The Pond News Issue #11 – Dumplings, Doomsdays, and Dragons? An Exciting Week for Diverse Reads!

The Pond Book News. Issue 11. dumplings, doomsdays, and dragons? an exciting week for diverse reads!

Welcome to Issue #11!

Xiaolong the pink axolotl, dressed up as Stella the Dragonfly; wearing a purple newsy cap, dragonfly wings, and holding up a roll of newspaper.Welcome back to another exciting week of The Pond Book News, friends! Every Monday, The Quiet Pond releases a new issue of book news to help you keep up-to-date with the latest diverse book releases, book news, cover reveals, and more! Every week, we also feature three incredible people in the book community!

Book Releases This Week [August 5th – August 11th]

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

I am part way through this book and let me tell you, friends: this book is one of the best YA contemporaries I have read in recent memory. Set in Australia, this book explores Chinese identity, family, mental illness within the family and in the context of Asian communities, and also the responsibilities as an eldest sibling. I’m loving this and you all need to read this – you’ll thank yourself later for picking this gem up.

Releases on the 5th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

Ziggy, Stardust and Me by James Brandon

The year is 1973. The Watergate hearings are in full swing. The Vietnam War is still raging. And homosexuality is still officially considered a mental illness. In the midst of these trying times is sixteen-year-old Jonathan Collins, a bullied, anxious, asthmatic kid, who aside from an alcoholic father and his sympathetic neighbor and friend Starla, is completely alone. To cope, Jonathan escapes to the safe haven of his imagination, where his hero David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and dead relatives, including his mother, guide him through the rough terrain of his life. In his alternate reality, Jonathan can be anything: a superhero, an astronaut, Ziggy Stardust, himself, or completely “normal” and not a boy who likes other boys. When he completes his treatments, he will be normal—at least he hopes. But before that can happen, Web stumbles into his life. Web is everything Jonathan wishes he could be: fearless, fearsome and, most importantly, not ashamed of being gay.

Jonathan doesn’t want to like brooding Web, who has secrets all his own. Jonathan wants nothing more than to be “fixed” once and for all. But he’s drawn to Web anyway. Web is the first person in the real world to see Jonathan completely and think he’s perfect. Web is a kind of escape Jonathan has never known. For the first time in his life, he may finally feel free enough to love and accept himself as he is.

I haven’t heard much about this book so if you love historical fiction (set during the 1970’s), a book that has a gay relationship, is also apparently inclusive of Native-American culture (based on a book review that I’ve read for this book), and also may explore mental illness, add this book to your to-read lists!

Releases on the 6th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

Swipe Right for Murder by Derek Milman

On the run from the FBI.
Targeted by a murderous cult.
Labeled a cyber-terrorist by the media.
Irritated texts from his best friend.
Eye contact with a nice-looking guy on the train.
Aidan has a lot to deal with, and he’s not quite sure which takes top priority.

Finding himself alone in a posh New York City hotel room for the night, Aidan does what any red-blooded seventeen-year-old would do—he tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgement leads to him waking up next to a dead guy, which sparks an epic case of mistaken identity that puts Aidan on the run from everyone—faceless federal agents, his eccentric family, and, naturally, a cyber-terrorist group who will stop at nothing to find him.

He soon realizes the only way to stop the chase is to deliver the object everyone wants, before he gets caught or killed. But for Aidan, the hardest part is knowing who he can trust not to betray him—including himself.

I’ve heard that this book is a wild ride from start to finish, but also a thrilling and fun read. If you love classic films, action, double-crossing and betrayals, stories that may be a bit ridiculous, and also an authentic voice with a gay protagonist, then this book sounds like a great addition to your to-read pile.

Releases on the 6th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.

If you’ve read the first book to this series, The Poppy War, then I think it’s safe to say that we are preemptively not prepared for this installment, The Dragon Republic. After the first book’s devastating conclusion, I’m excited to see where Kuang will take the story next. I’ve read the early reviews, and it sounds like The Dragon Republic will be as devastating as the first book.

Releases on the 6th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

I’ve heard such high praises for this book, and I’m so excited to read it! An entertaining romance? Exploration of disabilities, sexism, and workplace harassment? Has a Black main character who is a feminist techy business woman, and a Samoan main character who is a former athlete? I’m so excited for this book – it sounds like so much fun.

Releases on the 6th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry

There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?

Doomsday stories have always very interested me from a psychological perspective, so this book sounds like a fascinating read. The story explores a bi-questioning and religious teen’s premonition about doomsday and also anxiety with intrusive thoughts. This book sounds like such an interesting and unique read, and I’m looking forward to reading this for myself!

Releases on the 8th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

Fiercely told, this is a timely coming-of-age story, told in verse about the journey to self-acceptance. Perfect for fans of Sarah Crossan, Poet X and Orangeboy.

A boy comes to terms with his identity as a mixed-race gay teen – then at university he finds his wings as a drag artist, The Black Flamingo. A bold story about the power of embracing your uniqueness. Sometimes, we need to take charge, to stand up wearing pink feathers – to show ourselves to the world in bold colour.

*I masquerade in makeup and feathers and I am applauded.*

I have heard absolutely nothing about this book, so I’m super happy to be sharing this book with you. Black Flamingo is written in verse, but also explores themes that I love to read about – identity, change, and coming-of-age themes! I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this; this sounds like a marvellous read.

Releases on the 8th of August 2019. Add this book on Goodreads.

Book News

Cover Reveal: Talia Hibbert’s new hate-to-love romance has a cover!

If you love Talia Hibbert’s romances, then get excited! Because her new book, Work For It, now has a cover – and I adore it. I also love how Hibbert has pitched this book – heck, this sounds like such a good read and I am excited. Add Work For It on Goodreads!

Cover Reveal: Sandhya Menon’s new book has a cover!

Rejoice! Menon has a new book slated for February 2020 and I am so excited. Boarding school? Beauty and the Beast retelling? Another Desi teen at the forefront? This sounds like the book you never knew you needed – and now I need it too.

Book Title: Aminah Mae Safi’s third book has a title!

Aside from the pretty awesome premise of the story, this book title has amplified my excitement for this book twofold. Aminah Mae Safi’s stories are known for their sharp and frank narratives, and I feel like ‘This is All Your Fault’ fits perfectly with her style. I look forward to hearing more about this book and also to seeing the book cover in the future!

Book Announcement: Kelly Yang has a new book!

Kelly Yang’s middle-grade debut remains to be one of my favourite book of all time, so hearing that we’ll be getting a YA debut from her? I feel blessed, and I can’t wait for Yang to bless us with another story. ‘Parachute’ teens are incredibly common, but I don’t think I’ve read a book about them — so I look forward to reading this book. It sounds like it’ll be a gem.

Book Community Spotlight

Book Blogger: Santana from Santana Reads

Santana is a Latinx teen with such an incredible book blog, and I am in such awe of them and the incredible work they do in the community. Not only does Santana have a great book blog, they are also one of the co-hosts of the Latinx Book Club, which is a book club that has a new Latinx readalong every month! If you aren’t following them, rectify this immeditely: Santana is wonderful and I appreciate them.

Visit their book blog, Santana Reads, and follow them on their Twitter.

Bookstagrammer: Hannah (postgradreads)

Not only is Hannah’s bookstagram feed deftly balance simplicity and elegance, her reviews are so insightful, astute, and such a pleasure to read. Hannah is currently dedicated to reading books by people of colour for the whole year, so her feed is currently filled with some awesome reads and recommendations.

Follow her on her bookstagram or her Goodreads!

Booktuber: Cass (What Cass Read)

If you’re looking for more booktubers, especially booktubers who read and review science-fiction fantasy, then we at the Pond highly recommend Cass! Cass is a wonderful booktuber who does a lot of fun tags, book hauls, recommendations, and anticipated reads videos! As someone who loves seeing what books people have in their bookshelves, I especially loved watching her Bookshelf Tour video.

Follow her on her booktube channel, her Goodreads, her Twitter, and her Instagram!

5 thoughts on “The Pond News Issue #11 – Dumplings, Doomsdays, and Dragons? An Exciting Week for Diverse Reads!

  1. CW!!!!! Thank you so much for featuring me, it means the world 😭❤
    I didn’t know what The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling was about yet, but I added it immediately to my TBR! Same with Parachutes, I hadn’t heard of it but it’s going straight to my list of anticipated releases 💕


  2. I cannot wait to get my hands on The Dragon Republic!!! From the early reviews I’ve read, people are saying it is even better than The Poppy War! I am currently #1 in line at the library, and am dying for it to come in.


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