The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Cultural appropriation, specifically Native American culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, verbal & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Rape, statutory rape & rape of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Pregnancy, result of rape & incest
  • Forced estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating (bingeing)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Female genital mutilation mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Lynching recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of an infant

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned by her single mother that the world was a dark and scary place. Having married into a family with wealth and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of: a loving lawyer husband, two talented teenage daughters, a new baby boy, a gorgeous home, and every opportunity in the world.

Until the day she awakens and sees an old gray-haired woman peering into her bedroom window who vanishes as quickly as she appears. She spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daugh­ters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow.

To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price, making her complicit in a tangled web of tragedy and shocking secrets that could destroy everything she loves.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut shaming
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Nonconsensual pornography
  • Substance addiction
  • Overdose
  • Graphic murder & threats of murder of babies
  • Murder of a baby by drowning
  • Child abduction
  • Blackmail
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Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be alright.

Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.

Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget. He has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical, emotional & verbal parental abuse
  • Incest (half-siblings)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Amnesia
  • Hospital
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Overdose mentioned
  • Bullying
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The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Esther Ann Hicks—Essie—is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She’s grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family’s fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie’s mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show’s producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia’s? Or do they try to arrange a marriage—and a ratings-blockbuster wedding?

Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media—through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell—Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom? 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia mentioned
  • Racism mentioned
  • Child sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Teen pregnancy
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The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin book cover

A groundbreaking work of science fiction, The Left Hand of Darkness tells the story of a lone human emissary to Winter, an alien world whose inhabitants can change their gender. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the completely dissimilar culture that he encounters. Embracing the aspects of psychology, society, and human emotion on an alien world, The Left Hand of Darkness stands as a landmark achievement in the annals of intellectual science fiction.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Adult incest, mythological and recounted
  • Intimate partner murder, mythological
  • Death by gunshot
  • Police arrest and interrogation
  • Imprisonment in a labour camp
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The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals from its war wounds, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julian Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Incest
  • Pregnancy & childbirth
  • Stillbirth
  • Police brutality
  • Gun violence
  • Murder
  • Torture
  • Fire
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My Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

My Sisters Grimm by Menna van Praag

As children, Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea dreamed of a strange otherworld: a nightscape of mists and fog, lit by an unwavering moon. Here, in this shadowland of Everwhere, the four half-sisters connected by blood and magic, began to nurture their elemental powers together. But at thirteen, the sisters were ripped from Everwhere and separated. Now, five years later, they search for one another and yearn to rediscover their unique and supernatural strengths. Goldie (earth) manipulates plants and gives life. Liyana (water) controls rivers and rain. Scarlet (fire) has electricity at her fingertips. Bea (air) can fly.

To realize their full potential, the blood sisters must return to the land of their childhood dreams. But Everwhere can only be accessed through certain gates at 3:33 A.M. on the night of a new moon. As Goldie, Liyana, Scarlet, and Bea are beset with the challenges of their earthly lives, they must prepare for a battle that lies ahead. On their eighteenth birthday, they will be subjected to a gladiatorial fight with their father’s soldiers. If they survive, they will face their father who will let them live only if they turn dark. Which would be fair, if only the sisters knew what was coming.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatphobia and body shaming
  • Slut shaming
  • Racism
  • Child abuse
  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Sexual abuse and sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Depression & suicidal ideation
  • Self harm
  • Blood depiction and physical injuries
  • Dementia

*Relationships between a 17-year-old girl and a 28-year-old man.

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The Project by Courtney Summers

The Project by Courtney Summers

The Project by Courtney Summers book cover

Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying—and failing—to prove it.

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its leader, Lev Warren and as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her—to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Grooming and incestuous child sexual abuse (implied)
  • Parental abuse recounted, physical abuse and gaslighting
  • Panic attack/s and amnesia
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Death of a parent
  • Branding
  • Car crash and cults
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Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson

Meet Kate Malone – straight-A science and math geek, minister’s daughter, ace long-distance runner, new girlfriend (to Mitchell “Early Decision Harvard” Pangborn III), unwilling family caretaker, and emotional avoidance champion. Kate manages her life by organizing it as logically as the periodic table. She can handle it all – or so she thinks.

Then, things change as suddenly as a string of chemical reactions; first, the Malones’ neighbors get burned out of their own home and move in. Kate has to share her room with her nemesis, Teri Litch, and Teri’s little brother. The days are ticking down and she’s still waiting to hear from the only college she applied to: MIT. Kate feels that her life is spinning out of her control – and then, something happens that truly blows it all apart.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape, implied paedophilia & child sexual abuse, and father-daughter incest
  • Child pregnancy & pregnancy from rape
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a child & brother
  • Fire & loss of property
  • Electrocution
  • Bullying
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Love Language

Love Language by Reese Morrison

Marco and Greg would both rather be anywhere than a kink club on Valentine’s Day. Marco doesn’t have the patience to speech-read in a hearing crowd. And Greg is still mourning his Sir who passed away three years ago.

But when Greg steps in to explain something in ASL, Marco can’t stop thinking about the light he sees in those sad eyes. Strong, older, fluent in sign language, and sweetly submissive, Greg is exactly Marco’s type. Even if Greg isn’t ready for another relationship yet, Marco isn’t ready to let him go.

Greg thought that he would never want to date someone again. But as painful as it is to admit, he’s starting to feel like it might be time. Marco is like no one he’s never met. Small, twink-ish, over a decade younger, and a Daddy, he isn’t at all what Greg imagined in a Dom. Yet he’s undeniably attracted to his care and control, even after Marco reveals that he’s transgender. Slipping into ASL, the language of his childhood, Greg wonders if he might have a second chance at love.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Transmisia
  • Consensual non-consensual kink & on-page sex scenes, including incest play
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a partner recounted

Note: Love Language is a BDSM erotica that includes sex scenes of pain play, degradation (including verbal abuse), and public humiliation.

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