The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

Miri is the only single child in the middle of a family with two sets of twins–older brothers and younger sisters. When the family moves to an old farmhouse Miri accidentally travels back in time to 1935 only to discover Molly, a girl in need of a real family to call her own. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Verbal & physical child abuse
  • Sibling abuse
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Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

September 1973: The beginning of Karl Shoemaker’s senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl’s been part of “the Madman Underground”- kids forced to attend group therapy during school. Karl has decided that he is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act-and be-Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has two after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Homomisia & homomisic slurs
  • Racism & racial slurs
  • Hate crimes
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Underage sex work
  • Physical & verbal abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Alcohol consumption & abuse
  • Recreational drug use
  • Medical treatment
  • Needles
  • Physical assault
  • Animal death & death of a pet
  • Animal abuse
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A New Foundation by Rochelle Alers

A New Foundation by Rochelle Alers

He’s the man with the plans. But she’s calling the shots

After escaping an abusive marriage, Sonya Rios-Martin is determined to live an independent life. The generous job offer from Taylor Williamson will help her do that. But her unexpectedly strong attraction to model-turned-project-engineer Taylor throws a wrench in her plans. Sonya and Taylor have to figure out how to build a solid foundation—without re-creating the cracks from her last devastating relationship. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child neglect
  • Emotional & verbal domestic abuse
  • Miscarriage & infertility discussed
  • Death of a parent recounted
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On the Ice by Amy Aislin

On the Ice by Amy Aislin

For college sophomore Mitch Greyson, determination and persistence are the name of the game if he wants to make it as a professional hockey player. A busy schedule of practices, games, classes, homework, two part-time jobs—and now, working with a tutor to help him pass the class he’s failing so that he can keep his scholarship—shouldn’t leave him with enough time to flirt with the NHL player in town. But that doesn’t stop him.

Placed on the injured reserve list until his broken arm heals, NHL defenseman Alex Dean is using the time off to be with his ailing grandfather and get a head start on the book he’s been commissioned to write. He doesn’t expect to get roped into a tutoring gig, especially not for cocky, smart-ass Mitch… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abandonment recounted
  • Verbal & physical child abuse
  • Panic attack
  • Grandparent with Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Hospitalisation
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Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger

Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger

Lila and Hadley by Kody Keplinger book cover

Hadley is angry about a lot of things: Her mom going to jail. Having to move to another state to live with her older sister, Beth, even though they haven’t spoken in five years. Leaving her friends and her school behind. And going blind.

But then Hadley meets Lila.

Lila is an abandoned dog who spends her days just quietly lying around at the local dog rescue where Beth works. She doesn’t listen to directions or play with the other dogs or show any interest in people. So when Lila comes and sits by Hadley (which is hardly anything, but it’s more than she’s done with others), Beth thinks maybe Hadley can help Lila. She tells Hadley they’ll bring Lila home as a foster dog and Hadley can teach her to follow commands, walk on a leash, and be more of a people dog so she’ll be ready to be adopted.

Only working with Lila is harder than Hadley thought, and so is the mobility training she starts taking to help with her failing vision. It feels like Lila is too stubborn to train and like learning to use a cane is impossible. But unless Hadley can help Lila, she’ll never be adopted into a home. If Hadley could just let go of her anger, she might be able to save Lila… and herself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Verbal abuse of a child
  • Child abuse
  • Military propaganda
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The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Marcos Rivas wants to find love. He’s sure as hell not getting it at home, where his mom’s racist boyfriend beats him up. Or from his boys, who aren’t exactly the “hug it out” type. Marcos yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood—which seems impossible.

When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program for troubled teens with potential, he meets Zach, a theater geek whose life seems great on the surface, and Amy, a punk girl who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. These new friendships inspire Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and along the way, Marcos starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Graphic physical & verbal child abuse
  • Suicide of a gay teenager due to bullying mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption & abuse
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose mentioned
  • Emesis, off-page
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City of Betrayal by Claudie Arseneault

City of Betrayal by Claudie Arseneault

The whole city is searching for Hasryan—some for revenge and justice, others to save their friends. Yet no one knows where to find him except Lord Arathiel Brasten, who vanished 130 years ago only to magically return.

Lord Diel Dathirii’s struggle to free his city from the neighbouring imperialistic enclave is far from over. Enemies gather around him, and without allies in Isandor’s upper spheres, he must place his fate in Lower City residents. Little does he know, the city he’s trying to save might well save him in return.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism
  • Verbal & physical abuse
  • Burns
  • Torture
  • Fire
  • Loss of autonomy (mind control)
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Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Take Down by Jess Anastasi

Attraction sizzles when Danny Jones sets eyes on Deputy Jake Perez, despite meeting over the discovery of a mutilated corpse. But being with Jake could cost Danny his family, and being with Danny could cost Jake the very thing that brought him to Everness, Texas—revenge against the man who killed his brother. How much will Jake sacrifice to take down a psychotic criminal and finally see justice served?

After college, Danny thrived as a gay man in Houston. But when his mom’s cancer brings him back to small, conservative Everness, he must go back into the closet or risk the wrath of his abusive father—a choice made even harder when Danny starts to see a future for him and Jake… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Racism & white supremacy mentioned
  • Homomisia
  • Outing
  • Physical & verbal parental abuse
  • Parent with breast cancer
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a brother
  • Murder
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Burn It Down by Jess Anastasi

Burn It Down by Jess Anastasi

When an arsonist targets a kind-hearted park ranger, a firefighter steps up to protect him… and overcome his fear of dating in the process.

Park Ranger Troy Hurst has his hands full with a long, hot summer causing fires to break out all over the Sam Houston National Forest, and it looks like the weather isn’t the only culprit. But helping two abandoned teenage boys and facing the memory of his own difficult childhood will require all Troy’s strength and courage—he doesn’t have anything left to deal with the increasingly dangerous fires… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abuse
  • Physical & verbal intimate partner abuse
  • Alcoholism
  • Homelessness
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The Sailor in Polynesia by Liz Alden

The Sailor in Polynesia by Liz Alden

After fighting to keep her sailboat in a bitter divorce, Mia embraces her dream to sail the South Pacific alone. Until handsome stranger Jonas drops anchor beside her. Everything was fine; maybe my boat was a little more tired than I thought, and maybe it’s a touch lonely this far from my family. But that’s just part of sailing. Then, on a remote tropical atoll, another boat drops anchor next to me. It’s gorgeous, and so is the captain.

Jonas shows me everything that this sailing life could be—watching sunsets, snorkeling reefs, and enjoying camaraderie with his crew. A sizzling kiss sparks two blissful weeks of passion, but he’s heading to New Zealand, and my little sailboat has to stay in the gentle waters of Tahiti. There’s no way I’d give up my boat—she’s everything I’ve ever wanted. But can I give up Jonas?

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Emotionally & verbally abusive relationship recounted
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