I Wish You All the Best

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben De Backer comes out to their parents as nonbinary, they’re thrown out of their house and forced to move in with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas, whom Ben has never even met. Struggling with an anxiety disorder compounded by their parents’ rejection, they come out only to Hannah, Thomas, and their therapist and try to keep a low profile in a new school.

But Ben’s attempts to survive the last half of senior year unnoticed are thwarted when Nathan Allan, a funny and charismatic student, decides to take Ben under his wing. As Ben and Nathan’s friendship grows, their feelings for each other begin to change, and what started as a disastrous turn of events looks like it might just be a chance to start a happier new life.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Coming out themes (multiple coming out scenes)
  • Disownment from queermisic parents
  • Misgendering
  • Transmisia
  • Homomisia
  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Slut-shaming recounted
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Physical, emotional & verbal parental abuse
  • Panic attacks (op) & anxiety
  • Depression & depressive episode
  • Body dysphoria
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Prescription drug use discussed
  • Pregnancy discussed
  • Emesis

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Noah Can’t Even

Noah Can’t Even by Simon James Green

Poor Noah Grimes!

His dad disappeared years ago, his mother’s Beyonce tribute act is an unacceptable embarrassment, and his beloved gran isn’t herself anymore. He only has one friend, Harry, and school is…Well, it’s pure HELL.

Why can’t Noah be normal, like everyone else at school? Maybe if he struck up a romantic relationship with someone – maybe Sophie, who is perfect and lovely – he’d be seen in a different light?

But Noah’s plans for romance are derailed when Harry kisses him at a party. That’s when things go from bad to worse utter chaos.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut shaming
  • Classism
  • Blackmail
  • Bullying

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The Silence of Bones

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

1800, Joseon (Korea). Homesick and orphaned sixteen-year-old Seol is living out the ancient curse: “May you live in interesting times.” Indentured to the police bureau, she’s been tasked with assisting a well-respected young inspector with the investigation into the politically charged murder of a noblewoman.

As they delve deeper into the dead woman’s secrets, Seol forms an unlikely bond of friendship with the inspector. But her loyalty is tested when he becomes the prime suspect, and Seol may be the only one capable of discovering what truly happened on the night of the murder.

But in a land where silence and obedience are valued above all else, curiosity can be deadly.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Religious persecution & hate crimes (central theme)
  • Misogyny and gendered slurs
  • Slut-shaming
  • Ableist language
  • Indentured servitude*
  • Sexual assault (unwanted touching) mentioned (chp 9)
  • Suicide, attempted suicide & suicidal ideation recounted and discussed (multiple times)
  • Suicide from a fall mentioned (chp 1)
  • Suicide from hanging mentioned (chp 16)
  • Alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Pregnancy & childbirth mentioned
  • Death of a baby and infanticide recounted
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Graphic dead bodies and autopsy scene
  • Graphic physical injuries, illness & wound descriptions
  • Mutilation**
  • Needles
  • Nonconsensual branding and resulting scars recounted
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother (on-page)
  • Death of a father recounted
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Death of a sister recounted
  • Death from starvation & exposure to the cold mentioned
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Regicide (off-page)
  • Torture (one on-page scene, otherwise discussed or recounted)
  • Kidnapping and hostage situation
  • Whipping mentioned (chp 3)
  • Police brutality and violence
  • Drowning mentioned and near-drowning incident
  • Animal attack (chp 2)
  • Animal injuries mentioned (chp 9)
  • Animal death, hunting, and animal butchering mentioned
  • Poverty themes

*The main character is an indentured servant to the police.

**The serial killer cuts the noses off their victims.

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After the Fire

After the Fire by Will Hill

The things I’ve seen are burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.

Before, she lived inside the fence. Before, she was never allowed to leave the property, never allowed to talk to Outsiders, never allowed to speak her mind. Because Father John controlled everything—and Father John liked rules. Disobeying Father John came with terrible consequences.

But there are lies behind Father John’s words. Outside, there are different truths.

Then came the fire.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut shaming
  • Misogyny
  • Child abuse & psychological abuse
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Fire

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All Our Yesterdays

All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Em is locked in a bare, cold cell with no comforts. Finn is in the cell next door. The Doctor is keeping them there until they tell him what he wants to know. Trouble is, what he wants to know hasn’t happened yet.

Em and Finn have a shared past, but no future unless they can find a way out. The present is torture – being kept apart, overhearing each other’s anguish as the Doctor relentlessly seeks answers. There’s no way back from here, to what they used to be, the world they used to know. Then Em finds a note in her cell which changes everything. It’s from her future self and contains some simple but very clear instructions. Em must travel back in time to avert a tragedy that’s about to unfold. Worse, she has to pursue and kill the boy she loves to change the future

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slut-shaming
  • Unhealthy food thoughts, dieting and minor body shaming
  • Nightmares and flashbacks
  • Suicide (on-page)
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Blood depiction and physical injuries
  • Serious injury of a loved one
  • Hospital
  • Needles
  • Surgery
  • Comas
  • Emesis
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of both parents
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Torture & pyschological torture
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & hostage situation
  • Incarceration
  • Fire

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Alias Grace

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

It’s 1843, and Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer and his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

An up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Fat shaming
  • Slut-shaming
  • Attempted rape
  • Domestic violence
  • Child abuse
  • Abortion and death due to a ‘backstreet’ abortion
  • Medical procedures
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder

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Act Like It

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Richard Troy used to be the hottest actor in London, but the only thing firing up lately is his temper. We all love to love a bad boy, but Richard’s antics have made him Enemy Number One, breaking the hearts of fans across the city.

Have the tides turned? Has English rose Lainie Graham made him into a new man?

Sources say the mismatched pair has been spotted at multiple events, arm in arm and hip to hip. From fits of jealousy to longing looks and heated whispers, onlookers are stunned by this blooming romance.

Could the rumors be right? Could this unlikely romance be the real thing? Or are these gifted stage actors playing us all?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide recounted
  • Cancer
  • Cheating*
  • Death of a sibling recounted
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Sexual assault
  • Sexism and slut-shaming discussed
  • Building collapse

*The main character has recently broken up with her boyfriend after finding out her cheated on her.

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Out on Good Behaviour

Out on Good Behaviour by Dahlia Adler

Frankie Bellisario knows she can get anyone she sets her sights on, but just because she can doesn’t mean she should—not when the person she’s eyeing is Samara Kazarian, the daughter of a southern Republican mayor. No matter how badly Frankie wants to test her powers of persuasion, even she recognizes some lines aren’t meant to be crossed.

But when Frankie learns she’s been on Samara’s mind too, the idea of hooking up with her grows too strong to resist. Only Sam’s not looking for a hookup; she wants—needs—the real thing, and she’s afraid she’ll never find it as long as Frankie’s in her head.

Forced to choose between her first relationship and losing the girl who’s been clawing her way under her skin, Frankie opts to try monogamy…under her own condition: 30 days of keeping things on the down low and remaining abstinent. If she fails as hard at girlfriending as she’s afraid she might, she doesn’t want to throw Samara’s life into upheaval for nothing. But when neither the month nor Frankie’s heart go according to plan, she may be the one stuck fighting for the happily ever after she never knew she wanted.

.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Coming out themes
  • Slut shaming

Last Will and Testament

Last Will and Testament by Dahlia Adler

Lizzie Brandt was valedictorian of her high school class, but at Radleigh University, all she’s acing are partying and hooking up with the wrong guys. But all that changes when her parents are killed in a tragic accident, making her guardian to her two younger brothers. To keep them out of foster care, she’ll have to fix up her image, her life, and her GPA—fast. Too bad the only person on campus she can go to for help is her humorless, pedantic Byzantine History TA, Connor Lawson, who isn’t exactly Lizzie’s biggest fan.

But Connor surprises her. Not only is he a great tutor, but he’s also a pretty great babysitter. And chauffeur. And listener. And he understands exactly what it’s like to be on your own before you’re ready. Before long, Lizzie realizes having a responsible-adult type around has its perks… and that she’d like to do some rather irresponsible (but considerably adult) things with him as well. Good thing he’s not the kind of guy who’d ever reciprocate.

Until he does. Until they turn into far more than teacher and student. Until the relationship that helped put their lives back together threatens everything they both have left.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Blackmail
  • Cheating
  • Death of both parents in a car accident (chapter one)
  • Grief depiction
  • Slut shaming
  • Teacher-student relationship*

*Relationship between an 18 year old girl and a 25 year old man.

The Poet X

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself.

So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out, much less speak her words out loud. But still, she can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol abuse recounted
  • Cheating
  • Body shaming
  • Bullying
  • Difficult childbirth mentioned
  • Infertility themes
  • Panic attacks
  • Parental abandonment mentioned
  • Parental abuse
  • Physical injuries (minor)
  • Racism
  • Recreational drug use
  • Sexism & misogyny
  • Sexual harassment & unwanted touching
  • Slut shaming

*Religion is used to justify abusive behaviour.