hi friends! today i am going to post some… not reviews, not even really mini reviews, but some very brief thoughts on some of my favorite books with the trigger and content warnings that i found while reading. i am still trying to not put too much pressure on myself when it comes to writing reviews like i used to, but it was still important to me to post these the way they are currently. and we will see what the rest of this year and reviewing has in store for me.
“Power did not lie in the tip of a pen. Power did not work against it’s own interests. Power could only be brought to heel by acts of defiance it could not ignore. With brute, unflinching force. With violence.”
so many people are going to have so many individual heart shattering reactions to their identity because of this book. it made me feel pride, it made me feel shame, it made me hopeful, it made me grieve, it truly kind of made me feel everything. but right now i am just feeling in awe of rf kuang and everything they are doing in literature, showing all the different words people use for violence.
best footnotes. best dark academia. best book of 2022.
trigger warnings + content warnings: loss of a loved one, murder, death, grief, disease/plague mentions, colonization, war, invasion, battle, talk of slavery, abuse, physical abuse from guardian, racism, xenophobia, colorism, use of slurs, blood, talk of suicide, talk of child labor, talk of inhumane work conditions, police brutality, torture, gun violence, brief sexual assault (unwanted touching with intent on more) mention of feet binding, misogyny, talk of drugs, stress + anxiety depictions, vomiting, talk of extreme stress put on students
“Perhaps a funny-looking mixed-race kid could exist at the center of the world, not just on its periphery.”
found family and forever
friendships love, but also escapism and healing… and how sometimes all of that can come together and be lifesaving (sometimes over and over and over again, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow…)
there is a chapter of this book that i was weeping so hard during, i couldn’t breathe. and the way the narration switches during this part of the story… it’s harrowing, heartbreaking, and so very painful, but also so masterfully done.
sam really meant a lot to me, and some of his inner monologues and lines really impacted me straight to the heart. And i know this is a story i will carry with my forever, but i also know sam is a character i will think about forever for so many reasons.
trigger + content warnings: childhood cancer, hospital settings a lot (but also a children’s hospital), chronic pain + injury (and… choosing not to take… the best care of yourself for these things/neglecting health concerns), amputation, racism, slurs (racist and homophobic), talk of appropriation (emphasizing japanese cultural appropriation in the video game community), mention of abortion, abusive relationships, emotional dependency depiction, drug use, sexism + misogyny – especially in an industry like the video game industry, car accident, death by suicide, student/teacher (college) relationship, power imbalances, some questionable sexual acts where the mc is dissociating, dissociating, blood depiction, talk of disordered eating (and brief mention of death because of it), fatphobia, 911 mention, unwanted touching, captivity, gore, vomit, gun violence, shooting in the work place – this book has A LOT in it, please use caution and make sure you’re in a good headspace for it.
“It made me wonder what shape I’d be if I’d never met another human being”
this was so unexpectedly haunting in all the right ways. i truly knew from the first chapter that this was going to be a new favorite. the atmosphere, the mystery, the main character… all perfection. also, this book truly has twists upon twists upon twists, making it impossible to ever want to put down. and we always love a spooky summer camp in the woods setting, especially with a secret group of popular girls, with a extra hyped queen bee, up to maybe no good. i loved this book’s discussion of the gender binary and in general i personally found so much of this story really powerful. and i think so many different types of readers will really love this one, so i recommend it with my full heart, but it can be very spooky, creepy, and gory so…. please keep that in mind!
trigger + content warnings: grief depiction, loss of a loved one, cancer mentions (childhood cancer mentions), blood depiction, talk of suicide, parental manipulation, anxiety depictions, funeral of a loved one, death, murder, violence, gore, lots of insect depictions (in a… horror book involving bees way… hehe), talk of spiders too, blackmailing (with manipulation/action of private photos being shown), bullying, harassment, misogynistic comments//sexism (always in a negative light), drowning depiction, fire depictions, and transphobia + homophobia.
“If this is what it is to burn, he thought, then I will be worth more as scattered ash than any of my unscathed pieces.”
i know it says a love story on the front, but this book is very much about mental health + choosing to not be medicated for mental health conditions. it was a hard read for me, but a very impactful one. and olivie blake just is just such a talented author and the sentences she is able to string together, about really dark and hard to talk about things, really resonated with me in a way other words just never have before.
trigger + content warnings: loss of a loved one in past, addiction depiction (drugs + sex), depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, extreme codependency talk of arrest in past, overdose in past mention, unexpected pregnancy in past mention, a lot of talk of medication, blood imagery, abandonment, suicidal thoughts, disordered eating, some body image things, grey area cheating/emotional cheating, very intrusive thoughts, very manic thoughts, and just… a lot of discussion about mental health medications and choosing not to be medicated.
“I thought maybe I’d cheated fate to have you near me.”
i truly loved this. it felt like i was stepping foot and having a long rest inside the very walls of the waystone inn, the journey’s end, and even harth stonebrew’s tavern. these are some of my favorite places, some of my safest escapism, and some very large sums of my heart. this story was just perfect for me, and i am very thankful for this book.
building something you want, the way you want it, with the people you want it with… there is a lot of power in that, especially when it creates a found family and/or community. and healing and living and loving the way you want to too? so powerful and so beautiful, and my favorite magic in all the galaxies.
i hope you’re able to build and find communities filled with unconditional love, because you deserve that always. ❤ (bonus points if a succubus + warm cup of coffee are involved)