Welcome to Issue #26!
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 [February 9th – February 15th]
If You Only Knew by Prerna Pickett
Corey has just been released from jail, and all he wants is a new beginning. But when his former gang comes knocking, Corey agrees to vandalize the home of Kent Hopper, the prosecutor who put him away.
To erase the guilt she carries from getting away with a crime, Tessa spends most of her nights riding her motorcycle. When she catches Corey destroying her father’s car, she doesn’t see a criminal: She sees a way to finally right her own wrongs. So instead of turning Corey over to the police, she convinces her father to give Corey a second chance.
As Tessa and Corey spend more time with each other, it becomes difficult to ignore the pull between them. But they’re both keeping secrets, and when those secrets come to light, they’ll each have to face their demons in order to have a future together.
Any book that promises “misunderstood bad boys and firecracker female leads” is going to be a heck of an adventure, and a swoony YA romance from a debut author is just the entry in this list for lovers of a good slow-burn, tension-filled love story! (Also possibly if you just like badass women who ride bikes. Clearly also a valid reason to pick up this book.)
Releases on February 11. Add the book on Goodreads!
Mulan: Before The Sword by Grace Lin
An original novel that will explore and develop the world and characters of the Walt Disney Studios live action Mulan film.
This novel is a movie tie-in for Disney’s upcoming Mulan remake, and while I have my own thoughts about the film, this novel by an ownvoices author looks fantastic! I’m so curious to know who the little rabbit is on Mulan’s back, and how this retelling will add to the existing canon in interesting ways. Also loving the Chinese art style that the cover was done in too!
Releases on February 11. Add the book on Goodreads!
The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood
What if you knew how and when you will die?
Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.
But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.
But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.
What a premise for a book! This sounds tantalising already—gods and rituals? Thieves and wizards? And the fact that it’s supposed to have queer sapphic representation??? I wasn’t planning on picking this up, but now I am WHOLLY tempted. I hope it’s a great read for people looking forward to this!
Releases on February 11. Add the book on Goodreads!
Cover Reveal: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
When CW told us that the cover reveal for this book was going to be hosted by the Pond, I was already super excited, but absolutely nothing could’ve prepared me for how exquisite this cover ended up being. Look at the shiny golden dragon! The roses! The dagger (or sword?) with a Chinese name engraved in it! I just have a lot of love for the composition and how elegant the whole piece is, and all the more elated to read Chloe Gong’s debut.
Cover Reveal: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
We are HERE for Black Girl Magic 2020! This cover is absolutely stunning—I love especially the protagonist’s fierce, determined eyes, and the dual red/blue theme featured here! I can’t wait to read more ownvoices fantasy that prominently features black characters, and this book looks like a great place to start.
Cover Reveal: Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao
An Asian couple front and center on this cover! This is adorable. The excerpt of the book is so good, too! I love how it weaves together themes of being diaspora Asian seamlessly with the hilarious premise of renting a pretend boyfriend. This is set up to be the fake dating book of the year, and I absolutely cannot wait.
Cover Reveal: Pepper’s Rules for Secret Sleuthing by Briana McDonald
This cover speaks to all the artistic quirks I’m fond of—the twilight sky, mischievous kids, the bush, and just the wonderful composition of the illustration! I am also so, so happy that we’re getting more queer literature for a younger audience too, and hope that this book will help young readers feel seen!
Cover Reveal: Ninth Life by Taylor B. Barton
This book has been on my radar for so long, and it’s finally gotten a cover! I love love love the diverse cast portrayed here against a gorgeous night sky. The premise of a cat spending their ninth life as a human is such a wild and incredible one too, and I am genuinely super intrigued by how this story will play out.
Cover Reveal: More Happy Than Not (Deluxe Ed.) by Adam Silvera
Fans of Adam Silvera rejoice! Look at this beautiful cover! That shade of warm, rich yellow may just be my favorite color ever, so I’m already a little biased (oops). But Adam Silvera has found so much success with his unapologetically queer stories recently, and we love that for him!
Cover Reveal: Storm the Earth by Rebecca Kim Wells
The cover for Shatter the Sky‘s sequel is here! This is a “dragon-filled bisexual fantasy” series by an author of color, which hits so many right notes up my alley that I’m surprised I haven’t read this already. The illustration here is so stunning too!
Cover Reveal: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger and Rovina Cai
AH, friends, I have so much love for the illustration style that this cover is so hauntingly, lovingly drawn in. The ownvoices premise of an American setting made slightly strange by Native magic is one that is so compelling, and I am keeping my eye out for more news on this strange and brilliant graphic novel.
Cover Reveal: Come On In: 15 Stories About Immigration and Finding Home, edited by Adi Alsaid
Look at this fantastic anthology with an all-star lineup! And the diverse people on the cover! It truly is about time that we had a collection of stories for teens that focused on immigrant experiences, especially in our current political climate. I can’t wait to read this!
Cover Reveal: Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds
Another beautiful illustrated YA cover! I know Opposite of Always was very well-loved in the community, so it’s exciting to see the author publishing new things. We don’t have much information about this book yet, so keep your ears peeled for this one!
Cover Reveal: Smash It by Francina Simone
This cover is so lovely! I love love the expressiveness of the girl and how unapologetically black she is. We’re getting some excellent black characters on illustrated covers recently, and we love to see it! (Also a cover reveal with Oprah??? Talk about a grand entrance!)
Cover Reveal: Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera
Hey, batter batter, hey, batter batter, swing! I don’t know if the title of this book is a reference to that one High School Musical number, but I’d be delighted if it was. Also jock girls on covers! Yes! Especially ones that attempt to sabotage the outdated square dancing curriculum at their school so they can keep playing baseball. What a premise!
Book Announcement: Gothic sapphic academia novel forthcoming from Victoria Lee!
This pitch, this PITCH! Gothic lesbian, sapphic dark academia? I have never needed anything more in my life. If anyone has a time machine please let me skip to the day when this book arrives in the world in all its completed brilliance, thank you very much. Victoria Lee truly is giving the gays what we NEED.
Book Announcement: Leah Johnson’s forthcoming sapphic music festival YA romance
More more more YA sapphic representation! This news makes my heart sing. A queer contemporary set in a music festival sounds equal parts heartwarming and shenanigan-filled, especially since music has saved me from so many dark places in my life too. I’m waiting eagerly for more news about this!
Book Announcement: MG graphic novel adventure in space by a queer writer and Latina illustrator!
A middle-grade graphic novel set in outer space, spearheaded by a girl who has two queer mothers—heck, how fun does this one sound already? Queer stories for young readers are so, so important, and even more so when they’re lovingly illustrated in comic format! I’ll be adding this to my TBR for sure!
From Page to Screen: The indomitable Claribel and Ghost Squad (and Chuck) are headed to the big screen!!
Hello, friends, this is going to be a live-action hybrid feature, with animation??? My heart is soaring at the thought of seeing this on the big screen. Claribel is such a keen advocate for both diversity in publishing and her own book that it’s basically impossible to not be rooting for her every step of the way. It’s what Chunk deserves!
Book Community Spotlight
In celebration of Black History Month, all featured creators this issue are all part of the Black bookish community!
Book blogger: Merline at Merline Reads
Merline’s blog is so clean and professional and wonderful to read! Her book recommendations for representation of dark skin black girls are a great launching pad for Black History Month if you’re looking to fill up your reading list with Black authors with actual on-page representation (the post she linked about colorism is also super enlightening, I highly recommend reading that one to get some context about discrimination in the industry as well). You should also definitely check out her list of books she’s looking forward to for the first half of 2020, which includes some of my own highly anticipated releases as well!
Bookstagrammer: Trinity at browngirlblooming_
Friends, Trinity is criminally under-followed in the community. I stumbled across her profile while out scouting for black bookstagrammers this week, and immediately fell deeply in love with her feed. She makes the literal best and most creative edits, and as a graphic designer myself, I truly admire her ability to come up with all these incredible pictures. I genuinely, genuinely wish I could feature more than one photo, because seriously, all her stuff is amazing.
Booktuber: Chanelle at chanelletime
Chanelle is such a lovely presence in the bookish community, and I love love love her content! This video where she spills tips on how to read more books includes reading more comics and graphic novels, which (if you haven’t already told from my brief waxing poetic about comics on here) is also a personal favorite format of mine as well. Comics are just! so cool! And so good for reading slumps! If you’d like to zoom in on a specific book instead, her heartwarming review of Radio Silence by Alice Oseman put a huge smile on my face. The book means a lot to me as well, and her enthusiasm for the story genuinely makes me want to re-read it now!