All the Ways Home

All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman

Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it.

After losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano–now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family–developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out.

Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he’s on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there’s a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he’s willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone–including himself.

This is a book about what home means to us—and that there are many different correct answers.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Car accident recounted

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All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Suicide & attempted suicide (central theme)*
  • Suicidal ideation (central theme)
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a boyfriend
  • Car accident
  • Death by drowning

*The main character dies by suicide at the end of book.

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Wicked Fox

Gumiho: Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

Eighteen-year-old Gu Miyoung has a secret. She’s a gumiho–a nine-tailed fox who survives by consuming the energy of men. But she’s also half-human and has a soft spot for people. So she won’t kill indiscriminately. With the help of a shaman, Miyoung only takes the lives of men who have committed terrible crimes. Devouring their life force is a morbid kind of justice… or so she tells herself.

But killing men no one would ever miss in bustling modern-day Seoul also helps Miyoung keep a low profile. She and her mother protect themselves by hiding in plain sight. That is until Miyoung crosses paths with a handsome boy her age as he’s being attacked by a goblin in the woods. She breaks her mother’s cardinal rule–revealing herself and her nine tails–to save Jihoon from certain death. In the process, she loses her fox bead–her gumiho soul. Without it, she will die.

When Miyoung and Jihoon next meet, there’s no doubt they are drawn to each other. But their tenuous romance could be over before it even begins, as Miyoung’s efforts to restore her fox bead by the next full moon ensnares them in a generations-old feud, forcing Miyoung to choose between her immortal life and Jihoon’s.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Classism
  • Ableist language
  • Physical, emotional & verbal parental abuse
  • Parental neglect & abandonment
  • Nightmares
  • Suicide discussed and suicide attempt
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pregnancy mentioned
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Serious injury to a loved one
  • Seizures (on-page multiple scenes)
  • Coma (sc)
  • Hospital (setting)
  • Medical procedures, including blood tests & surgery mentioned
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother (on-page)
  • Death of a grandmother (on-page)
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Physical assault
  • Attempted infanticide recounted
  • Hostage situation
  • Drowning recounted
  • Loss of autonomy (central theme)*
  • Bullying

*The main character is a gumiho and when someone possesses her fox bead, they can control her actions and force her to follow their instructions.

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Here Lie the Secrets

Here Lie the Secrets by Emma Young

Mia’s best friend Holly died when they were thirteen. But years later, Holly still hasn’t left her.

Spending the summer in New York, Mia is hoping to escape the visions of Holly that haunt her life at home. There she meets Rav, a parapsychology student, who convinces her to take part in a study into why some people see ghosts. Soon she is caught up in the investigation of Halcyon House, which is reputed to be haunted by a poltergeist. As Mia confronts her fears, what she learns about the house and herself will change her life forever.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic abuse & violence
  • Child abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Visual hallucinations
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a friend recounted
  • Bullying mentioned

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A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom.

But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck. Grief-stricken, Karina decides to resurrect her mother through ancient magic . . . requiring the beating heart of a king. And she knows just how to obtain one: by offering her hand in marriage to the victor of the Solstasia competition.

When Malik rigs his way into the contest, they are set on a course to destroy each other. But as attraction flares between them and ancient evils stir, will they be able to see their tasks to the death?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language
  • Racism and racial slurs (fictional race)
  • Colonialism themes
  • Refugee experiences
  • Riots and stampede
  • Police brutality
  • Emotional child abuse
  • Physical child & parental abuse
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Anxiety (mc)
  • Panic attacks (multiple, described in detail op)
  • Hallucinations
  • Depersonalisation and derealization
  • Self-harm and self-harm ideation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Emesis (multiple)
  • Blood depiction
  • Grief depiction (central theme)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother (op)
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death in a fire recounted
  • Hostage situation
  • Kidnapping and attempted kidnapping
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Regicide
  • Whipping (of feet) mentioned
  • Animal cruelty
  • Animal death (including animal sacrifice)

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All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut-shaming
  • Unhealthy food thoughts, dieting and minor body shaming
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Suicide (on-page)
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Blood depiction and physical injuries
  • Serious injury of a loved one
  • Hospital
  • Needles
  • Surgery
  • Comas
  • Emesis
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of both parents
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture & pyschological torture
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Incarceration
  • Fire

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language
  • Sexism
  • Sexual assault (on-page) & rape threats
  • Cheating recounted
  • Nightmares
  • Suicide (multiple accounts recounted)
  • Suicide attempt (on-page, discussed & recounted)
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood and gore depiction, and dead bodies
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Terminal cancer and death from cancer (protagonist’s mother)
  • Amputation recounted
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother (op)
  • Death of a sister & father recounted
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Physical assailt
  • Graphic torture (multiple scenes)
  • Gun violence
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Kidnapping & attempted kidnapping
  • Death from a fall recounted
  • Death from drowning recounted
  • War themes, including battle scenes
  • Attempted regicide
  • Poverty themes & debt collection discussed

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All the Stars and Teeth

All the Stars and the Teeth by Adalyn Grace

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Arranged marriage
  • Physical and emotional domestic abuse recounted (chapter 29)
  • Cheating discussed
  • Attempted sexual assault recounted (in chapter 19)
  • Forced sex work recounted
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide (on-page)
  • Self-harm and self-injury
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father (on-page)
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies & body parts
  • Graphic autopsy
  • Dismemberment and amputation
  • Graphic dental torture and general teeth-related warning
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis
  • Cannibalism
  • Murder (on-page) and attempted murder
  • Torture (on-page)
  • Poisoning
  • Imprisonment
  • Drowning
  • War & rebellion themes
  • Animal abuse/torture (brief scene in chapter 29)
  • Alcohol consumption

The author, Adalyn Grace, provided a detailed breakdown of content warnings here.

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Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks… and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate.

Until he does. Until they turn into far more than teacher and student. Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blackmail
  • Cheating
  • Death of both parents in a car accident (chapter one)
  • Grief depiction
  • Slut shaming
  • Teacher-student relationship*

*Relationship between an 18 year old girl and a 25 year old man.

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.

It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you?”

But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King’s friendship with Sandy is reignited, he’s forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother’s death.

Trigger Warnings

  • Animal death
  • Child abuse
  • Coming out themes
  • Death from a heart attack mentioned
  • Death of a brother recounted
  • Death of a child recounted
  • Death of a son recounted
  • Domestic abuse mentioned
  • Emotional child abuse
  • Grief depiction (central theme)
  • Hate crimes mentioned
  • Homomisia & internalised homomisia (central theme)
  • Homomisic language and homomisic slurs
  • Murder mentioned
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Police brutality mentioned
  • Physical child abuse (sc)
  • Racism, racist language, and racial slurs
  • Recreational drug use mentioned
  • Toxic masculinity discussed
  • White supremacy discussed

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