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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Twilight

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism & ableist language
  • Aromisic language and amanormativity
  • Racism & anti-Native language
  • Misogyny
  • Attempted suicide mentioned
  • Blood depiction & blood drinking
  • Physical injuries
  • Hospital
  • Death of a child recounted
  • Kidnapping

if you choose to support this novel, please consider educating yourself about the Quileute tribe’s plight and support their mission

Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

When Edward Cullen and Bella Swan met in Twilight, an iconic love story was born. But until now, fans have heard only Bella’s side of the story. At last, readers can experience Edward’s version in the long-awaited companion novel, Midnight Sun.

This unforgettable tale as told through Edward’s eyes takes on a new and decidedly dark twist. Meeting Bella is both the most unnerving and intriguing event he has experienced in all his years as a vampire. As we learn more fascinating details about Edward’s past and the complexity of his inner thoughts, we understand why this is the defining struggle of his life. How can he justify following his heart if it means leading Bella into danger?

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Racism & anti-Native language
  • Misogyny
  • Rape & paedophilia mentioned
  • Suicidal ideation and suicide attempts mentioned
  • Blood depiction & blood drinking
  • Stalking
  • Murder
  • Animal death

if you choose to support this novel, please consider educating yourself about the Quileute tribe’s plight and support their mission

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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All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Suicide & attempted suicide (central theme)*
  • Suicidal ideation (central theme)
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a boyfriend
  • Car accident
  • Death by drowning

*The main character dies by suicide at the end of book.

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All Systems Red

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

In a corporate-dominated spacefaring future, planetary missions must be approved and supplied by the Company. Exploratory teams are accompanied by Company-supplied security androids, for their own safety.

But in a society where contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder, safety isn’t a primary concern.

On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide attempt (on-page)
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Physical injuries
  • Death of colleagues (off page)
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • ‘Animal’ attack

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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.

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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.

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Clap When You Land

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Depictions of rape & sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Stalking
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Pregnancy, childbirth (labour) & premature birth
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a father
  • Plane crash (off-page)

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Mexican Gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find—her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough and smart, with an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism and white supremacy, including discussion of eugenics
  • Attempted rape
  • Incest
  • Suicide discussed
  • Miscarriage and stillbirths
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Hallucinations
  • Cannibalism
  • Gore depiction and body horror
  • Murder
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a parent and family members discussed

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All That Impossible Space

All That Impossible Space by Anna Morgan

15-year-old Lara Laylor feels like supporting character in her own life. She’s Ashley’s best friend, she’s Hannah’s sister-she’s never just Lara.

When new history teacher Mr. Grant gives her an unusual assignment: investigating the mystery of the Somerton Man. Found dead in on an Adelaide beach in 1948, a half-smoked cigarette still in his mouth and the labels cut out of his clothes, the Somerton Man has intrigued people for years. Was he a spy? A criminal? Year 10 has plenty of mysteries of its own: boys, drama queen friends, and enigmatic new students. When they seem just as unsolvable as a 60-year-old cold case, Lara finds herself spending more and more time on the assignment.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Teacher-student relationship discussed
  • Grooming
  • Toxic friendship (central theme)
  • Abandonment discussed
  • Suicide mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Asthma attacks (on-page)
  • Murder and dead bodies discussed
  • Drowning recounted
  • War themes mentioned
  • Bullying (rumour spreading)

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