One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention. Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing. Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher. And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Racism
  • Sexism
  • Slut shaming
  • Homomisia & homomisia slurs
  • Coming out themes
  • Dubious consent scenario*
  • Nonconsensual voyeurism mentioned
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Cheating, recounted & discussed
  • Alcoholism mentioned
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Suicide & attempted suicide
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption & abuse
  • Recreational drug use
  • Death from anaphylaxis
  • Cancer mentioned
  • Heart attack
  • Hospital
  • Death of a classmate, on-page
  • Death of an uncle
  • Death of a mother recounted
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • School shooting & gun violence discussed
  • Strangulation
  • Physical assault
  • Car accident recounted
  • Blackmail
  • Bullying

* Note : Characters under the influence of alcohol recount having sex, and a protagonist recounts coerced ‘consent’ to sex with her boyfriend.

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Firestarter by Stephen King

Firestarter by Stephen King

The Department of Scientific Intelligence (aka “The Shop”) never anticipated that two participants in their research program would marry and have a child. Charlie McGee inherited pyrokinetic powers from her parents, who had been given a low-grade hallucinogen called “Lot Six” while at college. Now the government is trying to capture young Charlie and harness her powerful firestarting skills as a weapon.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Fatmisia and body shaming
  • Transmisia
  • Misogyny
  • Medical abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Suicide
  • Alcohol use
  • Nonconsensual drugging
  • Institutionalization
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Graphic fire scenes and arson
  • Kidnapping
  • Explosions
  • Nightmares
  • Mind control
  • War themes
  • Animal death
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Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time—from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Child marriage
  • Suicide
  • Global pandemic
  • Murder
  • Kidnapping
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World War Z by Max Brooks

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks

The Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand experiences of the survivors from those apocalyptic years, traveled across the United States of America and throughout the world, from decimated cities that once teemed with upwards of thirty million souls to the most remote and inhospitable areas of the planet. He recorded the testimony of men, women, and sometimes children who came face-to-face with the living, or at least the undead, hell of that dreadful time. World War Z is the result. Never before have we had access to a document that so powerfully conveys the depth of fear and horror, and also the ineradicable spirit of resistance, that gripped human society through the plague years… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Rape
  • Suicide
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Cannibalism
  • Pandemic
  • Death of a child
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abuse
  • Cheating
  • Suicide
  • Attempted murder
  • Animal death
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When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro

England, 1930s. Christopher Banks has become the country’s most celebrated detective, his cases the talk of London society. Yet one unsolved crime has always haunted him; the mysterious disappearance of his parents, in Old Shanghai, when he was a small boy. Now, as the world lurches towards total war, Banks realises the time has come for him to return to the city of his childhood and at last solve the mystery – that only by his doing so will civilisation be saved from the approaching catastrophe.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Attempted suicide
  • Drug abuse
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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Slavery mentioned
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Antiziganism
  • Victim blaming
  • Slut shaming
  • Domestic abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Murder
  • Animal death
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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return… Read more.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Rape
  • Teacher-student relationship
  • Domestic violence
  • Suicide
  • Murder
  • Animal abuse
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Under the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe

Undeer the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe

Under the Magnolias by T. I. Lowe

Magnolia, South Carolina, 1980
Austin Foster is barely a teenager when her mama dies giving birth to twins, leaving her to pick up the pieces while holding her six siblings together and doing her best to stop her daddy from retreating into his personal darkness.

Scratching out a living on the family’s tobacco farm is as tough as it gets. When a few random acts of kindness help to ease the Fosters’ hardships, Austin finds herself relying upon some of Magnolia’s most colorful citizens for friendship and more. But it’s next to impossible to hide the truth about the goings-on at Nolia Farms, and Austin’s desperate attempts to save face all but break her.

Just when it seems she might have something more waiting for her–with the son of a wealthy local family who she’s crushed on for years–her father makes a choice that will crack wide-open the family’s secrets and lead to a public reckoning. There are consequences for loving a boy like Vance Cumberland, but there is also freedom in the truth.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted suicde
  • Bipolar disorder
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Dark Room by Tom Becker

Dark Room by Tom Becker

When Darla and her feckless dad, Hopper, move to Saffron Hills, Darla hopes it’ll be a new start for the both of them. But she stands no chance of fitting in with the image-obsessed in-crowd at her new school. Then one of her classmates is brutally killed when taking a photo of herself. A murder Darla herself predicted in a bloody vision. When more teens die in a similar fashion it appears that a serial killer is on the loose – the ‘Selfie Slayer’. Darla alone is convinced that the murderer might not be flesh and blood…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Transmisia
  • Suicide recounted
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Death of a parent recounted
  • Death of a friend
  • Murder
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