Coffee Boy

Coffee Boy by Austin Chant

After graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.

Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Transmisia & misgendering
  • Dysphoria mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption

Note: The main character kisses the love interest when he is drunk.

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All of This Is True

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Miri Tan loved the book Undertow like it was a living being. So when she and her friends went to a book signing to meet the author, Fatima Ro, they concocted a plan to get close to her, even if her friends won’t admit it now. As for Jonah, well—Miri knows none of that was Fatima’s fault.

Soleil Johnston wanted to be a writer herself one day. When she and her friends started hanging out with her favorite author, Fatima Ro, she couldn’t believe their luck—especially when Jonah Nicholls started hanging out with them, too. Now, looking back, Soleil can’t believe she let Fatima manipulate her and Jonah like that. She can’t believe that she got used for a book.

Penny Panzarella was more than the materialistic party girl everyone at the Graham School thought she was. She desperately wanted Fatima Ro to see that, and she saw her chance when Fatima asked the girls to be transparent with her. If only she’d known what would happen when Fatima learned Jonah’s secret. If only she’d known that the line between fiction and truth was more complicated than any of them imagined. . . .

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault

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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.

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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

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Just Mercy

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.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism, racial discrimination, & use of the n word
  • Ableism & r slur
  • Classism
  • Conversion therapy
  • Graphic domestic & parental abuse
  • Slavery and forced labour
  • Graphic rape & prison rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Paedophilia & child sexual assault
  • Incest
  • Alcoholism & substance addiction
  • PTSD
  • Depression
  • Suicide
  • Self-harm
  • Miscarriage
  • Infertility themes
  • Blood & gore depiction, and 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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Damsel

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

The rite has existed for as long as anyone can remember: when the prince-who-will-be-king comes of age, he must venture out into the gray lands, slay a fierce dragon, and rescue a damsel to be his bride. This is the way things have always been.

When Ama wakes in the arms of Prince Emory, however, she knows none of this. She has no memory of what came before she was captured by the dragon, or what horrors she has faced in its lair. She knows only this handsome prince, the story he tells of her rescue, and her destiny to sit on the throne beside him. Ama comes with Emory back to the kingdom of Harding, hailed as the new princess, welcomed to the court.

However, as soon as her first night falls, she begins to realize that not all is as it seems, that there is more to the legends of the dragons and the damsels than anyone knows–and that the greatest threats to her life may not be behind her, but here, in front of her. 

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Graphic sexual assault
  • Graphic rape & rape threats
  • Bestiality
  • Physical & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Suicide
  • Graphic self-harm
  • Grey-area cheating
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Imprisonment
  • Graphic animal abuse & animal cruelty

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Hollow

Hollow by Rhonda Parrish

A car accident shattered sixteen-year-old Morgan’s family. Now her brother’s dead, her mom’s paralyzed in more ways than one, her dad lives at work and her seven-year-old sister Amy tries too freaking hard to salvage everything. What’s more, high school is its own special kind of hell, where her ex-boyfriend delights in spreading rumors that shred her reputation and make her feel like a loser.

When she finds an old camera in a creepy abandoned hospital, it seems like her luck is finally changing. And it is changing–from bad to worse. Because of course it is. Each time Morgan photographs one of her classmates they become corrupted versions of themselves. It’s like the camera steals their goodness, their essence, and leaves them hollow.

Then her sister uses the camera to take a selfie.

No matter what the cost, Morgan will find a way to reverse the effects of the cursed camera and save Amy, before her already-fractured family completely self-destructs

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape & sexual assault (on & off page)
  • Depression
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a child
  • Car accident recounted

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Again, But Better

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Sexual assault (unwanted kiss)
  • Cheating & grey-area cheating

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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.

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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

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All the Stars and Teeth

All the Stars and the Teeth by Adalyn Grace

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Arranged marriage
  • Physical and emotional domestic abuse recounted (chapter 29)
  • Cheating discussed
  • Attempted sexual assault recounted (in chapter 19)
  • Forced sex work recounted
  • Hallucinations
  • Suicide (on-page)
  • Self-harm and self-injury
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a father (on-page)
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies & body parts
  • Graphic autopsy
  • Dismemberment and amputation
  • Graphic dental torture and general teeth-related warning
  • Physical injuries
  • Emesis
  • Cannibalism
  • Murder (on-page) and attempted murder
  • Torture (on-page)
  • Poisoning
  • Imprisonment
  • Drowning
  • War & rebellion themes
  • Animal abuse/torture (brief scene in chapter 29)
  • Alcohol consumption

The author, Adalyn Grace, provided a detailed breakdown of content warnings here.

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Aya, Vol. 3: The Secrets Come Out by Various

Written by Marguerite Abouet and illustrated by Clément Oubrerie

Aya has captured the hearts of North American readers of all ages for the rare portrait it paints of a vibrant, happy, bourgeois Ivory Coast in the 1970s, based upon Marguerite Abouet’s youth in Yop City. Not only is Aya complemented with Clément Oubrerie’s gorgeous artwork, but the volumes also offer a slice-of-life peek into African culture: complete with recipes, glossaries, and wardrobe instructions for turning one’s pagne (brightly colored fabric) into a skirt, head wrap, or baby carrier. Engaging and fun, the universal stories in Aya provide a much-needed context for today’s heartbreaking news stories.

Trigger Warnings

  • Graphic attempted rape
  • Sexual assault

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