Trauma

The depictions here vary widely. Some are on-page, some are in the past, etc. The list here means they strongly inform the story and/or main character in one way or another. This page is not intended to serve as trigger warnings (nor are these comments on the works), but rather to help those actively seeking fiction about specific traumatic experiences.

Ableism

Addiction/Alcoholism of a Parent

AIDS-Related Trauma

Ailing Parent

Aphobia

Biphobia

  • Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
  • Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar

Blackmail

YA

  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett
  • Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales
  • Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

Breakup

  • It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland
  • She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen

Bullying

MG

  • Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar

YA

  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Jerkbait by Mia Siegert

Child Abuse (Physical)

  • The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (YA)
  • What Night Brings by Carla Trujillo

Conversion Therapy

CSA

YA

  • Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
  • The Fever King by Victoria Lee
  • Scars by Cheryl Rainfield (TW: self-harm depicted on cover)
  • Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin
  • Somebody Told Me by Mia Siegert
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers

Adult

  • Edinburgh by Alexander Chee
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Death in the Family

See also: Partner Death

MG

  • King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Brother)
  • The Whispers by Greg Howard (Mother)
  • Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (Uncle)

YA

  • Bruised by Tanya Boteju (Mother)
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Sister)
  • The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown (Father)
  • The Ghosts We Keep by Mason Deaver (Brother)
  • The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle (Sister)
  • The Confusion of Laurel Graham by Adrienne Kisner (Grandmother)
  • 37 Things by Kekla Magoon (Father)
  • Blood Sport by Tash McAdam (Sister)
  • By Any Means Necessary by Candice Montgomery (Uncle)
  • Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro (Father)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers (Sister)
  • I Felt a Funeral, In My Brain by Will Walton (Grandfather)

Adult

  • Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett (Father)
  • The Guncle by Steven Rowley (SIL)

Divorce

Domestic Abuse/Partner Violence

Dysphoria

  • Birthday by Meredith Russo
  • Somebody Told Me by Mia Siegert

Fatphobia

  • I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Homophobia

YA

  • Flamer by Mike Curato
  • The Sky Blues by Robbie Couch
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Adult

Immigration-Related Trauma

Incarceration

  • Sugar Run by Mesha Maren

Kidnapping/Imprisonment

  • Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage
  • The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

Murder

YA

  • All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell
  • Even if We Break by Marieke Nijkamp
  • You’re Next by Kylie Schachte
  • Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Natural Disaster

YA

  • Sink or Swim by Tash McAdam (storm)
  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (Katrina aftermath)
  • Switchback by Danika Stone (snowstorm)

Outing

YA

  • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Adult

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Parental Neglect

Parental Rejection

These books are by and large about protagonists who were kicked out of their homes as teens and/or are estranged from their parents as adults

YA

  • Brooklyn, Burning by Steve Brezenoff
  • I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver
  • The Witch King by H.E. Edgmon
  • Fifteen Hundred Miles From the Sun by Jonny Garza Villa
  • Keeping You a Secret by Julie Anne Peters
  • The (Un)popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez

Adult

Partner Death

  • The Meaning of Birds by Jaye Robin Brown
  • A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood
  • A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee
  • History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
  • Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

Pet Death

  • “The Purr-cle of Life” by Alex Gino in This is Our Rainbow

Police Brutality

  • Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro

Racism

  • Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
  • The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass
  • The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Religion-Related Trauma

Sexual Assault/Rape

See also: CSA

YA, Female Victim

  • Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
  • Off the Record by Camryn Garrett
  • The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore
  • Trouble Girls by Julia Lynn Rubin

YA, Male Victim

YA, Nonbinary Victim

Adult, Female Victim

Adult, Male Victim

  • Off Campus by AJ Cousins
  • The Last Sun by K.D. Edwards
  • Yes, Daddy by Jonathan Parks-Ramage

School Shooting

  • The Taking of Jake Livingston by Ryan Douglass
  • That’s Not What Happened by Kody Keplinger
  • This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Suicidal Ideation

  • The Bridge by Bill Konigsberg
  • Avi Cantor Has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb
  • Treasure by Rebekah Weatherspoon (past attempt)

Suicide of a Loved One

YA

Adult

  • Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
  • Some Hell by Patrick Nathan

Toxic Parenting

  • How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake
  • Milk Fed by Melissa Broder
  • Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers
  • Real Life by Brandon Taylor

Toxic Romance

  • In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

Transphobia

  • Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin
  • Birthday by Meredith Russo
  • Can’t Take that Away by Steven Salvatore
  • All Kinds of Other by James Sie

Unwanted Pregnancy

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