All Boys Aren’t Blue

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 Book Depository

Trigger & Content Warnings:

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

This post uses an affiliate link.

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.

GoodreadsThe Book Depository

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.

This post uses an affiliate link.

Ace of Shadows

Ace of Shadows by Amanda Foody

Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.

Frightened and alone, Enne has only one lead: the name Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and a con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.

Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…

And she’ll need to play.

GoodreadsThe Book Depository

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Paeodphilia*
  • Minor blood depiction & burns
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a friend in a fire
  • Murder mentioned & graphic on-page scenes
  • Reigicide
  • Torture
  • Physical assault & physical violence
  • Poisoning
  • Bullying

*The villian is an adult man with a fetish for young girls; the only on-page sexual assault is unwanted touching, however.

This post uses an affiliate link.

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.

GoodreadsThe Book Depository

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

This post uses an affiliate link.