Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel W. Moniz

Milk Blood Heat by Dantiel M. Moniz book cover

Set among the cities and suburbs of Florida, each story in Milk Blood Heat delves into the ordinary worlds of young girls, women, and men who find themselves confronted by extraordinary moments of violent personal reckoning. These intimate portraits of people and relationships scour and soothe and blast a light on the nature of family, faith, forgiveness, consumption, and what we may, or may not, owe one another.

A thirteen-year-old meditates on her sadness and the difference between herself and her white best friend when an unexpected tragedy occurs; a woman recovering from a miscarriage finds herself unable to let go of her daughter—whose body parts she sees throughout her daily life; a teenager resists her family’s church and is accused of courting the devil; servers at a supper club cater to the insatiable cravings of their wealthy clientele; and two estranged siblings take a road-trip with their father’s ashes and are forced to face the troubling reality of how he continues to shape them.

Wise and subversive, spiritual and seductive, Milk Blood Heat forms an ouroboros of stories that bewitch with their truth.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Parental abandonment
  • Adult-minor relationship between a teacher and student
  • Paedophilia, implied
  • Parental sexual abuse, implied
  • Abortion, mentioned
  • Pregnancy
  • Terminal cancer
  • Physical assault
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Suicide
  • Strangulation
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a father
  • Death from a fall
  • Drowning
  • Graphic near-drowning
  • Robbery
  • Cannibalism, implied
  • Hanging, mentioned
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Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

San Francisco in 1940 is a haven for the unconventional. Tourists flock to the cities within the city: the Magic City of the World’s Fair on an island created of artifice and illusion; the forbidden city of Chinatown, a separate, alien world of exotic food and nightclubs that offer “authentic” experiences, straight from the pages of the pulps; and the twilight world of forbidden love, where outcasts from conventional society can meet.

Six women find their lives as tangled with each other’s as they are with the city they call home. They discover love and danger on the borders where mystery, science, and art intersect.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Racism
  • Homomisia
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Parental abuse
  • Suicide
  • Terminal illness mentioned
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The One by John Marrs

The One by John Marrs

How far would you go to find The One? A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner–the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others… 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Suicide
  • Infertility
  • Childbirth & death during childbirth
  • Miscarriages mentioned
  • Terminal illness & cancer
  • Coma
  • Aneurysm
  • Eyeball trauma
  • Death of an infant
  • Death of a spouse
  • Murder, and attempted murder of a pregnant woman
  • Strangulation
  • Kidnapping, including the abduction of an infant
  • Stalking
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No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit by Taylor Adams

No Exit by Taylor Adams book cover

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away… That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Sexist language
  • Fatmisia
  • Racist slur/s
  • Mental illness slur/s
  • Rape threats
  • Sexual assault
  • Paedophilia
  • Child sex trafficking
  • Child abuse, recounted
  • Alcoholism
  • Panic attacks, recounted
  • Nightmares
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Graphic physical injury
  • Terminal cancer
  • Emesis
  • Minor grief depiction
  • Death of a parent
  • Death of a brother
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a cousin
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Physical assault
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping
  • Captivity
  • Psychological torture
  • Animal murder and torture, recounted
  • Death of a pet
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Immunity by Erin Bowman

Immunity by Erin Bowman

Immunity by Erin Bowman book cover

Survivors of a deadly planetary outbreak take on a new, sinister adversary in the white-knuckle sequel to Contagion.

Thea, Coen, and Nova have escaped from Achlys, only to find themselves imprisoned on a ship they thought was their ticket to safety. Now the nightmare they thought they’d left behind is about to be unleashed as an act of political warfare, putting the entire galaxy at risk.

To prevent an interstellar catastrophe, they’ll have to harness the evil of the deadly Achlys contagion and deploy the only weapons they have left: themselves.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Suicide recounted
  • Non-consensual medical experimentation
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Contagion (theme)
  • Medical procedures & treatment, including amputation
  • Terminal cancer of a sibling discussed
  • Radiation poisoning
  • Comas
  • Graphic torture
  • Electrocution
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping & captivity
  • Explosions & bombings
  • Military violence
  • Animal testing
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Contagion by Erin Bowman

Contagion by Erin Bowman

Contagion by Erin Bowman book cover

It got in us
After receiving an urgent SOS from a work detail on a distant planet, a skeleton crew is dispatched to perform a standard search-and-rescue mission.

Most are dead.
But when the crew arrives, they find an abandoned site, littered with rotten food, discarded weapons…and dead bodies.

Don’t set foot here again.
As they try to piece together who—or what—could have decimated an entire operation, they discover that some things are best left buried—and some monsters are only too ready to awaken.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Self-harm
  • Suicide by gun (on-page in prologue)
  • Graphic blood and gore depiction
  • Dead bodies
  • Physical illness & injuries, including eyeball trauma
  • Plague, central theme
  • Needles and syringes
  • Medical procedures, including blood test and surgery
  • Medical emergency & serious (terminal) illness of a loved one
  • Comas
  • Emesis
  • Death of parents
  • Death of cousin
  • Death of friend
  • Death of colleague
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Strangulation mentioned
  • Knife violence
  • Gun violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning mentioned
  • Death from electrocution
  • Blizzards & severe storms
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Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie by Courtney Summers book cover

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

Courtney Summers has written the breakout book of her career. Sadie is propulsive and harrowing and will keep you riveted until the last page.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism
  • Child sexual abuse and rape, central theme but no explicit details given
  • Paedophilia
  • Child pornography
  • Sex work
  • Child neglect
  • Parental abandonment
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Flashbacks
  • Disordered eating, mentioned
  • Suicide attempt
  • Unintentional self-harm
  • Substance addiction and abuse
  • Alcoholism and alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose, mentioned
  • Pregnancy, mentioned
  • Graphic blood depiction
  • Hospitalisation
  • Serious physical illness
  • Physical injury
  • Emesis
  • Terminal cancer, mentioned
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a sister
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a grandmother
  • Death of a husband, mentioned
  • Murder
  • Physical assault
  • Knife violence
  • Fire
  • Economic depression
  • Disappearance of a loved one
  • Hostage situation
  • Stalking
  • Car accident
  • Bullying, recounted
  • Homelessness
  • Poverty themes
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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman book cover

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Humorous, compassionate, and wise, Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious of times.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Addiction, alcohol abuse (mentioned) and drug abuse (mentioned)
  • Depression, panic attacks and suicide attempt
  • Domestic abuse (mentioned)
  • Terminal illness and dementia
  • Death of a loved one
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Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

Blood Heir by Amélie Wen Zhao

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are deemed unnatural–even dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, is one of the most terrifying Affinites.

Ana’s ability to control blood has long been kept secret, but when her father, the emperor, is murdered, she is the only suspect. Now, to save her own life, Ana must find her father’s killer. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is one where corruption rules and a greater conspiracy is at work–one that threatens the very balance of Ana’s world.

There is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to the conspiracy’s core: Ramson Quicktongue. Ramson is a cunning crime lord with sinister plans–though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & colourism
  • Human trafficking and indentured servitude
  • Child emotional & physical abuse
  • Parental abandonment
  • Attempted suicide
  • Terminal illness
  • Blood depiction
  • Murder
  • Torture, including water torture
  • Whipping
  • Royal coup
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A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asbedo

A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo book cover

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Addiction and depression
  • Suicide
  • Underaged alcohol consumption
  • Terminal illness (mentioned), specifically cancer
  • Death of a parent and sibling
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