Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby

Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby

Growing up in the Cinzio Traveling Players circus, Genevieve Flannery is accustomed to a life most teenagers could never imagine. Her mother Delia’s ghostly hallucinations never seemed all that strange . . . until the evening Geni and her mother are performing an aerial routine they’ve done hundreds of times, and Delia falls to her death.

That night, a dark curtain in Geni’s life opens. Everything has changed. As they reel from the tragedy, the Cinzio Traveling Players are also grappling with the circus’s new owner: a generous, mysterious man whose connection to the circus—Geni suspects—has a dark history. And suddenly, Geni is stumbling into a new reality of her own, her life interrupted daily by the terrors only Delia used to see.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language,
  • Fatmisia & body shaming
  • Domestic violence mentioned
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Death of a mother
  • Murder
  • Torture mentioned
  • Car accident
  • Imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Animal cruelty
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A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

A Wish in the Dark by Christian Soontornvat

All light in Chattana is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Death of a parent mentioned
  • Building collapse
  • Near-drowning incident
  • Fire
  • Imprisonment
  • Bullying
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Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

In 1919, Ada Navarra—the intrepid daughter of immigrants—and Corinne Wells—a spunky, devil-may-care heiress—make an unlikely pair. But at the Cast Iron nightclub in Boston, anything and everything is possible. At night, on stage together, the two best friends, whose “afflicted” blood gives them the ability to create illusions through art, weave magic under the employ of Johnny Dervish, the club’s owner and a notorious gangster. By day, Ada and Corinne use these same skills to con the city’s elite in an attempt to keep the club afloat.

When a “job” goes awry and Ada is imprisoned, she realizes they’re on the precipice of danger. Only Corinne—her partner in crime—can break her out of Haversham Asylum. But once Ada is out, they face betrayal at every turn.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Murder
  • Torture
  • Police brutality
  • Imprisonment of a parent
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Thanks a Lot Universe by Chad Lucas

Thanks a Lot, Universe by Chad Lucas

Brian has always been anxious, whether at home, or in class, or on the basketball court. His dad tries to get him to stand up for himself and his mom helps as much as she can, but after he and his brother are placed in foster care, Brian starts having panic attacks. And he doesn’t know if things will ever be “normal” again . . .

Ezra’s always been popular. He’s friends with most of the kids on his basketball team—even Brian, who usually keeps to himself. But now, some of his friends have been acting differently, and Brian seems to be pulling away. Ezra wants to help, but he worries if he’s too nice to Brian, his friends will realize that he has a crush on him . . .

But when Brian and his brother run away, Ezra has no choice but to take the leap and reach out.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted suicide by overdose
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Hospitalisation
  • Incarceration of a parent
  • Death of a parent from cancer mentioned
  • Bullying
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The Block by Ben Oliver

The Block by Ben Oliver

Luka in a prisoner once again. But this time it’s a fate worse than death. In the Block, he must toggle between enduring an Energy Harvest for twelve hours of the day and surviving complete immobilization. The only semblance of relief is the Sane Zone, created to keep prisoners from going completely mad. In this virtual reality, the prisoners live out their fantasies of life outside. But for Luka, it’s different.

Happy is determined to find out the location of his friends, who disappeared after the Battle of Midway Park. But can Luka battle the descent into madness long enough to stop Happy’s manipulation tactics and keep his friends’ location safe?… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide
  • Drug use
  • Imprisonment
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Antigen by RA Steffan

Antigen by R.A. Steffan

Ryder isn’t a stupid woman, and she knows better than to volunteer for things. Volunteering always gets you into trouble. So it’s really no surprise when her undercover operation to retrieve Temple Akenzua from the belly of a Regime prison goes tits-up in fairly short order.

With Ryder stuck on the wrongs side of the bars, the rescue mission has now become a mission of survival. Her only hope—and Temple’s—lies with her comrades in the Shadow Wing. Ryder just needs to stay alive until they come up with a plan.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Imprisonment
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The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California.

Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic & child physical abuse
  • Stillbirth
  • Starvation
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a child mentioned
  • Murder
  • Imprisonment
  • Graphic animal death
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Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.

But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona’s powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Amputation recounted
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Murder
  • Explosion
  • Gun violence
  • Electrocution
  • Torture
  • Poisoning
  • Fire
  • Imprisonment
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Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language
  • Racial discrimination
  • Sexual assault, specifically nonconsensual kissing and unwanted touching
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Body horror
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Coma-like state
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a stepmother
  • Death of parents
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a partner
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Mass murder
  • Physical assault
  • Explosions
  • Gun violence
  • Imprisonment
  • War themes
  • Bullying
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Undying by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Undying by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner book cover

Sixteen-year-old Maguire knows the universe is against her. No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when she’s around. Like that time the roller coaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or the time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash–and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

Despite what her therapist tells her, Maguire thinks it’s best to hide out in her room, far away from anyone she might accidentally hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star who wants to help her break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for him is to stay away, but it turns out staying away might be harder than she thought.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language
  • Cheating recounted, secondary character
  • Panic attack/s
  • Attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosions
  • Kidnapping
  • Captivity
  • Hostage situation
  • Incarceration
  • Fire
  • War themes
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