • Murder of a child
  • Torture mentioned
  • Drowning
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At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen book cover

After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind.

To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war.

Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants.

The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse, both physical and psychological
  • Gaslighting by a spouse
  • Medical abuse
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Death of a child
  • War and war wounds
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The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman book cover

Lost in a new world, Lyra finds Will—a boy on the run, a murderer—a worthy and welcome ally. For this is a world where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and witches share the skies with troops of angels.

Each is searching—Lyra for the meaning of Dark Matter, Will for his missing father—but what they find instead is a deadly secret, a knife of untold power. And neither Lyra nor Will suspects how tightly their lives, their loves, and their destinies are bound together… until they are split apart.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Genital mutilation mentioned
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I Am Change by Suzy Zail

I Am Change by Suzy Zail

They told her that her body belonged to men and her mind didn’t matter. They were wrong.

“What if I don’t want to marry?” Lillian held her breath. She had never said the words out loud. “Not want to marry?” Her aunt frowned. “What else would you do?”

Set in a Ugandan village, Lilian has learned to shrink herself to fit other people’s ideas of what a girl is. In her village a girl is not meant to be smarter than her brother. A girl is not meant to go to school or enjoy her body or decide who to marry. Especially if she is poor.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Domestic violence
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Poverty themes
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Criminal by Karin Slaughter

Criminal by Karin Slaughter

A woman is found brutally murdered in a sordid Atlanta apartment.

Her blood-soaked body bears a chilling similarity to a woman found dead almost 40 years earlier.

Soon Special Agent Will Trent finds himself returning to the home he grew up in, and a past that could hold the clue to the killings…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist slurs
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Misogyny
  • Rape
  • Murder
  • Torture
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A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

A Faint Cold Fear by Karin Slaughter

Sara Linton, medical examiner in the small town of Heartsdale, is called out to an apparent suicide on the local college campus. The mutilated body provides little in the way of clues – and the college authorities are keen to avoid a scandal – but for Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver, things don’t add up.

Two more suspicious suicides follow, and a young woman is brutally attacked. For Sara, the violence strikes far too close to home. And as Jeffrey pursues the sadistic killer, he discovers that ex-police detective Lena Adams, now a security guard on campus, may be in possession of crucial information. But, bruised and angered by her expulsion from the force, Lena seems to be barely capable of protecting herself, let alone saving the next victim…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Domestic abuse
  • Abusive relationship
  • Drug use
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Death of a child
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
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Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

Kisscut by Karin Slaughter

When a teenage quarrel in the small town of Heartsdale explodes into a deadly shoot-out, Sara Linton – paediatrician and medical examiner – finds herself entangled in a horrific tragedy. And what seems at first to be a terrible but individual catastrophe proves to have wider implications when the autopsy reveals evidence of long-term abuse and ritualistic self-mutilation.

Sara and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver start to investigate, but the children surrounding the victim close ranks. The families turn their backs. Then a young girl is abducted, and it becomes clear that the first death is linked to an even more brutal crime. And unless Sara and Jeffrey can uncover the deadly secrets the children hide, it’s going to happen again…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Rape
  • Paedophilia & child pornography
  • Incest
  • Suicide
  • Self harm
  • Female genital mutilation
  • Death of an infant & child
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping
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Darksoul by Anna Stephens

Darksoul by Anna Stephens

The Wolves lie dead beside Rilpor’s soldiers, slaughtered at the hands of the Mireces and their fanatical army. The veil that once kept the Red Gods at bay has been left in tatters as the Dark Lady’s plans for the world come to fruition. Where the gods walk, blood is spilled on the earth.

All that stands between the Mireces army and complete control of the Kingdom of Rilpor are the walls of its capital, Rilporin, and those besieged inside. But hope might yet bloom in the unlikeliest of places: in the heart of a former slave, in the mind of a soldier with the eyes of a fox, and in the hands of a general destined to be king.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Rape & attempted rape
  • Torture
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Godblind by Anna Stephens

Godblind by Anna Stephens

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.

Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbours deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Rape & attempted rape
  • Sexual assault of a minor
  • Genital mutilation
  • Graphic torture
  • War themes
  • Animal death
  • Animal injury
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Habibi by Craig Thompson

Habibi by Craig Thompson

Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth—and frailty—of their connection.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery
  • Racism
  • Rape & statutory rape
  • Paedophilia
  • Forced sex work
  • Pregnancy from rape
  • Forced pregnancy
  • Drug use
  • Genital mutilation
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