A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance—so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who’s grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Amputation
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a family member
  • Car accident
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100 Hours by Rachel Vincent

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent

Maddie is beyond done with her cousin Genesis’s entitled and shallow entourage. Genesis is so over Miami’s predictable social scene with its velvet ropes, petty power plays, and backstabbing boyfriends. While Maddie craves family time for spring break, Genesis seeks novelty—like a last-minute getaway to an untouched beach in Colombia. And when Genesis wants something, it happens.

But paradise has its price. Dragged from their tents under the cover of dark, Genesis, Maddie, and their friends are kidnapped and held for ransom deep inside the jungle—with no diva left behind. It all feels so random to everyone except Genesis. She knows they were targeted for a reason. And that reason is her.

Now, as the hours count down, only one thing’s for certain: If the Miami hostages can’t thwart their captors’ plan, no one will make it out alive.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut shaming
  • Fat-shaming & body-shaming
  • Statutory sexual assault
  • Abusive relationship
  • Substance addiction recovery
  • Suicide attempt
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood depiction & physical injuries
  • Needles
  • Emesis
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a parent
  • Dearth of a brother
  • Death of a cousin
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Murder
  • Explosions
  • Psychological torture
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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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Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire

When her sister Patty died, Jenna blamed herself. When Jenna died, she blamed herself for that, too. Unfortunately Jenna died too soon. Living or dead, every soul is promised a certain amount of time, and when Jenna passed she found a heavy debt of time in her record. Unwilling to simply steal that time from the living, Jenna earns every day she leeches with volunteer work at a suicide prevention hotline.

But something has come for the ghosts of New York, something beyond reason, beyond death, beyond hope; something that can bind ghosts to mirrors and make them do its bidding. Only Jenna stands in its way.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide*
  • Suicidal ideation*
  • Grief depiction
  • Death themes
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a husband
  • Death of a daughter
  • Murder
  • Loss of autonomy
  • Death of pet/s, specifically cats

*Main character works at a suicide hotline

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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 View on the Way Down by Rebecca Wait

The View on the Way Down by Rebecca Wait

This novel is the story of Emma’s two brothers: the one who died five years ago, and the one who left home on the day of the funeral and never came back. It is the story of Emma’s parents, who have been keeping the truth from her, and from each other. It is the story of Emma herself, caught in the middle and trying to work out how everything fell apart.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide (on-page & theme)
  • Attempted suicide
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal book cover

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Misogyny
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Dead bodies
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a cousin
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Imprisonment and captivity
  • Blackmail
  • Kidnapping
  • War themes discussed
  • Animal death
  • Hunting
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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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Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor

The day Fatima forgot her name, Death paid a visit. From hereon in she would be known as Sankofa­­–a name that meant nothing to anyone but her, the only tie to her family and her past.

Her touch is death, and with a glance a town can fall. And she walks–alone, except for her fox companion–searching for the object that came from the sky and gave itself to her when the meteors fell and when she was yet unchanged; searching for answers.

But is there a greater purpose for Sankofa, now that Death is her constant companion?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child abuse
  • Malaria
  • Body horror
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a family member
  • Gun violence
  • Animal death
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In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Teen pregnancy recounted
  • Abortion recounted
  • Hospital
  • Blood depiction & physical injuries
  • Serious injury to a loved one
  • Forced hospitalisation
  • Scars
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a fiancé
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Car accident
  • Animal hunting mentioned

*Note: Adult-minor relationship & statutory rape briefly mentioned.

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