Welcome to Issue #14!
The trees are whispering…
Friends, welcome to another exciting week of The Pond Book News! Every Sunday, The Quiet Pond brings you a fresh issue of book news to catch you up on the week’s lineup of diverse book releases, cover reveals, book news, and sometimes more! We also feature three incredible people in the book community every week, to highlight the important work that readers do in celebrating the books they love. Onward to the news!
Book releases this week [October 20th – October 26th]
I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi
Seven days. Seven days. The Earth might end in seven days.
When news stations start reporting that Earth has been contacted by a planet named Alma, the world is abuzz with rumors that the alien entity is giving mankind only few days to live before they hit the kill switch on civilization.
For high school truant Jesse Hewitt, though, nothing has ever felt permanent. Not the guys he hooks up with. Not the jobs his underpaid mom works so hard to hold down. Life has dealt him one bad blow after another — so what does it matter if it all ends now? Cate Collins, on the other hand, is desperate to use this time to find the father she’s never met, the man she grew up hearing wild stories about, most of which she didn’t believe. And then there’s Adeem Khan. While coding and computer programming have always come easily to him, forgiveness doesn’t. He can’t seem to forgive his sister for leaving, even though it’s his last chance.
With only seven days to face their truths and right their wrongs, Jesse, Cate, and Adeem’s paths collide even as their worlds are pulled apart.
I honestly didn’t know I wanted this book until I read that blurb, and now I need it. This end-of-days colliding of destinies sounds exactly like the high stakes adventure I’m craving at the moment, and I adore how diverse this already sounds! I love narratives where characters (who otherwise would have nothing to do with each other) are thrust together because of circumstances, and I’m so excited to see where the book takes them!
Releases on October 22. Add this book on Goodreads.
Light It Up by Kekla Magoon
A girl walks home from school. She’s tall for her age. She’s wearing her winter coat. Her headphones are in. She’s hurrying.
She never makes it home.
In the aftermath, while law enforcement tries to justify the response, one fact remains: a police officer has shot and killed an unarmed thirteen-year-old girl. The community is thrown into upheaval, leading to unrest, a growing movement to protest the senseless taking of black lives, and the arrival of white supremacist counter demonstrators.
This release feels especially poignant fresh on the heels of recent events (cw for racism & police brutality). I’m heartened by the fact that we’re beginning to get more and more narratives within YA that explore messy and long-neglected issues like this, particularly within the black community. The world needs books like this now more than ever, and I can’t wait to see all the necessary conversations this story will undoubtedly carve out a space for.
Releases on October 22. Add this book on Goodreads.
Excerpt from Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
You know the feeling you get when you catch up with an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while, but you can just pick up right where you left off, and the conversation just flows like you’ve been in touch all along? That’s absolutely how I felt reading this new excerpt. Children of Blood and Bone was one of my favorite books of 2018, and I’m (very) eagerly counting down the days until the release of the sequel.
Title Reveal for Brooklyn Brujas #3 by Zoraida Córdova
Friends, Brooklyn Brujas #3 now has a title! I love that all of these witchy reveals are happening just in time for Halloween. Labyrinth Lost has been on my TBR for the longest time, and I might just use spoopy month as an excuse to finally get into it!
Cover Reveal: This Coven Won’t Break by Isabel Sterling
Our second queer witchy novel in the post! This cover is such a stunner that I don’t even know where to begin, honestly—I adore the imagery of the characters being illustrated on playing cards, and all the witchcraft ephemera present here in the art. I hope the sequel lives up to the first novel too!
Cover Reveal: We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez
Already, this sounds like such an essential novel for the period of history we’re currently living in. That cover is so compelling, too! I love the warm palette paired with the rough illustration style—they really help to convey the desolation and urgency that come with the dire circumstances. Also, the short excerpt that was shared in the article is already heartbreaking: “The gauzy orange of the earth—both on the ground and swirling in the air—that has seeped into every one of your happiest memories.” Definitely putting this on my priority TBR.
Cover Reveal: Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
This is adorable! I love how the really simple art style here really show off the cuteness of the story—a 24-hour rivals-to-lovers romp sounds like SUCH a fun time, and I can already tell that this is going to be a wild and sweet adventure.
Cover Reveal: Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender
Friends, I absolutely adore how colorful and vibrant this cover is! All those flowers are truly gorgeous. The blurb for this book says that it’s a story about a sweet black, queer, and transgender kid navigating love and identity, which?? Yes?? This is going to be such an important book to so many kids growing up today, and I absolutely cannot wait to get my hands on this! (ALSO please give us more soft bois in YA, thanks @ universe.)
Cover Reveal: Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland
Okay, first off, this cover? Too pretty for my eyes. The desert imagery, the blinding light and the typography—everything gels together so well and makes for a really, really solid piece of art. Secondly: this premise is BONKERS and I am ALL FOR IT. An exploration of immigration by way of alien spacecrafts and a thought-dead-parent? With promised bits of folklore and secrets and family? AHHHH?
Cover Reveal: My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong
This cover is giving me all the 2000’s Chinese pop culture feels, and I’m SO HERE for it. The colors in this are so pretty! A romcom from the perspective of a Chinese-American teen in Beijing is also a surefire premise for some real hijinks, and I’m very invested to see where this goes!
Cover Reveal: Lobizona by Romina Garber
I don’t know if it’s serendipity or by fate that there are so many amazing announcements for teen books about immigration this week, but friends… Every single one of them has sounded all parts unique and absolutely essential, and this book is no different. The cover for this is so rich and intricate too! I love that vampires and werewolves seem to be making a comeback in YA recently, but what I love more is writers of color finally getting to present their takes on the well-worn mythologies!
Book Announcement: Foreshadow YA receives a much anticipated physical release!
I was ecstatic when I saw this announcement! For the uninitiated, the Foreshadow YA initiative is essentially an online platform for YA short stories, with a good focus on diverse and underrepresented writers. I’ve adored the concept ever since I heard of it, and there are some absolute gems on the site already. I’m beyond thrilled that the new voices will also get their chance to shine in a tangible, physical book that we can hold!
Book Announcement: A new forthcoming MG from Gail D. Villanueva inspired by Filipino folk Catholicism!
The Filipinos are killing it out here! The premise for this sounds lovely already—I don’t think we get enough YA literature exploring the complicated relationships that can exist between kids and religion, specifically since folk Catholicism and Christianity in Southeast Asian countries are always inextricably tied to colonialist ideals as well. My Fate According to the Butterfly was a monumental book for so many Filipino readers, and I have absolutely no doubt that this book will also be just as groundbreaking (if not more)!
Book Announcement: Chinese-inspired YA fantasy and magical tea brewing competitions from Judy I. Lin
UM HELLO, how amazing does this premise sound??? A magical tea-brewing competition! I’m always so, so down for Chinese-inspired fantasy (I’m Malaysian Chinese myself!), and I’ve long yearned for a book that explores the intricacies of Chinese tea culture, so to say I’m overfilled with anticipation for this is an UNDERSTATEMENT. And judging by the blurb, I’m also crossing my fingers for an exploration of a good sibling relationship between the sisters. 👀 MAN, I can’t believe I have to wait until 2022 for this!
Book Announcement: Riley Redgate meets sci-fi set in SPACE
SPAAAAAACE. This is our second spacey-themed end-of-days novel in the post! I know CW and Xiaolong adored this author’s Final Draft, so I’m excited to see what she comes up with for an epic story like this with such high stakes! You can also read Xiaolong’s five reasons to read Riley’s book Final Draft here!
Book Announcement: Ashley Woodfolk’s 4-part contemporary series set in Harlem
Fans of Ashley Woodfolk rejoice! In an industry where even a single book deal is hard to come by sometimes, a diverse whole four-part series is definitely worth celebrating! (Just imagine all the character growth that can happen over a long series like this, guys, ugh.) Huge congrats to everyone here, I’m definitely looking forward to this!
From Page to Screen: The Sky is Everywhere is headed to the big screen!
All the great film and TV news lately!!! I haven’t read this book myself yet, but I’m such a huge fan of Jandy’s I’ll Give You The Sun that I’m beyond excited for this to get picked up. Hopefully this opens up opportunities for more hype adaptations of all our beloved stories too!
Book Community Spotlight
Book Blogger: Krisha from Bookathon
Krisha is a wonderful book blogger from India, and a constant positive force in the community! She’s super consistent and on point with her reviews, which—as someone who struggles to read on a regular basis—I really admire! It’s honestly wild how sometimes the simplest things are also the hardest, and I’m always super appreciative of people who can keep up with the (sometimes thankless) work of being an active reader and book blogger. If you’re new to her blog like I was, you can start with her lovely post on how she got into reading, which also includes some origin stories from a handful of other readers!
Bookstagrammer: Ally at simplyallytea
How sweet is this photo? My heart is always so full when people talk about the impact graphic novels can have on them, so this photo just makes me happy. Ally’s feed is super diverse and pretty too! I love all the dynamic layouts and poses that she features in her photos, and how bright all of them are. (Also, Ally if you’re reading this: I see those posts with D&D and Critical Role! This just automatically makes you like 10x cooler in my opinion too. That shiny dice obsession is too real.)
Booktuber: Paola Mancera
Latinx Heritage Month may be over, but anytime is a good time to be supporting your friendly neighbourhood Latinx creators! Paola’s videos make you feel like you’re sitting down with an old friend to talk about the books you’ve been reading recently, and I love how conversational and casual she is in front of the camera! As someone who’s super camera-shy, I’m always in awe of people who are really natural with them. Her newest video recommending some spoooooooky book recommendations for the season is a great place to start!