Welcome to Issue #24!
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.
Sprout would also like to take this chance to wish a Happy Lunar New Year to everyone celebrating! Now onward to the news!
Book Releases This Week [January 26th – February 1st]
Diamond City by Francesca Flores
Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing… unless they risk everything.
Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís is as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.
Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.
DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.
To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.
I’ve been hearing so many good good things about this debut—a Latinx fantasy following a quick and sharp assassin protagonist with a diverse cast? Sign me right up! I’ll always be here for stabby girls carving out a space for themselves in a world that doesn’t care about them 🗡️, and this book sounds entirely up that alley!
Releases on January 28th. Add this book to Goodreads!
Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith
Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.
Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.
At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…
And she isn’t going down without a fight.
Has there ever been a book title more relevant to the current state of the social internet? I love that there have been more books releasing lately with more nuanced takes on gaming & online culture—especially ones written by people who know these communities intimately enough to have balanced views of both the light and dark of what it’s like to grow up in a generation so saturated by media. I have high hopes for this!
Releases on January 28th. Add this book to Goodreads!
Cover Reveal: When We Were Infinite by Kelly Loy Gilbert
This gorgeous cover reveal was actually supposed to be featured in last week’s issue, but it is finally here now! This entire cover just tells you upfront that the story it hides within is going to hit you right in the feels, and I am ready. The blurb promises sensitive discussions of themes such as adoption and mental illness, and I eagerly await the release day of this excellent book!
Cover Reveal: The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi
Friend, I am so in love with the intricate, weaving pattern motifs in this series, and I can only dream of how good the two books will look together on a shelf. The snowy, icy atmosphere is such a departure from the first book, but they still look so cohesive and like they clearly belong together. I still haven’t picked up The Gilded Wolves, but I clearly need to now!
Cover Reveal: Haunted Heroine by Sarah Kuhn
We love ourselves some strong Asian leads front and center on this book cover! The Heroine Complex series is beloved by so many readers, and I adore the spoopiness of this entry in the series, especially since the two ghosts seem to be mirrors of the two girls as well 👀 A curious detail!
Cover Reveal: A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
The more I gaze (lovingly) at this cover, the more I find to love about it—the elegant typography, the regal green tones, the intricate designs on the wall, the black model front and center. I was already excited for this book, but who can even resist this stunning cover? This is going on my TBR for sure.
Cover Reveal: Grown by Tiffany D. Jackson
I adore this bright and warm cover! We’re getting some excellent black girls on covers this issue, and I am loving every bit of it. This one is definitely a little simpler than a few of the ones we’ve seen so far, but simple works when you have such strong composition and such a great story hook too!
Cover Reveal: Recommended for You by Laura Silverman
If I haven’t yet made abundantly clear my love for illustrated covers, I will sing it from the mountaintops once more: I adore this! Both protagonists look so wry and clever in the cover, and I love the little book in the center of the book title. I’ve heard from a little bird that Laura Silverman also writes excellent YA contemporaries, which definitely makes this entry one to watch!
Cover Reveal: Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall
Look at how beautiful and irresistibly queer this cover is! I’ve been keeping an eye on this release for a while now—a bisexual YA contemporary??? PLEASE—and I’m beyond glad to see it get the attention it deserves from the community. I love the soft magenta tones and the subtle floral motifs climbing upwards from the two protagonists. Very highly anticipating this book!
Cover Reveal: The Shadow of Kyoshi by F.C. Yee
Once again, I am completely blown away by the covers for the Kyoshi YA series! I’ve been wanting to read The Rise of Kyoshi for so long now, and this cover reveal just pushes it that much further up my list. I wasn’t aware that there was a sapphic couple in the first book, and now I neeeeeed to get to know Kyoshi’s love interest!
Book Announcement: Queer magical baking romance YA forthcoming from Amy Rose Capetta!
Friends, how adorable does this pitch already sound? I love me some good warm baking stories, and this book already hits so many right notes that I’m starry-eyed. I can’t wait to hear more info about this!
Book Community Spotlight
Book blogger: Sage at Sage’s Shelves
If you’re spending even five minutes on the internet today, friend, pay a visit to Sage’s really really cool book blog. I have no idea how I wasn’t following them up till now, but I don’t even have the words for how absolutely beautiful their blog banner looks. Sage is criminally under-followed in the bookish community, especially since they write posts such as this one about romance arcs in YA, and the benefits of focusing on platonic relationships instead; and more recently a list of their most anticipated releases of 2020, which features some truly excellent picks to keep an eye on this year!
Bookstagrammer: Alliah at paintingpages
How lovely is this photo, friends? Alliah’s feed is absolutely gorgeous, with a beautiful blush-pink tint tying together all her recent posts. Alliah’s clearly got a keen eye for aesthetic and what works in building a cohesive theme, and it shows! I love all the recurring floral motifs that are woven throughout her posts, and all the lovely Asian books that are featured!
Booktuber: Lucie at LucieReads
Lucie is an excellent Black booktuber. Her videos are so fun and easy to watch, and they make great viewing material for when you just need that extra dose of bookish content. I also really appreciate that all her videos have closed captions as well! I personally have absolutely terrible auditory processing, so having subtitles on videos helps so much more than I can express. A great place to start on Lucie’s channel is her reflective video on her 2019 reading goals, where she recounts how she did for the goals she set out for herself at the start of the year (with graphs and charts to boot!! we stan STATS) as well as her 2020 bookish resolutions for the year!