Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist book cover

It is autumn 1981 when the inconceivable comes to Blackeberg, a suburb in Sweden. The body of a teenage boy is found, emptied of blood, the murder rumored to be part of a ritual killing. Twelve-year-old Oskar is personally hoping that revenge has come at long last—revenge for the bullying he endures at school, day after day.

But the murder is not the most important thing on his mind. A new girl has moved in next door—a girl who has never seen a Rubik’s Cube before, but who can solve it at once. There is something wrong with her, though, something odd. And she only comes out at night….

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Paedophilia
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Scars
  • Emesis
  • Cancer mentioned
  • Death of a child
  • Murder
  • Fire
  • Animal cruelty
  • Bullying
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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.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Paedophilia & child sexual abuse
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Child pregnancy
  • Pregnancy from rape
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a brother
  • Fire & loss of property
  • Electrocution
  • Bullying
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The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson

The daughter of a union with an outsider that cast her once-proud family into disgrace, Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol and lead a life of submission, devotion and absolute conformity, like all the women in the settlement.

But a chance mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood that surrounds Bethel – a place where the first prophet once pursued and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still walking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the diary of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realises the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her . . .

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Misogyny
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Rape & statutory rape recounted
  • Paedophilia & child molestation recounted
  • Forced nonconsensual marriage*
  • Exile & ex-communication
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Suicide recounted
  • Self-harm & self-inflicted injuries
  • Pregnancy & child pregnancy (secondary character)
  • Death from childbirth (two on-page scenes), and mentions of miscarriage & stillbirth
  • Graphic blood depiction & menstruation discussed
  • Plague (multiple)
  • Seizures & stroke (side character)
  • Nonconsensual branding
  • Emesis
  • Death of a mother & father recounted
  • Death of a son recounted
  • Death of a best friend (on-page)
  • Strangulation
  • Drowning
  • Being burned alive
  • Earthquake
  • Imprisonment & captivity
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Animal death & sacrifice

Note: This book portrays a cult which uses its beliefs to justify abuse, torture, misogyny, racism & paedophilia, including the marriage, rape (‘bedding’) & impregnation of multiple children (not graphic or on-page, but mentioned & discussed by secondary characters).

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King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo book cover

The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war–and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, Nikolai must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha general, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fatmisia and slavery
  • Sexual assault (implied)
  • Paedophilia
  • Substance addiction
  • Suicide
  • Drug abuse
  • Death of a loved one
  • Torture
  • Captivity
  • War themes
  • Bullying
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The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Persecution for witchcraft
  • Misogyny
  • Rape by coercion recounted & disccussed
  • Paedophilia mentioned
  • Sexual harassment
  • Aquaphobia & related anxiety attacks
  • Amnesia
  • Death of a mother mentioned
  • Death of a newborn son mentioned
  • Exile & banishment
  • Kidnapping
  • Military violence mentioned & recounted
  • Cave collapse
  • Animal death
  • Animal attack

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M Johnson

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

In a series of personal essays, prominent journalist and LGBTQIA+ activist George M. Johnson explores his childhood, adolescence, and college years in New Jersey and Virginia. From the memories of getting his teeth kicked out by bullies at age five, to flea marketing with his loving grandmother, to his first sexual relationships, this young-adult memoir weaves together the trials and triumphs faced by Black queer boys.

Both a primer for teens eager to be allies as well as a reassuring testimony for young queer men of color, All Boys Aren’t Blue covers topics such as gender identity, toxic masculinity, brotherhood, family, structural marginalization, consent, and Black joy. Johnson’s emotionally frank style of writing will appeal directly to young adults.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, racial slurs & anti-Blackness
  • Homomisia & homomisic slurs
  • Transmisia
  • Incestuous child molestation &and sexual assault, on-page
  • Trauma
  • Physical assault
  • Blood depiction
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Hospital
  • Cancer

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

The Accident Season by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

It’s the accident season, the same time every year. Bones break, skin tears, bruises bloom.

The accident season has been part of seventeen-year-old Cara’s life for as long as she can remember. Towards the end of October, foreshadowed by the deaths of many relatives before them, Cara’s family becomes inexplicably accident-prone. They banish knives to locked drawers, cover sharp table edges with padding, switch off electrical items – but injuries follow wherever they go, and the accident season becomes an ever-growing obsession and fear. But why are they so cursed? And how can they break free? 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Paedophilia & child sexual abuse
  • Parental abandonment & neglect
  • Child abuse
  • Physical, emotional & verbal intimate partner abuse, on-page
  • Depression (side character)
  • Trauma-related amnesia
  • Attempted suicide recounted
  • Self-harm
  • Graphic blood depiction and physical injuries
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of an infant recounted
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Murder and attempted murder recounted
  • Car accident
  • Fire
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After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott

After the Eclipse by Fran Dorricott

Two solar eclipses. Two missing girls.

Sixteen years ago a little girl was abducted during the darkness of a solar eclipse while her older sister Cassie was supposed to be watching her. She was never seen again. When a local girl goes missing just before the next big eclipse, Cassie – who has returned to her home town to care for her ailing grandmother – suspects the disappearance is connected to her sister: that whoever took Olive is still out there. But she needs to find a way to prove it, and time is running out.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child sexual abuse
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
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Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Ableism & ableist slurs (r slur)
  • Classism
  • Conversion therapy
  • Graphic domestic & parental abuse
  • Slavery and forced labour
  • Graphic rape & prison rape
  • Paedophilia & child sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Alcoholism & substance addiction
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Suicide & self-harm
  • Miscarriage & infertility themes
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic physical injuries
  • Starvation
  • Nonconsensual psychiatric hospitalisation
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a sibling
  • Death of an infant
  • Police brutality & violence
  • Murder & executions, including the execution of a child
  • Death in police custody and in prison
  • Graphic animal abuse
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes
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All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

All the Ugly & Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood

As the daughter of a meth dealer, Wavy knows not to trust people, not even her own parents. Struggling to raise her little brother, eight-year-old Wavy is the only responsible “adult” around. She finds peace in the starry Midwestern night sky above the fields behind her house. One night everything changes when she witnesses one of her father’s thugs, Kellen, a tattooed ex-con with a heart of gold, wreck his motorcycle. What follows is a powerful and shocking story that asks tough questions, reminding us of all the ugly and wonderful things that life has to offer

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Adult-minor relationship*
  • Paedophilia & grooming
  • Statutory rape
  • Parental abuse
  • Substance addiction
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Motorcycle accident

*Note: The story centres a romanticised sexual relationship between a 13-year-old girl and a 24-year-old man.

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