The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann

The Whatnot by Stefan Bachmann

Pikey Thomas doesn’t know how or why he can see the changeling girl. But there she is. Not in the cold, muddy London neighborhood where Pikey lives. Instead, she’s walking through the trees and snow of the enchanted Old Country or, later, racing through an opulent hall. She’s pale and small, and she has branches growing out of her head. Her name is Henrietta Kettle.

Pikey’s vision, it turns out, is worth something. Worth something to Hettie’s brother—a brave adventurer named Bartholomew Kettle. Worth something to the nobleman who protects him. And Pikey is not above bartering—Pikey will do almost anything to escape his past; he’ll do almost anything for a life worth living… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Starvation mentioned
  • Eyeball trauma
  • Battle scenes
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Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Falcones

Cathedral of the Sea by Ildefonso Flacones book cover

XIV century. The city of Barcelona is at its moment of greatest prosperity; has grown towards the Ribera, the humble neighborhood of fishermen, whose inhabitants decide to build, with the money of some and the effort of others, the largest Maria cathedral ever known.
A construction that moves parallel to the hazardous story of Arnau, son of a peasant serf, who flees from the abuses of his feudal lord and takes refuge in Barcelona, ​​where he becomes a citizen and, with it, a free man.
While his best friend and adopted brother Joan studies to become a priest, young Arnau becomes a member of the guild of the stone-workers, soldier and moneychanger. A strenuous life which leads him from the misery of the fugitive to nobility and wealth. But with this privileged position he also gets the envy of his peers, who devise a sordid plot that puts his life in the hands of the Inquisition. He finds himself face-to-face with his own brother. Will he lose his life just as his beloved Cathedral of the Sea is finally completed?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Starvation
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The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capital, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute… and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault, implied
  • Child abuse & neglect
  • Emotional abuse
  • Drug use
  • Beheading
  • Cannibalism mentioned
  • Starvation
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Physical & psychological torture
  • Hanging
  • Poverty themes
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Vagrant Queen Vol. 1 by Magdalene Visaggio

Vagrant Queen Vol. 1 by Magdalene Visaggio and illustrated by Jason Smith

Former child queen Elida was driven from her throne at age ten and forced to wander the galaxy, evading the revolutionary forces that wanted her dead. When an old frenemy claims to know the whereabouts of Elida’s long-lost mother, she is forced to return to her former kingdom and stage a rescue.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Beheading
  • Starvation & food scarcity mentioned
  • Death of a mother, off-page
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Sword violence
  • Physical assault
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
  • Royal coup & rebellion themes
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The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer

In the spring of 1942, young Elzbieta Rabinek is aware of the swiftly growing discord just beyond the courtyard of her comfortable Warsaw home. She has no fondness for the Germans who patrol her streets and impose their curfews, but has never given much thought to what goes on behind the walls that contain her Jewish neighbors. She knows all too well about German brutality–and that it’s the reason she must conceal her true identity. But in befriending Sara, a nurse who shares her apartment floor, Elzbieta makes a discovery that propels her into a dangerous world of deception and heroism.

Using Sara’s credentials to smuggle children out of the ghetto brings Elzbieta face-to-face with the reality of the war behind its walls, and to the… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Pregnancy
  • Starvation
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Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Starvation
  • Homelessness discussed
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Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora

Fragile Remedy by Maria Ingrande Mora

Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a Sixteen-year-old Nate is a GEM—Genetically Engineered Medi-tissue created by the scientists of Gathos City as a cure for the elite from the fatal lung rot ravaging the population. As a child, he was smuggled out of the laboratory where he was held captive and into the Withers—a quarantined, lawless region. Nate manages to survive by using his engineering skills to become a Tinker, fixing broken tech in exchange for food or a safe place to sleep. When he meets Reed, a kind and fiercely protective boy that makes his heart race, and his misfit gang of scavengers, Nate finds the family he’s always longed for—even if he can’t risk telling them what he is… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Human medical experimentation, implied
  • Substance addiction
  • Drug abuse
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Starvation
  • Torture
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The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Statutory rape mentioned
  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Suicide
  • Childbirth
  • Scalping & skinning, off-page
  • Dismemberment mentioned
  • Cannibalism mentioned
  • Starvation
  • Death of a friend
  • Poisoning
  • Torture
  • Lynching
  • Animal death & abuse
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Bright Burning Stars by AK Small

Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Eating disorder (anorexia)
  • Restrictive & disordered eating (theme)
  • Disordered food & weight thoughts
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Body dysmorphia
  • Abortion
  • Death from starvation
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a sibling
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The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith

Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel’s story of his summer at a boys’ camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Starvation mentioned
  • Blood depiction
  • Death of a brother mentioned
  • Mass murder by gun violence & poison gas recounted
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Explosions
  • Physical assault mentioned
  • Refugee experiences
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