The Pond Book News #15 – Lush Trailers, Brilliant Contemporaries & A Hype Week of Exciting Book News

issue #15

Welcome to Issue #15!

The trees are whispering…

Friends, welcomeSprout the sparrow, doing a curtsy with their eyes closed and a smile on their face. Their cape swooshes in the wind with their arm extended in their curtsy. 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 27th – November 2nd]

The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people, often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.

Starting the week off strong! I’ve heard so many good things about this book, and I really cannot wait to get my hands on this! As someone who’s always been fascinated by the deep sea and the mysteries that lurk beneath, this setting sounds delicious and absolutely up my alley. Plus an untrustworthy government and family stakes? This sounds downright perfect for my current reading mood!

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

Beyond the Black Door by A.M. Strickland

Kamai was warned never to open the black door, but she didn’t listen…

Everyone has a soul. Some are beautiful gardens, others are frightening dungeons. Soulwalkers―like Kamai and her mother―can journey into other people’s souls while they sleep.

But no matter where Kamai visits, she sees the black door. It follows her into every soul, and her mother has told her to never, ever open it.

When Kamai touches the door, it is warm and beating, like it has a pulse. When she puts her ear to it, she hears her own name whispered from the other side. And when tragedy strikes, Kamai does the unthinkable: she opens the door.

A.M. Strickland’s imaginative dark fantasy features court intrigue and romance, a main character coming to terms with her asexuality, and twists and turns as a seductive mystery unfolds that endangers not just Kamai’s own soul, but the entire kingdom…

How cool does this setting sound? I am so intrigued already by this blurb, and I’m very down for another dark fantasy in my life! Plus that book cover is gorgeous. It’s also fitting too that this release is following hot on the heels of Asexual Awareness Week 👀

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell

There’s no such thing as a secret.

SOMETHING happened to Ava. The curving scar on her face is proof. But Ava would rather keep that something hidden—buried deep in her heart and her soul.

She has her best friend Syd, and she has her tattoos—a colorful quilt, like a security blanket, over her whole body—and now, suddenly, she has Hailey. Beautiful, sweet Hailey, who seems to like Ava as much as she likes her. And Ava isn’t letting anything get in the way of finally, finally seeking peace. But in the woods on the outskirts of town, the traces of someone else’s secrets lie frozen, awaiting Ava’s discovery—and what Ava finds threatens to topple the carefully-constructed wall of normalcy that she’s spent years building. Secrets leave scars. But when the secret in question is not your own—do you ignore the truth and walk away? Or do you uncover it from its shallow grave, and let it reopen old wounds—wounds that have finally begun to heal?

This sounds so perfect for spoopy month! The blurb does such a good job at making us want to know more about the story—what exactly happened in the woods? What do the scars on the protagonist’s face mean? What awaits them in the dark unknown? This feels like a book you want to curl up under your blanket with when the lights are out, and I’m so excited to know more!

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

I’m a Gay Wizard by V.S. Santoni

When Johnny and his best friend, Alison, pass their summer holidays dabbling in magic, they never expect it to have consequences. Sure, it’d be great if they could banish bullies or change their lives for the better, and what harm could come from lighting a few candles and chanting a few spells? When they cause an earthquake that shakes Chicago to its core, they draw the attention of the Marduk Institute, an age-old organization dedicated to fostering the talents of young wizards.

Once there, Johnny and Alison are told they can never return to their previous lives, and must quickly adapt to a new world shimmering with monsters, fraternities, and cute boys like Hunter and Blake. But when they’re pulled into an epic, supernatural fight that could cost them both their lives, Johnny and Alison find strength they never knew they had as they battle for love, acceptance, and their own happy ending—all with the help of a little magic.

Friend, I don’t know about you, but I am SO READY for new stories set in fresh magical schools and institutions, especially one that proudly wears its queerness on its sleeve! I think the premise has a lot of potential, and I am so desperate for more diverse takes on magical schools and students. This book in particular sounds like an adorable and magical found family story, which is a trope I’ve always been absolutely smitten with.

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of marrow and blood–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A royal sibling story filled with tension, magic and (maybe) betrayal is such a solid hook for a story, and I’ve been eyeing this particular book ever since I came across its blurb on Goodreads. I’ve heard some really good things about this from its early readers too, which makes me hopeful! Also! that cover! is beyond stunning!

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Simone Garcia-Hampton is starting over at a new school, and this time things will be different. She’s making real friends, making a name for herself as student director of Rent, and making a play for Miles, the guy who makes her melt every time he walks into a room. The last thing she wants is for word to get out that she’s HIV-positive, because last time . . . well, last time things got ugly.

Keeping her viral load under control is easy, but keeping her diagnosis under wraps is not so simple. As Simone and Miles start going out for real–shy kisses escalating into much more–she feels an uneasiness that goes beyond butterflies. She knows she has to tell him that she’s positive, especially if sex is a possibility, but she’s terrified of how he’ll react! And then she finds an anonymous note in her locker: I know you have HIV. You have until Thanksgiving to stop hanging out with Miles. Or everyone else will know too.

Simone’s first instinct is to protect her secret at all costs, but as she gains a deeper understanding of the prejudice and fear in her community, she begins to wonder if the only way to rise above is to face the haters head-on…

I think we can all already tell from the description here that this is going to be a really tough but heartfelt book that’s absolutely necessary in our current societal climate. Especially since we don’t have a lot of books that do a good job of representing the daily lives of chronically ill kids yet. I think stories like this always take a lot of bravery to tell, and I’m hopeful that this book will soon find the lives that it’s meant to touch when it’s released.

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

Girls Like Us by Randi Pink

Set in the summer of 1972, this moving YA historical novel is narrated by teen girls from different backgrounds with one thing in common: Each girl is dealing with pregnancy.
Four teenage girls. Four different stories. What they all have in common is that they’re dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

In rural Georgia, Izella is wise beyond her years, but burdened with the responsibility of her older sister, Ola, who has found out she’s pregnant. Their young neighbor, Missippi, is also pregnant, but doesn’t fully understand the extent of her predicament. When her father sends her to Chicago to give birth, she meets the final narrator, Susan, who is white and the daughter of an anti-choice senator.

Randi Pink masterfully weaves four lives into a larger story – as timely as ever – about a woman’s right to choose her future.

Oh! This is such an interesting premise! Teen pregnancy is rarely talked about in children’s literature, and it really is about time that stories like this get published! I’m looking forward to seeing these teens becoming each other’s emotional support group as they navigate the nuances of their shared experience. Also loving all the beautiful skintones on the cover!

Releases on October 29. Add this book on Goodreads.

Dear Twin by Addie Brook Tsai

Poppy wants to go to college like everyone else, but her father has other ideas. Ever since Poppy’s twin sister, Lola, mysteriously vanished, Poppy’s father has been deeply saddened by Lola’s absence and forces Poppy to stick around.

Having always felt a strong sense of responsibility for Lola’s happiness and well-being, especially after witnessing the abuse Lola endured during their childhood, she hopes she can convince Lola to come home, and perhaps also procure her freedom, by sending Lola a series of nineteen letters, one for each year of their lives.

When not submerged in the most traumatic memories of her childhood, Poppy sneaks away with Juniper, her secret love and sole source of comfort. But negotiating the complexities of queer love and childhood trauma are anything but simple. And as a twin? That’s a whole different story.

I can already tell this book might cause a couple of shiny tears in unsuspecting eyes! The format of nineteen letters to a disappeared sister sounds like a recipe for a lot of heartfelt confessions and realisations, and I am ready. I’m already personally invested in where this story goes, since queerness and family are so inextricably connected in my own life as well.

Releases on November 1. Add this book on Goodreads.

Book News

Cover Reveal: 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon

I will confess that I haven’t picked up any books set in the Dimpleverse yet, but friends, this cover!!! How adorable is this cover, for real? I adore the streaks in her hair so much, and her matching eyeshadow? It’s so pretty! The concept of having the book title written on her buttons also feels cute and super in-character for the book!

Cover Reveal: Mulan: Before the Sword by Grace Lin

I think because Mulan was such a cornerstone of my childhood, I won’t ever tire of its retellings as long as I live. The cover for this feels very much reminiscent of illustrations in old children’s books, and I think it’s a really interesting choice of  artstyle for a book cover! I also adore that the core art for the cover was painted by the author too! In this household we stan talented women author-illustrators of color 🙌

Cover Reveal: Any Day With You by Mae Respicio

This cover feels so WARM and inviting, and I absolutely adore it to pieces. I think something about kind elderly grandparent figures just pulls on a heart string deep inside me, and this resonates. The dragon in the sky is such a cool choice, too! I will forever advocate for more Asian dragons in our collective mythological consciousness of mythical creatures.

Book Announcement: Julian Winters’ next fun, queer teen adventure!

I still have yet to pick up a Julian Winters novel, but this pitch sounds adorable! I already completely relate to a dream job of working in a local used bookstore (imagine… all the affordable books… being surrounded by them 24/7?? yes). I’m so excited to see this story and these characters come to life next year!

Book Announcement: A delightful Malaysian Chinese rom-com set in Singapore forthcoming from Lauren Ho

AHHHH friends! I’m so excited for this! A Malaysian Chinese rom-com! The struggle in the blurb already sounds so distinctly Malaysian that I can’t help but wince at the accuracy of it all. Last Tang Standing also sounds like such a cheeky title and I love it. From this point until release date you can find me patiently awaiting more news on this book in the corner.

Book Announcement: A flower-filled f/f retelling of a Portuguese miracle

Friends, I honestly cannot express to you how delighted this book news made me, because literally everything about it sounds perfectly catered to me, an AVID enthusiast of f/f retellings of literally any old folktale or myth and now, apparently, religious miracle. I can feel it in my BONES that I’m going to love this, and I neeeeeed a release date and cover and ALL the things now!

Book Announcement: Pamela Harris’ debut novel about the mysterious disappearance of a black girl

Tired: terrible authorities who don’t care about the disappearance of black women; Wired: kids taking fate into their own hands and strong sibling relationships. Black women authors are out here thriving and we love that for them.

Book Announcement: Wesley Chu’s forthcoming fantasy martial arts trilogy

Ooooh, this sounds so fascinating! This premise of “a hero trains to defeat an undefeated hero under the tutelage of a wizened mentor” is tried and true, but there is certainly a reason why this plotline is so effective! I’m very interested to see where the author takes this skeleton and what a more modern iteration of this will look like!

Book Announcement: The book trailer for Girls of Storm and Shadow is here!!!

FRIENDS, our warrior loves are back. This lush trailer for the upcoming sequel is gorgeous and haunting, and the image of two girls in hanfu courting each other? Show-stopping, iconic, legendary. Girls of Paper and Fire was such an… unforgettable book for me when I read it last year, and it truly is the one book you can read to understand my taste in stories. You can also read why Xiaolong also loves the book here!

Book Community Spotlight

Book Blogger: Anniek at Anniek’s Library

I was on the lookout for cool ace book bloggers to feature in this week’s post in conjunction with Asexual Awareness Week, and I came across this lovely blog post by Anniek recommending a couple of books with on-page asexual rep! It mentions favorites here at the Pond like C.B. Lee’s Not Your Backup, as well as books that are high on my own TBR as well. As asexuality (and aromantic identities) are sometimes purposefully excluded from queer spaces, we should all be celebrating our wonderful ace friends this week, and reading the books on this list is a great place to start!

You can follow Anniek on her book blog, Twitter and Goodreads!

Bookstagrammer: Moe at offbyhearstyle

Moe’s feed is an absolute treat for the eyes with her vibrant colors and bright floral arrangements! I love how bold and beautiful everything is—the flowers, the books, the occasional string of fairy lights woven into the photos. This specific photo features both an excellent book and a wonderful, cohesive color palette, and I honestly just feel happier from the warmth it exudes.

You can follow Moe on her bookstagram, Twitter and booktube!

Booktuber: Sumaya in Booktopia

From her channel tag of “Books Spark Joy” to her winning smile, Sumaya is an emerging booktuber with a bright personality to lighten anyone’s day. Her video on the Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag is filled with love for S.K. Ali’s Love From A to Z (which I still need to read), and I really loved watching why this book and its representation meant so much to Sumaya! With all the drama that the book community gets into sometimes, it’s always refreshing to put all of the conflict back into focus and remember why we advocate so dearly for diverse books and authors in the industry, and the impact they can make on so many lives!

Find Sumaya on her booktube, Twitter and Instagram!

One thought on “The Pond Book News #15 – Lush Trailers, Brilliant Contemporaries & A Hype Week of Exciting Book News

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