Kent State by Derf Backderf

Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio by Derf Backderf

On May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard gunned down unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University. In a deadly barrage of 67 shots, 4 students were killed and 9 shot and wounded. It was the day America turned guns on its own children—a shocking event burned into our national memory.

A few days prior, 10-year-old Derf Backderf saw those same Guardsmen patrolling his nearby hometown, sent in by the governor to crush a trucker strike. Using the journalism skills he employed on My FriendD ahmer and Trashed, Backderf has conducted extensive interviews and research to explore the lives of these four young people and the events of those four days in May, when the country seemed on the brink of tearing apart.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Gun violence, including the shooting of unarmed protestors
  • Arson
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The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell

The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi & Tobias S. Buckell

Khaim, The Blue City, is the last remaining city in a crumbled empire that overly relied upon magic until it became toxic. It is run by a tyrant known as The Jolly Mayor and his devious right hand, the last archmage in the world. Together they try to collect all the magic for themselves so they can control the citizens of the city. But when their decadence reaches new heights and begins to destroy the environment, the people stage an uprising to stop them.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Sexual assault
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Torture
  • Vivisepulture (being buried alive)
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Vicious by VE Schwab

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Panic attacks
  • Suicide
  • Suicidal ideation mentioned
  • Self harm
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Recreational drug use
  • Overdose
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Coma mentioned
  • Murder & attempted murder
  • Gun violence
  • Explosion mentioned
  • Strangulation
  • Imprisonment recounted
  • Death from exposure to the cold
  • Drowning
  • Hit-and-run car accident
  • Kidnapping
  • Vivisepulture (buried alive)
  • Psychological torture
  • Electrocution
  • Graphic animal death & death of a pet
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A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

This is how wars are fought now: by children, hopped-up on drugs and wielding AK-47s. Children have become soldiers of choice. In the more than fifty conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them.

What is war like through the eyes of a child soldier? How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But until now, there has not been a first-person account from someone who came through this hell and survived… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child abuse
  • Sexual assault mentioned
  • Substance addiction
  • Recreational drug use & abuse
  • Blood & physical injury depiction
  • Hospital
  • Needles
  • Emesis
  • Death of a parent
  • Murder
  • Gun violence
  • Immolation
  • Torture
  • Vivisepulture (being buried alive)
  • Drowning mentioned
  • Kidnapping
  • War & rebellion themes, including child soldiers (themes)
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Covet by Tracy Wolff

Covet by Tracy Wolff

I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire. Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all… Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense?

And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Parental abandonment mentioned
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Graphic blood & gore depiction
  • Blood-drinking
  • Loss of limb
  • Death of a friend
  • Death of a parent in a car accident mentioned
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Strangulation
  • Vivisepulture (being buried alive)
  • Loss of autonomy (possession)
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Crush by Tracy Wolff

Crush by Tracy Wolff

Everything feels off—especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am.

Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep… Read more.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical & emotional parental abuse recounted
  • Blood & gore depiction
  • Blood-drinking
  • Death of a parent in a car accident recounted
  • Knife violence & stabbing
  • Strangulation
  • Vivisepulture (being buried alive)
  • Loss of autonomy (possession)
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