The Color Purple by Alice Walker

The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Celie is a poor black woman whose letters tell the story of 20 years of her life, beginning at age 14 when she is being abused and raped by her father and attempting to protect her sister from the same fate, and continuing over the course of her marriage to Mister, a brutal man who terrorizes her. Celie eventually learns that her abusive husband has been keeping her sister’s letters from her and the rage she feels, combined with an example of love and independence provided by her close friend Shug, pushes her finally toward an awakening of her creative and loving self.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Cultural appropriation, specifically Native American culture
  • Domestic violence
  • Physical, verbal & emotional abuse, including gaslighting
  • Rape, statutory rape & rape of a child
  • Incest (father-daughter)
  • Pregnancy, result of rape & incest
  • Forced estrangement
  • Cheating
  • Self-harm
  • Disordered eating (bingeing)
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Female genital mutilation mentioned
  • Emesis
  • Lynching recounted
  • Murder
  • Gun violence mentioned
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of an infant

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C. G. Drews book cover

Can two broken boys find their perfect home?

Sam is only fifteen but he and his autistic older brother, Avery, have been abandoned by every relative he’s ever known. Now Sam’s trying to build a new life for them. He survives by breaking into empty houses when their owners are away, until one day he’s caught out when a family returns home. To his amazement this large, chaotic family takes him under their wing – each teenager assuming Sam is a friend of another sibling. Sam finds himself inextricably caught up in their life, and falling for the beautiful Moxie.

But Sam has a secret, and his past is about to catch up with him.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableism and ableist language
  • Child abuse
  • Physical and verbal abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Panic attacks
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use mentioned
  • Blood depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Serious injury to a loved ones
  • Physical assault
  • Bullying
  • Homelessness
  • Incarceration of a parent
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A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C. G. Drews book cover

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical child abuse, central theme
  • Emotional and verbal child abuse, central theme
  • Neglect
  • Domestic violence
  • Self-harm ideation
  • Blood depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Hospitalisation mentioned
  • Animal death mentioned
  • Bullying
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We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal book cover

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the sultan. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways. Both Zafira and Nasir are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya–but neither wants to be.

War is brewing, and the Arz sweeps closer with each passing day, engulfing the land in shadow. When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the sultan on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds–and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Ableist language
  • Misogyny
  • Physical abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Child abuse and neglect
  • Blood and gore depiction
  • Physical injuries
  • Dead bodies
  • Grief depiction
  • Death of a mother
  • Death of a father
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a cousin
  • Murder and attempted murder
  • Torture
  • Imprisonment and captivity
  • Blackmail
  • Kidnapping
  • War themes discussed
  • Animal death
  • Hunting
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The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

When she stumbles across the advert, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss: a live-in nanny position, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten by the luxurious ‘smart’ home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare – one that will end with a child dead and her in a cell awaiting trial for murder.

She knows she’s made mistakes. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty – at least not of murder. Which means someone else is.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Dubious consent scenario*
  • Physical, emotional & verbal child abuse
  • Child neglect
  • Cheating
  • Panic attack (on-page)
  • Suicide & self-harm mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Blood depiction and physical injuries
  • Death of a child
  • Death of a sister
  • Murder
  • Poisoning (on- & off-page)
  • Death from a fall
  • Drowning mentioned
  • Incarceration

*Note: A fade-to-black sex scene where the protagonist is under the influence of alcohol.

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Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Cracked Kingdom by Erin Watt

Ever since Hartley Wright met Easton Royal, her life hasn’t been the same. There are enemies behind every corner and dangers beyond each door. When tragedy strikes and steals her memories, she can’t trust anyone, not even the blue-eyed boy who promises her that everything will be alright.

Because while Hartley’s memory is full of gaps, her instincts tell her Easton is dangerous. She doesn’t know if he’s the snake in the garden or her chance at salvation. The chaos he brings wherever he goes is too much to handle, the intense feelings he evokes are too confusing to unravel.

Easton wants her to remember. Hartley thinks it’s better to forget. He has to face the facts—in this world, you can’t escape the Royals.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical, emotional & verbal parental abuse
  • Incest (half-siblings)
  • Sexual harassment
  • Amnesia
  • Hospital
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Overdose mentioned
  • Bullying
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Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii

Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii

Hitorijime My Hero, Vol 1 by Memeko Arii book cover

“I don’t like caramel sauce. I prefer something bitter…”

Masahiro Setagawa doesn’t believe in heroes, but wishes he could- He’s found himself in a gang of small-time street bullies who use him to run errands. But when high school teacher (and scourge of the streets) Kousuke Ohshiba comes to his rescue, he finds he may need to start believing after all…and as their relationship deepens, he realizes a hero might be just what he was looking for this whole time.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Paedophilia
  • Adult-minor relationship
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Psychological abuse
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Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Also known as Being Toffee.

One is trying to forget. The other is trying to remember.

After running away from an abusive home, Allison finds herself taking shelter in a shed behind an abandoned house. But the house isn’t empty after all; an elderly woman named Marla, who suffers from dementia, lives there. And rather than turn her away, Marla welcomes her – she mistakes Allison for an old friend from her past named Toffee.

Allison is used to hiding who she really is, and trying to be what other people want her to be, so she decides to play along. But as their bond grows, and Allison discovers how much Marla needs a real companion, Allison begins to waver. They both deserve a home, a safe place, and a family – but at what cost?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexism
  • Slut shaming
  • Sexual harassment
  • Physical, verbal & emotional child abuse (theme)
  • Domestic violence and physical & emotional abuse
  • Elder abuse
  • Cheating mentioned
  • Depersonalisation
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Self-harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use (smoking)
  • Death from childbirth & traumatic childbirth mentioned
  • Dementia (theme)
  • Minor blood depiction & physical injuries, including burns
  • Emesis
  • Hospital
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a mother & wife recounted
  • Homelessness
  • Animal death
  • Death of a pet dog mentioned
  • Animal attack mentioned
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If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

High school senior Cameron Bright’s reputation can be summed up in one word: bitch. It’s no surprise she’s queen bee at her private L.A. high school—she’s beautiful, talented, and notorious for her cutting and brutal honesty. So when she puts her foot in her mouth in front of her crush, Andrew, she fears she may have lost him for good.

In an attempt to win him over, Cameron resolves to “tame” herself, much like Katherine in Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. First, she’ll have to make amends with those she’s wronged, which leads her to Brendan, the guy she labelled with an unfortunate nickname back in the sixth grade. At first, Brendan isn’t all that receptive to Cameron’s ploy. But slowly, he warms up to her when they connect over the computer game he’s developing. Now if only Andrew would notice…

But the closer Cameron gets to Brendan, the more she sees he appreciates her personality—honesty and all—and wonders if she’s compromising who she is for the guy she doesn’t even want.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Emotional & verbal parental abuse
  • Cheating mentioned & recounted
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The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan book cover

Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that harder and harder to do. She rolls her eyes instead of screaming when they blatantly favor her brother and she dresses conservatively at home, saving her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech, where she can pursue her dream of becoming an engineer.

But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart. Her parents are devastated; being gay may as well be a death sentence in the Bengali community. They immediately whisk Rukhsana off to Bangladesh, where she is thrown headfirst into a world of arranged marriages and tradition. Only through reading her grandmother’s old diary is Rukhsana able to gain some much needed perspective.

Rukhsana realizes she must find the courage to fight for her love, but can she do so without losing everyone and everything in her life?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia
  • Racism
  • Colourism
  • Conversion therapy
  • Islamophobia
  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic abuse
  • Verbal abuse, towards queer characters
  • Physical abuse, towards queer characters
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